Sorting Out Perplexing Propositions

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When you go to the polls on Tuesday, you'll be asked to vote on 14 initiatives that have been placed on the ballot by either the state legislature or private groups who all claim their propositions will be good for Arizona. While some of these propositions may be beneficial, others could be harmful to our quality of life or our ability to choose what we want for the future. Over the past several weeks, the editorial staff of the Roundup has endeavored to provide informative, unbiased reports on these initiatives. Now, here is our opinion on all 14:

"TRUST LAND/GROWING SMARTER" Prop 100 - NO: This initiative doesn't go far enough because it would only set aside 3 percent of state trust land for conservation. Don't be confused, this proposition is not an alternative to Prop 202 consider each separately.

"CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES" Prop 101- YES: This initiative simply modernizes the language used in our state constitution when referring to people with disabilities.

"WILDLIFE INITIATIVE" Prop 102 - NO: This initiative is disguised as a pro-conservation measure, when in reality it requires a supermajority to permit, limit or prohibit the taking of wildlife. Supermajorities violate the basic constitutional concept of majority rules.

"CORPORATION COMMISSION" Prop 103 - YES: The democratic process is better served by a five-person board and it eliminates possible problems with the state's open meetings law.

"PROPERTY VALUATIONS FOR LOW-INCOME SENIORS" Prop 104 - YES: This initiative protects low-income seniors from dramatic increases in property taxes.

"PROPERTY TAXES/CEMETERIES" Prop 105 - YES: Even though this initiative applies to for-profit cemeteries, the hope here is that private cemetery owners would pass the savings on to the families of those who die. Death is already too expensive.

"REDISTRICTING COMMISSION" Prop 106 - YES: This initiative takes the redistricting process out of the hands of politicians and gives it back to the people.

"PHONE DEREGULATION" Prop 108 - NO: This initiative was sponsored by Qwest, formerly US West, to end rate restrictions in competitive markets. The problem is, rates could go up as well as down.

"TOBACCO SETTLEMENT MONEY/HEALTHY FAMILIES" Prop 200 - NO: This initiative competes with Prop 204 regarding how to spend tobacco settlement money. We believe 204 is more focused and has fewer loopholes.

"GROWTH MANAGEMENT" Prop 202 - NO: Local communities should retain control of their own destinies. If passed, once again we could be handcuffed by supermajority vote requirements and other legislative complexities.

"BILINGUAL EDUCATION" Prop 203 - YES: Even Hispanic educators believe that bilingual programs hinder student achievement. It does not restrict our Native American communities from preserving and passing on their cultures and native languages.

"TOBACCO SETTLEMENT/HEALTHY ARIZONA" Prop 204 - YES: Of the two initiatives addressing tobacco settlement monies, this is the more focused.

"LEGISLATIVE PAY" Prop 300 - YES: Despite the alternative fuel vehicle fiasco, in the long run, you get what you pay for.

"EDUCATION SPENDING" Prop 301 - YES: Once again, you get what you pay for. According to numerous reports, Arizona currently ranks 50th in per capita spending on education. This proposition is a step in the right direction.

Whether you agree or disagree with our views on these propositions, we encourage all registered voters to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 7. You'll find a voter precinct map and other election information on pages 6A and 7A of today's Roundup, including a summary of each of these propositions.

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