Off the Ballot

Arizona’s November ballot will not include an initiative to cap the pay of hospital executives. The California union that was backing the initiative pulled the plug on its plans yesterday.

From KNXV-TV in Phoenix:

The decision came a day before a Maricopa County Superior Court judge was to begin hearing a challenge to the petitions that would have qualified the measure for the ballot.

A court filing…..said the union had concluded after reviewing the case “that there are not sufficient valid petition signatures for this initiative.”

According to the Daily Courier in Prescott, the organizations that were challenging the ballot measure “were hoping to convince (Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David) Gerlach that many of the people who circulated the petitions were not legally qualified to do so. That includes the failure of out-of-state or paid circulators to register with the secretary of state’s office and provide an Arizona address.

Any ruling disqualifying a circulator also meant that all the signatures he or she gathered would not be counted. And that could have left backers with fewer than the 150,642 valid names needed to put the issue to voters.”

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) is pleased the initiative will not be on the November ballot. AzHHA released a statement late yesterday that, in part, read:

“With this initiative withdrawn from ballot consideration, Arizona need not endure a costly and pointless campaign that would have distracted from our state’s more pressing healthcare needs: namely, the ongoing effort to improve access to quality, affordable care at Arizona hospitals.”

It also allows us to refocus our attention and our resources onto one of our organization’s top priorities. To work with our partners to find practical and innovative ways to  reach our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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