Mesa and Chandler voters easily approved home rule overrides in their cities that will prevent the communities from making deep service cuts.
Chandler voters approved home rule by 76.2 percent, with 51 of 68 precincts reporting on that city's Proposition 410. Mesa voters approved their measure by 69.5 percent, with all but one precinct reporting on Question 1.
The home rule provision allows cities to spend more than a state-imposed limit that would base budgets on 1980s spending levels. The vote did not affect tax rates in either city. The home rule provision only affects how much cities can spend, as cities without home rule can only spend according to their 1980 budget with some adjustment for population growth and inflation.
Home rule supporters say the restriction is reasonable for communities that grow slowly, but that the formula doesn't allow cities to keep pace with the kind of rapid population growth that Chandler and Mesa have had since 1980.
If voters rejected home rule, Mesa would have had to trim about $25 million and Chandler would have cut $55 million from its budget. Neither city had evaluated what would be cut, but officials said services from the library to public safety could have been affected.
Under state law, voters must approve home rule every four years.
Mesa voters first approved home rule in 2000, supporting it again in 2004 and 2008. Chandler's voters have said "Yes" to home rule since 1982. Home rule was approved by 82 percent of Chandler voters this spring.