Gov. Rose Mofford may call a special session of the lame-duck Legislature to adopt a Martin Luther King holiday, her spokeswoman says.
Mofford believes some outgoing lawmakers now may be willing to support the holiday because they won't have to face voters' wrath, spokesman Vada Manager said Monday.Lawmakers have also seen the economic damage of not having a King holiday, she said.
"There is now a domino effect of lost tourism, lost conventions and a lost Super Bowl," Manager said. "We're taking a beating nationally imagewise."
Two King measures were defeated in last week's elections. Since then, groups have canceled visits, the NFL may take away the 1993 Super Bowl and Notre Dame and Virginia have turned down invitations to this year's Fiesta Bowl in Tempe.
Manager said the Democratic governor may call a special session if she is assured lawmakers will pass a paid King holiday by two-thirds vote, thereby blocking any chance at another public referendum. Supporters of a paid King holiday have never had support from two-thirds of the Legislature before.
Of the 90 state lawmakers, 23 are lame ducks - seven of whom were defeated and 16 of whom chose not to run.
Arizona law gives voters the right to gather signatures and demand a referendum on most bills that clear the Legislature. The Legislature can take away that right if 20 members of the 30-member Senate and 40 members of the 60-member House agree it is an emergency measure.
A group of King Day opponents calling themselves the No-No Committee threatened recall campaigns against any lawmaker who votes against giving the public the final say.
"Anything short of a vote by the people is immoral and illegal," committee chairman Bob Rose said.