In a unanimous 30 – 0 vote the AZ Senate approved HB 2411 even though it contains 2 subjects but only 1 in the title, thus violating the Arizona Constitution (emphasis added):
Article 4, Section 13, Part 2:
- Subject and title of bills
Section 13. Every act shall embrace but one subject and matters properly connected therewith, which subject shall be expressed in the title; but if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be embraced in the title.
The bill violates the constitution, and the Senators well know it. It is a repeat of the 2013 SB 1454 bill that also violated the constitution in this manner and was found unconstitutional and invalid after a court challenge was filed (Staropoli v. State of Arizona, CV 2013-009991). They cannot hide behind the “all laws are presumed constitutional” doctrine when the bill is facially unconstitutional and such a violation was supported in the courts with the Attorney General, for the State, so admitting.
Based on the foregoing, the Court determines that the provisions of SB 1454 enumerated above that relate to planned communities/homeowner associations violate Article 4, pt. 2, § 13 of the Arizona Constitution and are void and unenforceable.
This unanimous vote can only be viewed as a concerted and cooperative effort pushed by the leaders of both parties. I see it as a dangerous example of the tyranny of the legislature (“The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared,” Thomas Jefferson letter to James Madison in Federal Papers #51) and a total disregard of the law.
The Senators seemed to have circled the wagons, saying: Try to tell us our job? Hah! We are everything! You, the people, are nothing! Take that! Sue us again!
Will the Arizona House reject the Senate bills? I think not. It’s a top-down act by the legislative leaders with the legislators following orders.