The Senate passed HB2088, aka the San Tan Valley Right to Vote bill, with a vote of 28-1 today.
HB2088 addresses a statute known as the "6 Mile Rule", which was written in 1961. The statute required any community who wished to vote on whether or not they became a city, to get permission from any town/city within six miles of the future boundaries, in essence giving existing communities indefinite veto power over newer communities wishing to determine their own future. In 2011 however, the 6 Mile Rule was amended, giving any community with 15,000 or more persons the chance to put the issue on a ballot for a vote, without any neighboring communities having veto power over that vote, unless that community was in Pinal County.
San Tan Valley resident, Tisha Castillo has been at the Capitol every day during session, every year for the last three years, fighting to change this law. "We just wanted the same rights as other communities in Arizona", said Castillo. "HB2088 does that by fixing bad legislation."
While many have mislabeled HB2088 as an incorporation bill, it does nothing to incorporate San Tan Valley or any other community. HB2088 simply prevents smaller communities, surrounding a community who wishes to vote on incorporation, from having veto power and blocking the vote.
"I'd like to thank former Senator Barbara McGuire, Rep Eddie Farnsworth and Senator Gail Griffin for believing in our community over the years and for supporting our right to self determination. I'd also like to thank all of the other Representatives and Senators who voted yes to make this dream a reality."
HB2088 passed the House Feb 8th and now heads to Governor Ducey's desk for his signature.
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