Prop 131 would change the line of succession to the governor’s seat

Oct 4, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: Oct 10, 2022, 11:36 am
(Photo by Erik (HASH) Hersman/Creative Commons)...
(Photo by Erik (HASH) Hersman/Creative Commons)
(Photo by Erik (HASH)

PHOENIX — Whether at the voting polls or ballot box, voters will see 10 statewide ballot initiatives, including a potential change to the line of succession for the governor’s seat. 

Proposition 131 would amend the state’s constitution by creating a position for lieutenant governor. Currently, if the governor can’t fulfill their duties temporarily or permanently, the secretary of state assumes the position.

If the measure is passed, the lieutenant governor would assume the role starting in 2026. 

Proponents of the measure feel there’s been too much turnover in the governor’s office and not enough continuity, while opponents feel the position would be a waste of money and could lead to corruption. 

Arizona Sen. J.D. Mesnard sponsored the constitutional amendment proposal, which made the ballot after passing in the House and Senate with bipartisan support. He explained the two politicians would run on a joint ticket similar to the president and vice president of the United States. 

“We’ve had a high propensity of governors to leave office … it’s happened so many times in the last 40ish years that we had not, prior to the current governor, had a governor serve out a full eight years in decades,” Mesnard said. 

The amendment will require the lieutenant governor to hold another position in the executive office throughout their term. 

 ”The governor appoints the lieutenant governor to a role that already exists in the government, and it outlines that as being the chief of staff, or the department of administration director … but it does allow the governor flexibility to move the lieutenant governor to a different spot,” Mesnard noted. 

Democratic Sen. Sean Bowie cosponsored the proposition and believes now is the right time to implement the change since the governor and secretary of state positions are up for election. 

“There is more continuity in terms of who takes over, it’s not someone from a different party or someone who has totally different political beliefs,” Bowie said. 

This isn’t the first time Arizona voters have seen a lieutenant governor on the ballot. Similar measures were voted down in 1994 and 2010. 

“The last time this was on the ballot of 2010 and what that would have done is it would have replaced the secretary of states office with the lieutenant governor’s office,” Bowie said he opposed that version of the measure. 

While no formal opposition was filed through the secretary of state’s office, Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (CEBV), a grassroots nonpartisan organization, opposes the measure. 

The organization’s ballot guide encourages Arizonans to vote no on Prop 131, stating the measure spends taxpayer money on something voters don’t want. 

“Part of the reason this failed so many times is that some Republicans consider it an epic waste of money which ‘bloats government’ for no reason,” the CEBV guide says.

CEBV also points out its concerns over the appointment process since the governor could appoint the lieutenant governor to a position within the executive office, like chief of staff. 

“That to us seems like a clear recipe for cronyism and corruption. The governor’s chief of staff is an unelected political operative. This person has a huge amount of power behind the scenes and ultimately answers to nobody but the governor,” said Melinda Iyer, co-founder of CEBV.  

Iyer says the organization feels this is a politically motivated move and that lawmakers aren’t listening to the voters since similar measures were already voted down.  

“They’ve had the keys to the castle for decades, and they’ve been pushing this bill for a long time. Only now that we have a Democratic secretary of state do we see this Republican lead bill actually getting through to the ballot,” Iyer said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Man dies making left turn after driver runs red light in Phoenix

A man was killed in Phoenix on Friday after a driver ran a red light, striking the victim's car in an intersection, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs creates panel to study teacher retention problem

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order Thursday aimed at figuring out ways to keep teachers in classrooms.
1 day ago
Protesters march Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn., over the death of Tyre Nichols, who di...
Associated Press

6th officer fired after beating death of Tyre Nichols

A sixth Memphis officer was fired Friday after an internal police investigation showed he violated multiple department policies in the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols.
1 day ago
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Denver Court throws out Wyoming doctor’s pill convictions

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out the convictions of a doctor accused of overprescribing powerful pain medication and ordered a new trial for him.
1 day ago
(Photo illustration by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

$700M Powerball prize latest in string of giant jackpots

There is another giant lottery jackpot up for grabs Saturday night, the latest in a string of big prizes enticing players to plunk down $2.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Missing Arizona girl rescued from basement of sex offender in Utah

A missing Arizona girl was rescued from the basement of a Utah sex offender earlier this week, authorities said Friday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Prop 131 would change the line of succession to the governor’s seat