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Arizona Lawmakers Expected To Ask Voters For Legislative Expansion

When Arizona voters capped the number of state senators at 30 and representatives at 60 nearly five decades ago, lawmakers had less than a third as many constituents in each district.  That estimate is based on 2000 Census figures.

If a resolution at the capitol passes voters would decide whether to limit the ratio of representation to one district for every 220,000 residents.

Republican Sen. Warren Petersen of Gilbert proposed SCR 1010 out of concern that current caps are outdated and prevent lawmakers from doing what's best for the people.

"There is a principle of representing the people, being accessible, being close to the people," said Petersen.

His district stretches from Gilbert to northern Pinal County.

"As my district has exploded, I have felt that it can be harder to reach more people," Petersen said.

Considering area alone, lawmakers complained driving through the largest districts can take eight hours or more.

The resolution has bi-partisan support, but Democrat Rep. Ken Clark of Phoenix complained that the proposal leans on 2000 figures rather than looking at population estimates ahead.

"I'm not saying I don't like the idea. What I'm saying is, it's not aggressive enough," said Clark.

He went on to explain his ulterior motive.

"My goal here is just to get enough members so we can tear down these old buildings and have something nicer to work in."

The House and Senate buildings were constructed in the 1960s and remodeled several times for functionality.

If voters ultimately approve the measure, authors of the proposal estimate it would add three more senators and six representatives to the legislature by 2020.

Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.