House Republicans Push to Suppress Speech & Change Ethics Rules (video)

Arizona House

The Arizona House Republican leadership wants to change the House rules again this year. We have not voted on their proposed changes… yet…and if we do, there will be a floor battle because the Democrats don’t like the changes and neither do some of the more reasonable Republicans.

The suggested GOP changes would further suppress members’ speech by prohibiting photography, video or livestreaming from the floor, limit the number of House staff on the floor, and make it harder for people who are not House members to file ethics complaints against House members. On the photography issue, Republicans particularly don’t want us to photograph the votes on the board. What are they afraid of? Their voters? Voters have a right to know what we are doing, what we are saying and how we are voting.

You may remember the huge floor battle in 2019 over the Republican changes to the House rules. They cut speaking times to suppress speech, brought brought back the non-germane striker, and made other changes like making introductions of guests super short and not allowing us to say *why* a person was at the capital. (For example, we were not allowed to say that the people who marched 38 miles for the ERA want the Arizona Legislature to ratify the ERA.)

In 2017, Speaker Mesnard and his leadership team negotiated rules changes with the Democratic leadership team, and the rules passed unanimously because there was negotiation and agreement.

The Dems are not on board with the Republicans’ proposed 2020 changes, and we hear that there are Republicans who also don’t support the changes. Hopefully these bad ideas will die a quiet death, and we can get on with the business of the state.

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