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Arizona Lawmaker Wants To Lower Age For Public Service

The Arizona House Appropriations Committee narrowly passed House Bill 2036 yesterday.

The measure, offered by State Rep. Anthony Kern, would require voter support this fall to modify Arizona’s Constitution to remove the minimum age required to serve elected office which is currently set at 25.

Kern suggested to the committee he would support an age of 18 as a minimum threshold for public office, but would boost his proposal to 21 if necessary.

However, Rep. Ken Clark is among six of his colleagues who voted against the bill.

“A person's frontal lobe doesn't even finish developing until they're like 20, 22, 23 — 30 for men," said Clark. "That's the part of the brain that handles, you know, restraint and fore-thinking and all that.”

Kern's proposal does not stop with the executive and legislative branches of government. His measure, if adopted by lawmakers and approved in November by voters, also would eliminate the mandate that judges be at least 30.

Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.