You may notice, upon occasion, that the Arizona legislature will strip all the legislation from a pending bill and replace it with completely new legislation. This is called a “strike all” amendment.
What is the point of changing all the legislation in a bill? The following excerpt from the Arizona Republic sheds light on this phenomenon:
Sometimes called the “Hail Mary Pass” of the political process, here’s how Strike-All amendments work:
1.) A bill fails in a House or Senate Committee or Floor Vote or is arbitrarily held by a committee chairman.
2.) The stalled bill’s sponsor takes another unrelated bill assigned elsewhere that is still moving and, with permission of its sponsor, guts it and replaces the wording with the contents of the stalled bill.
3.) “Stikers” can be a useful method to introduce new ideas, or to put stalled bills that might otherwise enjoy majority support to a vote. But, they can also be used to by-pass the committee hearings where the public might testify.
Without doubt, “Strike All” amendments lead to public confusion about pending legislation.
Click here for the complete article from the Arizona Republic: “‘Strike All’ Measures Gaining Favor in Arizona,” by Robbie Sherwood, 4/23/06.