It looks like Arizona’s proposed “protest bill” is not going to become the law of the land.
Governor Doug Ducey, and the Republican Speaker of the House, J.D. Mesnard announced that the controversial bill that would have allowed the state to charge protest organizers with racketeering charges, will not be moving forward.
Daniel Ruiz, spokesperson for Gov. Ducey sent a message to the The Arizona Republic confirming the status of the bill.
“While we do not comment on pending legislation, we have been advised that SB1142 isn’t moving forward, which we are pleased to hear.
The legislation, which was easily passed by Senate Republicans last week, gained national attention for being an unconstitutional attempt to silence protesters and groups pushing back publicly against Donald Trump’s policies…which have been wildly popular with most of Arizona’s congressional Republicans.
Senate Bill 1142 would have expanded Arizona’s racketeering laws to include rioting, and allow police to charge protest organizers with felony rioting. It would have also allowed organizers to be charged for planning an event that COULD result in rioting.
Republican Senator Sonny Borrelli, the bill’s sponsor, has apparently conceded defeat, stating that the “conversation” about his bill’s merits would continue.
“If the governor doesn’t want to have the conversation, fine.”
He also indicated that bill would have targeted organizers who pay agitators who turn violent at protests, but he did not provide any examples of it having ever happened.
All 14 of Arizona’s Republican senators unanimously voted for SB 1142. They unanimously cited the mass arrest of protesters at President Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., as well as the incident in Berkley, Calif., during a scheduled campus appearance of right-wing “media personality,” Milo Yiannopoulos.
Arizona is one of eighteen states currently considering some type of enhanced “anti-protest” legislation.