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Arizona Government

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Submitted By jennhaley
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The following paper will review the government of Arizona and how laws come into effect within the state system. It will establish an understanding of the initiative to create a bill in the Arizona Constitution and the laws and their significance to the citizens of the state of Arizona. These laws and initiatives continue to be the foundation for the government and the people of Arizona that drive the Constitution of the people of Arizona and their current government.

Introduction In the state of Arizona, private citizens also have the ability to be lawmakers. Voters have the power of the initiative, referendum, and recall at the state level and in their cities and counties. In an initiative, voters propose a new law or amendment to the State Constitution. Voters collect signatures to have the initiative placed on the ballot for a vote. At election time, people vote for or against the new law or amendment. In a referendum, citizens vote on whether a current law should remain in effect. If the citizens are dissatisfied with how an elected official is representing them, they may vote to recall, or remove the official from the office. These provisions are the major force in Arizona’s political environment. This paper will explore the methods of how a law is introduced in the state of Arizona, as well as current initiative or legislative bill that is currently being considered in Arizona.
In introducing a law, there are specific methods that should be followed. A bill is an idea for a law, which is often suggested by state citizens, senators and representatives. Only selected legislators may officially introduce a bill to the Senate or the House. That is, a bill that is introduced in the Senate first travels through the Senate, and a bill that is introduced in the House first travels through the House. After the bill is introduced, it is assigned to a committee for study. The committee suggests ways to improve the bill; hence if the committee does not think the bill is worthwhile, they let it die. But if the committee likes the proposal, the bill goes to the Legislative Council, which is a committee of Senators, Representatives and staff attorneys. The council carefully studies whether the bill conflicts in any way with an existing law, including the Arizona State Constitution. The Legislative Council then writes a draft of the bill in legal format. At this point, the bill is ready to be formally presented to the Senate or House of Representatives. The bill is read and is given a number. After the first reading, there is a second reading and then it is assigned to a committee that will examine the bill to understand the benefits and effects of the bill. The committee often holds public hearings wherein the citizens of Arizona speak before the committee and explain the advantage and disadvantage of the bill. The committee may decide if the bill needs to be changed or amended. The committee votes to recommend the bill to the house or senate. After the bill passed to the committee, Senate or House, the Legislators debate about the bill and vote on whether or not to approve the bill. When the bill is approved, it is sent to the Legislative house and the process is repeated. After the bill passed the Senate and House of Representatives, it is sent to the governor who will approve or disapprove the bill. If the bill is approved it becomes a law, but it is rejected, the legislators vote again on the bill. If two thirds of the members of each house vote yes, then the bill becomes a law without the governor’s signature (Arizona Bill, n.d.).
In February 2010, there was a heightened issue with the release of the House Bill 2347, which is the Concealed Carry Reform Bill (NRA-ILA, 2010). This bill would remove the double standard between concealed carry and open carry of firearms. Currently, in Arizona law, an individual who is 18 years old and is not prohibited from owning and carrying a firearm can carry a firearm legally and openly (Arizona State Legislature, 2010). However, a concealed carry permit is needed if the firearm is carried under cover such as inside a coat or purse. This permit system is costly and consumes state employee time. Thus, this new bill aims to give the Arizona gun owners a greater freedom of choice to carry their firearms.
One would believe this bill would give greater freedom to gun owners. However, there should be tight implementation of the misconduct or offense that may occur as stated in the proposed bill such as “carrying concealed deadly weapons in or on a means of transportation in the commission of an attempted offense, carrying concealed deadly weapons in or on a means of transportation for a person under twenty-one years old” (Arizona State Legislature, 2010). That is, one could interpret that giving gun owners much greater freedom in carrying their firearms can be a risk for others safety. The amendments in the proposal are useful in restricting the legality of the age of gun owners as well as the offense that would likely to commit with the extended freedom of carrying guns in public places.
After studying, Arizona’s law-making methods, it is easy for one to conclude that the state of Arizona values the individual’s right to create policies. This is important because lawmakers were given freedom to express their understanding of the law and how it may affect every individual’s life. An example is the current proposed bill about carrying firearms that concerns the security of every Arizonians as well as their freedom to carry it. References
Arizona Bill. (n.d.) Retrieved on February 23, 2010 from: http://www.azleg.gov/alisPDFs/hbillaw.pdf
Arizona State Legislature. (2010) Proposed House of Representatives Amendments To H.B. 2347. Retrieved on February 23, 2010 from: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=%2Flegtext%2F49leg%2F2r%2Fproposed%2Fh.2347jpw.doc.htm
McClory, T. (2001). Understanding the Arizona Constitution. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

NRA-ILA. (2010) Arizona's Concealed Carry Reform Bill (HB2347) Moving Forward! Retrieved on February 23, 2010 from: http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=5477

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