City Files Lawsuit Against State for Violation of Constitution https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/law/2029Law8/17/2021 7:00:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/2029/_Newsroom_Courtgavel.jpgCity Files Lawsuit Against State for Violation of Constitution <div class="ExternalClass26DAAF9420F342248F23F6A83E5B81F9"><html> <p></p>The city of Phoenix is suing the state of Arizona, claiming the State Legislature illegally folded dozens of provisions into a state budget bill, a violation of the State's constitution.<br><br>The suit filed Tuesday in Superior Court focuses on the “single subject rule." The Arizona Constitution lays out a transparent process where bills must mean what they say. Budget bills have to be about the budget and substantive, general legislation has to be about one subject at a time. This ensures that proposed laws are debated and voted on only with other provisions that relate to them—rather than buried among countless other provisions. <br><br>“The city of Phoenix is filing this lawsuit to ensure the State Legislature follows our Arizona Constitution. This year's budget illegally limits cities' abilities to serve our communities and undermines the legislative process," said Mayor Kate Gallego. <br><br>According to the lawsuit, the Legislature violated the Constitution's requirements when it passed HB2893. This so called “budget reconciliation" bill included substantive legislative provisions that have nothing to do with spending or with each other. The bill in question is supposed to be about reconciliation of the “Criminal Justice" provisions of the budget. But it covers a hodgepodge of topics impacting at least 10 different state agencies and addresses diverse topics from an emergency “readiness center" to disputes on water rights.<br><br>The bill also has a specific provision that would impact how the city supervises its police department, including the city's new Office of Accountability and Transparency (OAT).   <br><br>In May, the Phoenix City Council passed an ordinance authorizing the creation of the OAT.  A month later, as the city began recruiting an OAT Director, the State pushed HB2893 through as a budget reconciliation bill which according to the lawsuit is designed to “nullify an office created" for the purpose to “provide for independent civilian led review of the Phoenix Police Department."<br><br>“Whatever you think about the merits of the substantive items in the bill the City is challenging, Arizonans of all stripes should, and do, agree that the Legislature has to follow the Constitution just as everyone else does," said Jean-Jacques Cabou of Perkins Coie LLP, who filed the suit on behalf of the City. “The City's suit asks the Court to enforce these rules in the Constitution."<br><br>The process of cramming so many things into one bill that no one can oppose it for fear of losing the whole bill is known as “logrolling." It's been against the law for as long as Arizona has been a state.<br><br>“By stuffing so many different topics and so much substantive legislation into a bill that's supposed to simply enact parts of the budget, the Legislature made sure that none of these important topics got their own individual votes," said Cabou. <br><br><p>The suit seeks the court to rule the Legislature violated the Constitution and stop the bills from going into effect.​<br></p></html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/lawNewslawLaw



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