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Kimberly Yee recall, Arizona State Senate (2014)

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An effort to recall Kimberly Yee, a member of the Republican Party, from her elected position representing District 20 in the Arizona State Senate was launched on April 7, 2014. Supporters of the recall needed to collect 18,297 valid signatures by August 2 to take the recall to a vote. Yee was targeted for refusing to allow a committee hearing on a marijuana research bill. On April 16, the group seeking to recall Yee filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State to end the recall effort after reaching a compromise with Yee.[1][2]

Timeline

  • April 7: Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee files recall paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State.
  • April 16: Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee files paperwork to end recall after reaching compromise with Yee.
  • August 2: Deadline to collect 18,297 signatures to force a recall election.

Background

The group Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee filed a petition against Yee for using her position as Chair of the Senate Education Committee to kill a bill on marijuana research already unanimously approved by the House. HB2333, sponsored by Rep. Ethan Orr (R), would allow some of the taxes collected from the sale of medical marijuana to go towards marijuana research on university campuses. Yee, who sponsored legislation allowing university research in 2013, stated that the medical marijuana tax fund was only to be used for public service announcements to help prevent drug abuse. The petition filed with the Arizona Secretary of State lists former Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Marc Victor as the recall committee's chairman and marijuana reform attorney Thomas W. Dean as the applicant. Kathy Inman, Arizona's Director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, is the group's secretary.[1][3]

The Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee negotiated a compromise with Yee and filed to end the recall campaign. Chairman Marc Victor announced that Yee "has moved from an enemy of medical marijuana to at least a moderate supporter . . . she has agreed to meet with Andrew Myers, who did a great job on this project, and others in the [medical marijuana] community to discuss the issues going forward including legislation for next term."[2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Arizona

Supporters of the recall needed to collect 18,297 signatures by August 2 in order to force a recall election. The timing of this recall presented problems for the petitioners because of the regularly-scheduled November 4 election. Although the deadline for submitting signatures was August 2, state law provides time for the Secretary of State to verify the signatures, and only then would the Governor be required to call an election within 90 days. Thus, the recall election might not have taken place until after either the November 4 general election or January 12, when Yee's current term ended. A press aide for the Secretary of State noted that should Yee win the Republican primary and general election, any recall attempted afterwards would not actually remove her from office.[1][3]

See also

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