Our main mission at People’s Lobbyist is to pay attention and react to what happens at the state legislature. We do it by reading legislative bills, formulating opinions regarding the more important and/or controversial bills, encouraging citizens to contact legislators, and creating detailed reports on the final disposition of the bills we track.
However, our duty to keep voters informed is not limited to actions by our legislators because in Arizona we have an alternate method of creating law, namely via direct democracy in the form of ballot propositions.
Ballot measures, once approved by voters, become voter-protected, which means that it is virtually impossible to amend or repeal them in the future. Because of this, it is even more important that extreme caution be exercised before casting votes for or against ballot measures. Reading the text of ballot measures is important because, just like legislative bills, the titles of propositions are often misleading and do not always reflect the true results of YES votes.
Keeping the foregoing in mind, let us look at our evaluation of the propositions that will be on the ballot November 8.
The following material contains basic information on all 10 ballot measures, our recommendation for a yes or no vote, and reasons for our recommendations
|PROP #||TYPE||SHORT DESCRIPTION||OUR VOTE||REASONS FOR OUR VOTE|
|128||Legislative Referral Constitutional Amendment||Would allow the legislature to amend, divert funds from, or supersede an initiative or referendum measure enacted by the people of Arizona if the measure is found to contain illegal or unconstitutional language by the Arizona or United States supreme court||YES||Currently, if any part of a proposition is found to be unconstitutional, the only remedy is for the courts to strike it down and for the citizens to start all over. Prop 128 will allow the legislature to conduct surgical procedures to fix the unconstitutional elements and retain the good portions of the proposition|
|129||Legislative Referral Constitutional Amendment||Would limit an initiative measure to a single subject and require that subject to be expressed in the title of the initiative measure||YES||Legislative bills are required to be single subject, and so should ballot measures. This is especially true because the ballot measure does not get the benefit of committee hearings or amendments.|
|130||Legislative Referral Constitutional Amendment||Would consolidate four sections of the constitution regarding property tax exemptions into a single section; remove the constitutional determinations of the amounts of certain property tax exemptions; and allow property tax exemptions for resident veterans with disabilities, widows, and widowers regardless of when they became Arizona residents.||NO||This is a typical example of a measure with multiple subjects. No way to vote yes on some and no on the others. Veterans are worthy of special consideration, but so are others. Special tax carve-outs put us on a slippery slope.|
|131||Legislative Referral Constitutional Amendment||Would create a new executive officer who would be elected on a joint ticket with the governor and succeed to the office of governor in the event of the governor’s death, removal from office, or disability to discharge the duties of the office.||YES||It makes a lot of sense to have the chief executive and his immediate potential replacement be of the same party, run on the same platform, and presumably retain continuity until the next election.|
|132||Legislative Referral Constitutional Amendment||Would require that an initiative or referendum to approve a tax receives sixty percent of the votes cast to become law.||YES||Passing of tax increases by the legislature require a super majority, even though their actions may be reversed. The same should apply to tax increases via ballot measures, especially since these tax increases are permanent regardless of changing conditions. A voter approved tax increase has never been reversed in Arizona|
|209||Citizen Initiative State Statute||Would reduce maximum interest rates on medical debt from 10% to 3% annually; increase the amount of certain assets exempt from debt collection; annually adjust exemptions for inflation beginning 2024; and allow courts to reduce the amount of disposable earnings garnished in cases of extreme economic hardship.||NO||This measure will have the opposite effect of what is intended. Any time that such restrictions are imposed, the availability of resources is reduced. Market forces are like a balloon. If you squeeze one end, the other end bulges. If you squeeze too hard, it bursts.|
|211||Citizen Initiative State Statute||Would require entities and persons spending over $50,000 on statewide campaigns or $25,000 on other campaigns, not including personal monies and business income, to disclose the original donor of contributions over $5,000; and create additional reporting and enforcement provisions.||NO||This measure, if passed, will most likely be declared unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court has long held that donors must be able to support or oppose causes without the fear of harassment and intimidation, even if that support is in the form of monetary contributions.|
|308||Legislative Referral State Statute||Would allow Arizona students, regardless of immigration status, to be eligible for financial aid at state universities and community colleges and in-state tuition if they graduated from and attended a public or private high school, or home school equivalent, for two years in Arizona.||NO||Financial aid and in-state tuitions are funded by taxpayer money. Recipients should be limited to those who are lawfully present. These funds are finite. For every recipient that is here illegally, there will be a lawfully-present student that will not receive these benefits.|
|309||Legislative Referral State Statute||Would require voters to write their birthdate, government-issued identification number, and signature on a concealed early ballot affidavit; require photo identification to vote in-person; and require the Arizona department of transportation to provide without charge a nonoperating identification license to individuals who request one for voting purposes.||YES||The right to vote is so important that we should strive to make sure only those who are eligible to vote will vote. This measure will go a long way toward achieving that goal.|
|310||Legislative Referral State Statute||Would establish a fire district safety fund to be funded via an increase of one-tenth of one percent to the state’s transaction privilege (sales) and use tax from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2042.||NO||This is an irreversible tax increase. There has never been a reversal of a voter approved tax increase in Arizona.
This tax will be collected regardless of whether it is needed or not.
Currently, fire districts have in place a mechanism for funding as needed
|NO NUMBER YET
|Referendum to repeal a statute||(At the time of this writing, it is not known whether this referendum has gathered enough valid signatures to be placed on the ballot.)
Would repeal the statutes created by legislative bill
Which enhanced school choice by expanding eligibility for participation in the empowerment scholarship accounts program
|NO||The question here is what delivery system provides the best possible education for our children, not what delivery system preserves substandard government schools.
To read the full text of the ballot measures, go to https://apps.arizona.vote/electioninfo/elections/2022-general-election/ballot-measure/2525/33/0
To read arguments pro and con ballot measures, go to https://azsos.gov/2022-ballot-measure-information