As it currently stands, once an initiative has been adopted by voters, lawmakers are only able to alter it if it ‘furthers the purpose’ of the original measure and in order for lawmakers to do this they need 3/4ths vote in both the House and Senate. Why? Because in 1996 AZ lawmakers overturned a voter approved medical marijuana initiative, and we didn’t like that so in ’98 we voted to remove their power to do so with the Voter Protection Act.
So now if voters approve HCR 2043, the Voter Protection Act of ’98 will be repealed. If that happens then the legislature would be able to overturn any voter approved initiative so long as they receive the same margin of votes in the House and Senate.
So for example, if voters move to legalize recreational marijuana this year, lets say by 53 percent, lawmakers could vote to overturn the new law so long as 53 percent of the House and Senate agree. Of course, this bill would only allow the legislature to overturn new initiatives, they can’t touch any initiative approved by voters in the past. This is still bad news for Arizona voters who elect these officials to work for us, not against us.
For more reading on this issue, see this article on Arizona Daily Star.