Arizona voters may get to decide in November to enact measures aimed at illegal immigration that Gov. Janet Napolitano refused to let become law.
Lawmakers moved Wednesday to put at least three measures on the ballot.
The measures would:
• Deny more services to those not in this country legally.
• Declare English as the state’s official language.
• Prohibit those who entered this country illegally from collecting punitive damages if they win a lawsuit.
Lawmakers have decided not to pursue ballot measures for sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. They also won’t ask voters to approve prosecuting border crossers for trespassing.
One ballot measure approved by the House on Wednesday would limit adult education classes and subsidized child care to legal residents. The measure also would say that only people here legally are entitled to the lower resident tuition charged at state universities and community colleges.
Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said it could be considered an expansion of Proposition 200, which denies “public benefits’’ to illegal immigrants and was approved by voters two years ago.
But a formal legal opinion by state Attorney General Terry Goddard concluded the measure was worded to apply only to a handful of services such as public housing. Pearce said SCR1031 simply gives voters the chance to enact what they thought they were approving in 2004.
Another measure, HCR2036, that would declare English the state’s official language actually would mark the second time the measure has gone to voters.
A similar proposal on the 1988 ballot gained narrow approval, but it was never enforced.
The Arizona Supreme Court declared it illegal, saying that it violated federal constitutional rights.