Arizona lawmakers target voters' spending mandates

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona legislators are advancing proposals to ask voters to temporarily ease and reconsider past approvals of ballot measures that mandate state spending.

One of two proposed constitutional amendments approved by the House Government Committee on Tuesday would authorize the Legislature in the next four fiscal years to reduce and divert appropriations mandated by previous ballot measures.

Supporters say lawmakers need that leeway because of the state's budget troubles. Critics say the Legislature shouldn't disturb voter mandates.

The second proposed amendment would automatically refer voter-approved spending mandates to the ballot after eight years.

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