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Arizona Ballot Propositions - 2008

How Arizona Voted

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In Arizona's 2008 General Election there were several ballot propositions that were hotly debated. The voters made their decisions. Here were the issues, and how the voters decided.

 

1. Arizona Proposition 100 / Protect Our Homes

From the Arizona Secretary of State website: "This Initiative prohibits the government from charging any new tax on the sale or transfer of real property in Arizona. Currently, there are no real property sales or transfer taxes in Arizona. However, the government could enact a real property sale or transfer tax at any time. This Initiative would prohibit the enactment of any new real property sales or transfer tax by a constitutional amendment."

Advocates of Proposition 100 said:  "While, Arizona currently does not have a real estate transfer tax, there is nothing that prevents a tax from being enacted at any time. With our current slow economy and budget crisis, it won't be long before cities, counties, and the state start looking for new sources of revenue. . . . Just last year a bill was introduced in the state legislature proposing such a tax. Countless citizens' commissions and county reports mention a transfer tax as a possible source of revenue for the state."

Opponents of Proposition 100 said: "PROP 100 will  change the constitution of Arizona to protect real estate corporations and developers. Changing our constitution to protect wealthy special interests will cripple our state's ability to support the needs of a growing state....it will have long-term damaging effects on public education."

Prior to the election I published a poll on the issue. I posed the question: Will you vote in favor of Proposition 100?

69% of those responding voted: Yes, Arizona’s Constitution should include such a prohibition.

30% of those responding voted: No, the State of Arizona doesn’t charge it now, so a constitutional amendment isn’t necessary.

UPDATE: Proposition 100 passed with 77% of the voters voting yes.

2. Arizona Proposition 101 / Medical Choice for Arizona

Passage of this proposition would result in an amendment to the Arizona Constitution stating that no law shall be passed that restrict’s a person’s freedom of choice of private health care systems or private plans, and that no one shall be penalized for opting not to participate in any particular health care system, plan or coverage.

Advocates of Proposition 101 said: (as submitted to the Secretary of State) “The ‘Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act’ will preserve and protect the rights of individuals to make their own health care and health insurance choices. Currently, many lobbyists and special interest groups in Arizona and around the country are promoting policies that would limit or even eliminate the ability of people to have choices when seeking out health care for themselves and their families. This initiative will guarantee the right of Arizonans to make their own health care choices. Lobbyists and special interests will see their power to control and dictate your health care limited.

Opponents of Proposition 101 said: Some form of universal health care coverage, where all funds contributed by individuals and employers are pooled, may be necessary to provide health care for everyone in the state.

Prior to the election I published a poll on the issue. I posed the question: Will you vote in favor of Proposition 101?

68% of those responding voted: Yes, Arizona’s Constitution should include a provision that protects a person’s right to make their own health care choices without paying a fee or penalty.

31% of those responding voted: No, there may come a time when some form of universal medical insurance becomes necessary.

UPDATE: Proposition 101 failed, with 50.2% of the the people voting no.

3. Arizona Proposition 102 / Marriage

That measure would amend the Arizona constitution by adding the following wording to the existing section on marriage:

Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.

Arizona law currently prohibits same-sex marriage, and Arizona courts have upheld that ban. Arizona is the only state whose voters rejected a same-sex marriage ban.

Advocates of Proposition 102 said that the Constitution must be amended in order to prevent future court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage.

Opponents of Proposition 102 said that it is a waste of taxpayer money, and that the purpose is to fuel anti-GLBT sentiment.

Prior to the election I published a poll on the issue. I posed the question: Will you vote in favor of Proposition 102?

59% of those responding voted: Yes, I think it should be part of Arizona’s Constitution.

40% of those responding voted: No, marriage is already defined in Arizona as one man, one woman and the voters already rejected this once.

UPDATE: Proposition 102 passed with 56% of the voters voting yes.

4. Arizona Proposition 105 / Majority Rules – Let the People Decide

Currently, a ballot initiative that gets the support of at least half the people who vote is approved. Proposition 105 would require a majority of all those registered, not just a majority of those who vote, for any measure that increases taxes, fees or involves additional government spending.

Advocates of Proposition 105 said: Proposition 105 is needed to protect both representative democracy and the free enterprise system. Passage of this ballot measure would remove the ability for special interests to use ballot initiatives to raise our taxes or mandate increased spending.

Opponents of Proposition 105 said: If this measure passes it means that on every issue that involves expenditures everyone who stays home and doesn’t vote for whatever reason is effectively a no vote. Anyone that votes yes on any tax increase or spending issue would be overruled on every initiative.

Prior to the election I published a poll on the issue. I posed the question: Will you vote in favor of Proposition 105?

44% of those responding voted: Yes, special interests should not be able to increase taxes or spend Arizona state funds using ballot initiatives.

55% of those responding voted: No, if someone doesn’t vote, that doesn’t mean that their vote should be cast as no.

UPDATE: Proposition 105 failed with 66% of the voters voting no.

5. Arizona Proposition 200 / Payday Loan Reform Act

Currently payday loan businesses are regulated by the State. This licensing program is set to terminate on July 1, 2010. Proposition 200 would repeal the program’s termination date. The Payday Loan Reform Act would preserve this financing option for those who choose to use it, and also alter the procedures by which payday loan businesses operate including limiting the number and frequency of loans that can be made to one person and reducing loan fees that can be charged.

Advocates of Proposition 200 said: “When it comes to money, credit, and borrowing decisions… people in Arizona need more options, not less. This Proposition will make sure payday lenders are tightly regulated, more consumer friendly, and remain available to serve those people who need a small, simple to understand, short-term loan.” “This measure will bring dramatic pro-consumer reform to payday lending and preserve consumer choice.”

Opponents of Proposition 200 said: “Arizonans have to pay interest rates on payday loans that far exceed the usury rate of 36% for all other loans in the state. This initiative would make 391% interest rates a permanent reality here. Other states have been successful in protecting their citizens by forbidding payday lending at triple-digit interest rates, and Arizona must follow suit. Payday lenders have had free reign in Arizona because of a 10-year exemption from the state’s 36% usury cap that the Legislature granted in 2000. Now they are using this initiative to try to extend the exemption indefinitely.”

Prior to the election I published a poll on the issue. I posed the question: Will you vote in favor of Proposition 200?

36% of those responding voted: Yes, we need to continue to offer these financing options to our citizens while more closely regulating the industry. People should be able to make their own financial decisions.

63% of those responding voted: No, payday loan businesses are predatory lenders that exploit the financial hardship of people with limited resources. We don’t need them.

UPDATE: Proposition 200 failed with 60% of the voters voting no.

6. Arizona Proposition 201 / Homeowners’ Bill of Rights

If passed the “Homeowners’ Bill of Rights” would require a minimum 10-year warranty on new homes, allow a homeowner to participate in the selection of contractors to do repairs, and allows homeowners to sue home builders without being responsible for the builders’ attorney costs. Home buyers would have the right to cancel within 100 days and get back most of their deposit.

Advocates of Proposition 201 said: “The Homeowners Bill of Rights is based on the notion that if you buy a house and it turns out to be poorly built you should be able to do something about it. It is based on the notion that consumers should get what they pay for and that sellers should be held accountable for the quality of their product. It is based on the notion that transparency and full disclosure is a consumer right.” Passage “will help increase the leverage prospective buyers and current home owners have when dealing with home builders.”

Opponents of Proposition 201 said: “Prop 201 [is] an unnecessary initiative that will encourage litigation and increase costs for both consumers and home builders. Current law already provides a process for home owners and home builders to resolve construction related disputes prior to filing any lawsuits. These laws have been in place for years and have resulted in increased consumer satisfaction, reduced litigation costs, and lower insurance premiums for home builders and homeowners alike.” “Prop 201 is a boon for trial lawyers, and does little to aid home buyers or the construction industry.”

Prior to the election I published a poll on the issue. I posed the question: Will you vote in favor of Proposition 201?

50% of those responding voted: Yes, homeowners need more protection from and leverage against home builders.

49% of those responding voted: No, requiring litigation to settle disputes is counterproductive, and only unions and lawyers will benefit.

UPDATE: Proposition 201 failed with 78% of the voters voting no.

7. Arizona Proposition 202 / Stop Illegal Hiring

If passed the “Stop Illegal Hiring” Act would revoke the business license of employers who knowingly or intentionally hire illegal immigrants. This initiative also increases penalties for identity theft, as illegal immigrants often use stolen identities to conceal their undocumented status. Fines collected as a result of this initiative will be distributed to schools and hospitals to help deal with the financial burden placed on Arizona because of illegal immigration.

Advocates of Proposition 202 said: “Stop Illegal Hiring creates a mechanism for law enforcement to target the underground, black market, all-cash economy” and “creates tougher penalties for identity theft.” It would make “it a crime for an employer to accept false identification from a potential employee” and “ensures that employers are out of business if they are found to be guilty of hiring illegal aliens.” “Stop Illegal Hiring ensures that complaints against businesses are not anonymous, false or frivolous,” and “creates an environment where businesses that follow the law have a bullet-proof defense.” It “doesn’t mandate use of flawed database.”

Opponents of Proposition 202 said: “Arizona has the most effective, non-discriminatory employer sanctions law in the nation and it has been upheld in 4 court challenges.” “Instead of stopping illegal hiring, this ballot measure will actually gut the existing employer sanctions law passed by the Arizona State Legislature. The current law requires employers to check if new employees are U.S. Citizens using the E-verify system, a simple verification system already in place through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” “…businesses not requiring a license are automatically exempt. Also exempt from punishment are incorporated companies, partnerships and Transaction Privilege Licenses. Most corporate retailers like restaurants, hotels and retail chains are exempt.”

Prior to the election I published a poll on the issue. I posed the question: Will you vote in favor of Proposition 202?

48% of those responding voted: Yes, we need tough but fair laws to compel employers to stop hiring illegal immigrants.

51% of those responding voted: No, this proposal actually weakens Arizona’s existing employer sanctions law.

UPDATE: Proposition 202 failed with 59% of the voters voting no.

8. Arizona Proposition 300 / State Legislator’s Salaries

If passed the salaries of legislators should be raised from $24,000 to $30,000 per year.

Advocates of Proposition 300 said: “Even if you have issues with how legislators have done their jobs, they are seriously underpaid and deserve a raise. Their compensation of only $24,000 per year has not been raised for many years and must be improved to attract the best and brightest to legislative service, especially people who may not work for a large business or utility that can afford to subsidize their incomes. We need citizen legislators who can be paid enough in salary so they don’t depend on special interests to supplement their incomes.”

Opponents of Proposition 300 said: “The role of the legislature is quite simple: Pass an annual budget and GO HOME. It is a part time legislature that is supposed to meet less than 100 days a year. Being elected is a civic minded contribution, not a career. . . . The one thing legislators cannot seem to do in a timely manner is pass a budget. I certainly would not pay legislators more for a job they currently cannot seem to do as more of your tax money would simply encourage prolonging the budget process further.”

Prior to the election I published a poll on the issue. I posed the question: Will you vote in favor of Proposition 300?

47% of those responding voted: Yes, legislators’ salaries should be raised.

52% of those responding voted: No, legislators’ salaries should not be raised.

UPDATE: Proposition 300 failed with 65% of the voters voting no.

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