Arizona voters will see 10 propositions on this year's election ballot. Each is listed below with arguments for and against along with how the Kingman Daily Miner Editorial Board voted on each measure.
Propositions that start with the number 100 will amend the Arizona Constitution. Propositions that start with 200 are citizen initiatives that will amend or create a new state law. Propositions that start with the number 300 have been referred to the ballot by the Legislature and will amend the current state laws.
This proposition would amend the state constitution to prohibit state and local governments from compelling any person, business or healthcare provider to participate in a healthcare system. It would also allow a person to pay directly for healthcare services and allow a person to purchase any healthcare insurance they wanted.
The proposition would not affect what kinds of services a hospital or healthcare provider offers. It would not affect laws that were in effect as of Jan.1, 2009. It would not change the rules of a healthcare insurance plan unless that plan penalized a person for directly paying for services. A no vote on the proposition would not change any of the current state statutes governing healthcare.
For: Many groups in favor of the proposition say it will protect a person's right to choose the healthcare insurance and doctor of their choice by preventing the state or local governments from forcing someone to buy or join a health insurance network. They say it would also allow someone to choose to purchase health insurance or pay for their healthcare with their own money.
Against: Groups against the proposition say that the proposition would not make healthcare more accessible or affordable. They say it could increase the cost of healthcare by encouraging those who don't have healthcare to use more emergency services. It may also protect insurance companies who suddenly drop someone for pre-existing conditions. Opponents of the proposition also say that if it passes, it could open the state up to a lawsuit from the federal government because it may conflict with the new federal healthcare law. It may also prevent the state from enacting other laws to regulate healthcare services and insurance.
Miner Editorial Board: The majority of the board is against Prop. 106 because it will spur federal lawsuits against the state and will not make healthcare more affordable.
This proposition would amend the state constitution to prevent state and local governments, schools and other public entities from hiring or contracting with a person or business based on their race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
The proposition would not ban hiring a person based on sex if that characteristic was necessary to the person's job. It would also allow any actions that would protect federal funding for a project. It would not overturn any existing court orders. It would not change the current penalties for hiring or contracting discrimination. It would only apply to actions that are taken after the proposition becomes a law.
A no vote would allow state and local governments, schools and other public entities to continue to hire and contract with groups as they have previously.
For: Proponents of the proposition say that people should be judged on their character and skills and should not be given special preferences when seeking a job or a contract because of their skin color, sex or race. Granting one person an exception because of their skin color, race or sex discriminates against others who may be equally or more qualified for the position, proponents say. People should know that they have earned a job based on their qualifications, not because they've met a quota. Proponents say the proposition will only affect public institutions and will not affect private institutions. Therefore, private scholarships, grants and funding for minorities will not be effected and private businesses will still be under federal and state discrimination laws.
Against: Opponents of the proposition say if the proposition passes, it will prevent minorities from receiving the educational, health and monetary funding they need to compete and succeed. It may eliminate state programs that help students, women, low-income residents and small business owners.
Miner: The board supports this proposition. It feels that affirmative action programs have outlived their usefulness.
This proposition would make hunting and fishing a constitutional right of all Arizona residents. It would also state that the Arizona Legislature has the exclusive right to regulate hunting and fishing in the state and may create or delegate those duties to a game and fish commission. Any law made by the Legislature cannot unreasonably restrict an Arizona resident's right to hunt or fish. It also states that hunting and fishing are the preferred means of managing wildlife in the state and the new law would not modify any trespassing or property rights laws. A no vote would not change any of the hunting, fishing or wildlife conservation statutes in the state.
For: Proponents of the proposition say it will protect the use of hunting and fishing as a means of wildlife management from lawsuits from special interest groups. According to proponents, wildlife would still be protected and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission would still regulate hunting and fishing. Proponents also point out that most of the money used to protect wildlife and their habitats for everyone to enjoy comes from hunting and fishing licenses. Many hunting and fishing clubs volunteer to rebuilt wildlife habitat.
Against: Opponents of the proposition call it unnecessary. The right to hunt and fish in the state is not currently threatened. It takes away the power of voters to decide how wildlife should be managed in the state by giving that authority to the Legislature. Voters would no longer be able to determine and enforce the best and most humane ways of harvesting wildlife. According to opponents' interpretation of the proposition, the Legislature could take control of all hunting or fishing laws in the state; it doesn't have to use the current Game and Fish Commission.
Miner: The board is against this proposition because it does not believe the state constitution should be changed for a privilege that is not currently being threatened and because it may open the state up to lawsuits from hunters.
This proposition would change the state constitution to allow the state to exchange state trust lands for other public lands near military bases in order to protect the military base from encroachment by development.
Currently, state law requires that in order to sell or lease state trust land, Arizona must advertise the sale or lease of the land and then hold an auction. This proposition would allow the state to sell, lease or exchange state trust land to protect a military base without having to go through an auction. The state would still have to have two independent appraisals of the property and two independent analysis of what effect the sale, lease or exchange of the land would have on the community and wildlife. A detailed public notice would have to be given and two public hearings would have to be held in order to gather public comments. A proposed exchange of land would have to be approved by voters in a statewide November general election.
A no vote would not change current state statutes.
For: Proponents of the proposition say it will not only help protect military bases in Arizona from encroachment by residential development but it will also provide an avenue for the state to preserve wildlife habitat by eliminating checkerboard landownership. This is the first proposed proposition for land exchanges that makes sure that the public is involved in the decision, proponents say.
Against: There were no arguments submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office against the proposition.
Miner: The board is unanimously in favor of this proposition.
This proposition would amend the state constitution to change the Arizona secretary of state's office into the lieutenant governor's office in 2015. Starting with the 2014 primary election (usually held in May), voters would be able to choose whom from their political party they want for governor and lt. governor. In the general election (usually held in November) the chosen party governor and lt. governor nominees would run on the same general election ticket. Voters would cast one vote for both the governor and lieutenant governor depending on their party preference. This would make sure that if voters elected a Republican governor and the governor had to leave office, that the lieutenant governor would also be a member of the Republican Party or vise versa if a Democrat was elected.
A no vote would leave the current system of voting the secretary of state and the governor in place.
For: Proponents of the proposition say that many Arizona residents are unaware that the secretary of state takes over if the governor steps down, is removed from office or dies. Many Arizona residents don't think about this when they vote in the general elections for state offices. Jan Brewer is the fifth Arizona secretary of state to take over as governor because a current governor left. Some supporters of the proposition claim that approval of the proposition will increase transparency and efficiency in the state government.
Against: Opponents of the proposition claim that a change is being made in the state government without public debate. Putting both candidates on one ticket in a general election will eliminate the independence from the governor that previous secretary of states has enjoyed. Opponents also say that the name change from secretary of state to lieutenant governor is nothing more than an exercise in vanity.
Miner: The board is unanimously in favor of Prop. 111 because it is important that the same political party stay in office if the governor's seat is vacated.
This proposition would amend the state constitution to require that signatures collected for initiative petitions would have to be turned in six months before the election. Currently, petition initiative signatures must be turned in four months before the election. A no vote would leave the initiative signature deadline at four months before the election.
For: Proponents of the proposition say that it would give voter registration offices more time to verify signatures and more time for candidates to solve signature challenge lawsuits before an election.
Against: No arguments were submitted against the proposition.
Miner: The board supports this proposition.
This proposition would change the state constitution to guarantee union members the right to vote by a secret ballot. This proposition is in response to a proposed congressional law that would do away with the guarantee of a secret ballot for union elections. A no vote would not change the current state secrecy requirements for union elections.
For: Proponents of the proposition say that without the right to a secret ballot, union members could be intimidated by union or employer bosses to voting in a certain way. The right to a secret ballot should be a constitutional right, proponents say.
Against: Opponents of the proposition say the proposition won't help most Arizonans and is a push by big corporations to protect their interests. They also say that if it passes, it will waste both time and money. According to opponents, current federal law states that an employer can accept a union without an election by the members of that business to form a union. Opponents say that if this proposition passes, an election would be required in order to create a union and that employers could intimidate employees wanting to join a union. They argue that the congressional bill would not eliminate the right to a secret ballot, rather it would place that right into the hands of the employees who want to join or form a union.
Miner: The majority of the board is against this proposition because it is badly worded and will only invite lawsuits.
This proposition would create a new state law that would allow Arizona residents with certain medical conditions to obtain 2.5 ounces of marijuana from a state-licensed, nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary every 14 days to treat their condition. It would also create a regulatory system to oversee the distribution of marijuana. The cost of the system would be paid from fees for dispensary applications, civil penalties and private donations.
A person requesting medical marijuana would have to receive a written certification issued by a physician for the following illnesses: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C, amotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's or a disease that produces any of the following symptoms: wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms. Additional diseases and symptoms can be added to the list through a public petition process to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
For: Proponents of the proposition say that marijuana can help patients suffering from severe symptoms or diseases. The proposition is carefully worded to make sure that only people with specific diseases and symptoms can get a prescription for the drug. They also say that the proposition is self-funding through fees and would not use taxpayer money. It would also place restrictions on how many dispensaries there could be in the state - one for every 10 pharmacies. Patients will have to be registered with the state and dispensaries will have to be nonprofit.
Against: Opponents of the proposition say that Federal Drug Administration and many doctors do not recognize marijuana as a treatment for any disease or symptom. Smoking marijuana is not part of any recognized pain management system. Opponents say there are many other drugs available to manage pain. Some opponents agree with the use of medical marijuana but say that the proposition isn't strong enough to protect the drug from abuse by doctors or patients.
Miner: The majority of the board supports this proposition because marijuana should not be kept out of the hands of people who need it for pain or other medical issues.
This proposition, if approved, would transfer funds from the state Land Conservation Fund into the state General Fund to balance the state budget. The Land Conservation Fund has nearly $124 million in donations in it. The fund was designed to purchase more land for and protect land already held in trust by the state.
The last donations for the fund were to be gathered in fiscal year 2010-2011.
For: Supporters of the proposition say that using the money from the fund will help fix the current state budget deficit.
Against: Opponents say it would allow the Legislature to overturn the will of the voters to designate where their tax dollars are spent. Opponents also say that diverting the money from the fund will hurt land conservation causes in the state and eliminate matching funds to cities, counties and other local governments that are trying to protect open spaces.
Miner: The board is unanimously against this proposition because the Legislature is unwilling to take unpopular steps to correct the budget deficit and it overturns the will of the voters.
This proposition would transfer whatever funds were in the First Things First program and redirect any tobacco tax dollars into the state General Fund to help fix the state budget deficit. It would also eliminate the program on Dec. 1 and repeal the Early Childhood Development and Health Board on June 1, 2011.
The First Things First program offers funds for early childhood development, health and parenting programs for children up to the age of 5 and their families throughout the state.
It gets revenues from an 80-cent per pack sales tax on tobacco products.
For: Proponents of the proposition say that transferring the funds and eliminating the program would plug a $324 million hole in the state budget. They say that non-essential programs such as First Things First must be re-evaluated.
Against: Opponents of the proposition say that repealing First Things First and moving the money into the General Fund betrays those people who voted for the 80-cent sales tax. They say that First Things First provides children and families the necessary skills to succeed in school and in life. Many people voted for the tax because they thought the tax would go to a worthy cause. Opponents state that according to voter restrictions, the program could not use any of the money it collected within the first few years of its existence. Since then the program has been very careful to use the money it has to fund programs that will provide the most benefit to children and their families. Opponents also claim that the program has offered to loan the Legislature money several times, but its offers have been refused. They fear what the Legislature will do with the funds if the proposition passes.
Miner: The board is unanimously against this proposition because it overturns the will of the voters. This is another attempt by the Legislature to collect more taxes on tobacco products.