Plaintiffs expand: Business community and health care community solidly united in opposition to organized labor power play

A quick legal update for those of you covering the health care initiative, Proposition 208.

The Arizona Medical Association, the Health System Alliance of Arizona, and the Arizona Nurses Association on Friday joined the list of plaintiffs who are arguing that the proponents of an out-of-state union-backed initiative to impose sweeping new mandates on Arizona’s health care sector failed to comply with Arizona law in their signature-gathering process and committee-filing process.

The business community and health care community are solidly united in the effort to preserve the integrity of the citizen initiative process and to save health care in Arizona from the tremendous harm that would be inflicted by this organized labor power play.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The 100-word summary paints a misleading picture of how the initiative will actually impact patients, healthcare workers, and hospitals. The summary uses vague terminology and ambiguous definitions. The summary’s description of its wage provision, for example, falls woefully short, failing even to attempt to inform petition signers that the initiative could result in perhaps thousands of different “minimum wages” depending on the particular job.
  2. The proponents’ campaign failed to comply with Arizona law and engaged in practices that will harm the Arizona electorate.

The proponents, plaintiffs argue, did not secure enough qualified electors’ signatures to qualify for placement on the ballot.

Many signatures should be thrown out due to the signer’s failure to register to vote, registration in the wrong county, non-matching signatures, failure to complete the signature line with required information, failure to personally complete the requisite information, duplicate signatures, and ineligibility to sign the Initiative Petition.

And the proponents’ initiative official title is fatally flawed. It fails to include all changes the initiative proposes to the Arizona Revised Statutes and fails to place members of the public on notice as to the contents of the proposed amendments.

  1. The proponents’ statement of organization attempts to hide their connection to a California-based labor union. Plaintiffs argue that this initiative is nothing more than a shameless attempt by an out-of-state special interest group to advance its radical agenda in Arizona, and the statement of organization bolsters that claim. The proponents have attempted to shield their connection to their direct sponsor, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, by failing to disclose the union’s name in their statement of organization. A complaint on this matter has already been filed, yet the Committee has not amended its statement of organization and thus continues to intentionally and fraudulently conceal its sponsor to Arizona voters.

Remember: Citizen initiative proponents must strictly comply with Arizona law. This initiative falls far short of the strict compliance standard.

Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer: “The business community and health care community are solidly united in this effort to protect the citizen initiative process from the shoddy and deceptive practices engaged in by an out-of-state union. We’ll do all we can to prevent the proponents of this harmful initiative from pulling a fast one on Arizona voters. We are confident that this measure, which would devastate the Arizona health care sector during a pandemic that has stretched our health care heroes to the near breaking point, will not appear on the ballot this fall.”