Hunting, preschool, marijuana and more: Sizing up the ballot measures - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

Hunting, preschool, marijuana and more: Sizing up the ballot measures

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Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2010 4:30 pm | Updated: 11:07 am, Thu Oct 28, 2010.

Arizona voters will decide a number of ballot measures when they go to the polls on Nov. 2.


Amends Arizona constitution to preclude individuals or companies from having to buy health insurance.

Arguments for: Protects rights of individuals to make own health care decisions including what kind of insurance to buy, if any. Designed as counter to recently enacted federal health care legislation and mandate to obtain health coverage or pay a fine.

Arguments against: Locks Arizona out of expanded federal aid to cover uninsured population. May be legally preempted by federal law.

In favor: National Federation of Independent Business, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation.

Opposed: League of Women Voters, Arizona Public Health Association.


Precludes preferential treatment on basis of race, sex, ethnicity in public education, employment or contracting.

Arguments for: Spells out constitutionally that government should not provide any special help to individuals based on these factors. Still allows programs based on income and need as long as race and gender not considered.

Arguments against: A solution in search of a problem as state has no quotas in hiring or college admissions. Could undermine other programs designed to provide guidance or other assistance to groups like Hispanic teens.

In favor: Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, most Republican state legislators.

Opposed: American Association of University Women, Greater Phoenix Urban League.


Constitutionally bans laws that unreasonably restrict the right to hunt or fish and makes hunting and fishing the preferred means of managing wildlife.

Arguments for: Curbs ability of lawmakers or the voters through initiative to alter hunting rules based on popular sentiment or emotion rather than science-based management. Still allows Legislature to delegate authority to Game and Fish Commission.

Arguments against: Takes away power of voters to propose own laws like 1994 ban on use of steel-jaw leghold traps on public lands. Possible negative effect on wildlife preservation programs.

In favor: National Rifle Association, Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

Opposed: Sierra Club, Humane Society of the United States.


Permits the state to swap trust lands with the federal government for goal of preserving open space around military bases.

Arguments for: Provides more flexibility for state to preclude residential encroachment around military airfields. Various protections to ensure against special deals with developers.

Arguments against: Possible concern for abuse.

In favor: Valley Partnership, Sierra Club.

Opposed: No opposition.


Renames position of secretary of state to lieutenant governor and has that person run as a single ticket with party's gubernatorial hopeful.

Arguments for: Provides for more orderly transfer of power when governor dies, quits or is forced out of office. Better informs voters of line of succession.

Arguments against: Possible legal problems for gubernatorial candidates from minor parties or those who are independents as they would not have legally required running mates to qualify for general election.

In favor: In favor: Government for Arizona's 2nd Century, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Opposed: Arizona Farm Bureau Federation.


Requires initiative petitions to be submitted two months earlier than current deadline of July of election years.

Arguments for: Gives state and local officials more time to verify signatures. Provides additional time to resolve legal challenges.

Arguments against: Reduces amount of time for citizen initiatives to qualify for ballot without decreasing the number of signatures required.

In favor: Government for Arizona's 2nd Century, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Opposed: No organized opposition.


Requires secret ballots for any proposal to create a union.

Arguments for: Proposed change in federal law would allow unions to be formed with signatures of half of affected employees. Concern of possible intimidation of workers.

Arguments against: Time between petition for union and election gives employers more chance to influence workers. Might be legally precluded by federal law.

In favor: Various state and local chambers of commerce, Arizona Tourism Alliance.

Opposed: Arizona Advocacy Network, Arizona AFL-CIO.


Allow patients who have a doctor's written recommendation to purchase up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks.

Arguments for: Anecdotal evidence that marijuana more effective than other prescription drugs to treat certain conditions. More restrictive than California law on what medical diagnosis entitles person to use marijuana.

Arguments against: Really the first step toward legalizing marijuana. Law still too broad in allowing doctor's recommendation for severe and chronic pain.

In favor: Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project.

Opposed: County attorneys and sheriffs, Arizona Department of Health Services.


Permits Legislature to divert about $123 million voters said should be set aside to preserve open space to instead help balance the state budget.

Arguments for:  Lets lawmakers struggling with deficit decide if funds can be better spent elsewhere. Alternative is further cuts in state programs.

Arguments against: Hurts conservation and preservation efforts. Need to set aside land now before rapid development resumes.

In favor: Arizona Tax Research Association, Republican-controlled Legislature which put measure on ballot.

Opposed: Sierra Club, League of Women Voters.


Repeals 2004 First Things First program for early childhood education and development and gives funds from 80-cent-a-pack tobacco tax levied at same time to lawmakers to use for other education programs.

Arguments for: Alternative is sharp budget cuts. Questions about effectiveness of program.

Arguments against: Programs address needs lawmakers have refused to fund. Requirement to spend these proceeds on education lacks safeguards to prevent existing funding from being diverted elsewhere.

In favor: Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Republican-controlled Legislature which put measure on ballot.

Opposed: Arizona Public Health Association, Arizona Dental Association.

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