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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

The Propositions

Proposition 106

Proposition 106 would amend the Arizona Constitution to block any rules mandating participation in a health care system. It purports to ensure that Arizona residents have the right to enroll in a private health care system.

In reality, the chief goal of Prop. 106 is to undermine federal law, in particular H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, better known by the pejorative “”Obamacare.”” However, anyone with a basic knowledge of civics understands that states cannot override federal law; this attempt to do so is costly, pointless and embarrassing for Arizona. In a time when Arizona has had to repeatedly balance its budget by slashing social programs, more or less inviting a federal lawsuit would be financially irresponsible. The proposition is a rash knee-jerk reaction to an unpopular federal measure and nothing more.

In addition, universal public health care would greatly benefit Arizona citizens. Arizona has one of the highest percentages of uninsured people in the nation, particularly uninsured children. Those people have the right to health care, but can’t afford it. Plus, even those who can currently afford private health insurance would benefit from H.R. 3962, as reducing the number of people who receive health care they can’t pay for would drive down health care costs across the board.

Because it’s a costly, irresponsible waste of time and would hurt, rather than help, Arizona citizens, vote NO on Proposition 106.

 

Proposition 107

 

Proponents of Proposition 107, which is sneakily called the Arizona Civil Rights Amendment, would like you to believe that workplace and education discrimination no longer exist in Arizona.

In a perfect world, Prop. 107 — which seeks to ban statewide and local affirmative action programs — would be an innocuous and probably superfluous measure.

But instead of that perfect world, we live in Arizona. And while some affirmative action practices do deserve a closer look and possible retooling, banning all programs that aim to help women and minorities get access to education and jobs would be irresponsible and have many unintended consequences. The programs cut under this constitutional amendment would include university initiatives to help underrepresented groups succeed; these programs are not “”discriminatory,”” but merely tools to make sure education is equally accessible to all.

Prop. 107 is also superfluous, as “”discriminat(ing) against or grant(ing) preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting,”” the clause that would, under the measure, be added to the State Constitution, is already illegal in Arizona.

The measure seeks not to level the playing field or end so-called “”reverse discrimination,”” but instead to do away with vital services provided to women and minorities in schools and the workplace. Vote no on Proposition 107.

 

Proposition 109

 

Any time you amend a constitution, you have to be cognizant of the ramifications of your actions. In this case, proposing to amend the Arizona Constitution to enumerate hunting and fishing as an inalienable right goes far beyond the scope of its text, and that is cause enough for dissent. First of all, hunting and fishing are not constitutional rights. In no way can it be inferred that human beings have a right to kill animals without severely twisting the intent of the Constitution. And if hunting and fishing were to become constitutional rights, then would it be possible to place limits on how many animals you could hunt? Which animals you could hunt? When you could do so? The potential gray area of interpretation here is much too vast to answer these questions with any degree of certainty.

That being said, this measure could be understandable if hunting and fishing were under some sort of widespread attack. But it’s not. This measure is a solution looking for a problem that doesn’t exist and for that reason we cannot support it.  

 

Proposition 110

 

This proposition, if passed, would allow the state to sell, lease or exchange state trust land for other land in order to avoid any conflicts with military bases. Public hearings for each transaction would be held to give the public an opportunity to comment. Transactions would have to be approved by Arizona voters during a November general election. Broad support for this proposition comes from both the military and conservancy groups like The Sierra Club and The Sonoran Institute. Any proposition that invites public input in the process is welcome.

 

Proposition 111

 

Proposition 111, also known as the Arizona Lieutenant Governor Amendment, is a great “”truth in advertising”” proposition in theory, but needs a great amount of tweaking.

The proposition, if passed, would change the title of Arizona’s secretary of state to lieutenant governor, starting in 2015, in order to better illustrate the line of succession to the governor’s seat. Additionally, it would mandate each political party’s nominees for lieutenant governor and governor to run on a joint ticket in the general election.

If this proposition were to simply change the title of the Arizona secretary of state, it would be a no-brainer “”Yes”” vote, but the added joint ticket stipulation opens up a can of worms that must be addressed before passing this amendment.

Not only does the proposition give Arizona an excuse to further polarize its partisan legislature by requiring partisan general election tickets, but it also leaves no contingency for a third-party candidate.

If a Green Party or Independent contender decided to run for governor with no applicant for lieutenant governor, there is no language in this proposition to facilitate their general election candidacy.

For these reasons the Daily Wildcat endorses a “”No”” vote on Proposition 111.

 

Proposition 112

 

All this measure would do is push back the filing deadline for petitions two months, from May 1 until July 1, at no extra cost to the taxpayer. This measure was passed unanimously by Arizona’s Legislature, and let’s be honest, if they didn’t disagree on it, there probably isn’t anything sinister to the measure and, if that is indeed the case, there’s nothing wrong with it either. Longer deadlines encourage participation in the democratic process and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

 

Proposition 113

 

If passed, the Arizona Constitution would be amended to include the following:

“”The right to vote by secret ballot for employee representation is fundamental and shall be guaranteed where local, state or federal law requires elections, designations or authorizations for employee representation.””

As innocuous as it sounds, this proposition is actually problematic. An early draft of this proposition was ruled unconstitutional in July because it conflated public and union elections into one measure, which Arizona prohibits with its single-subject rule for ballot initiatives. Also, this proposition is a preemptive response to the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that is still under consideration in Congress. Employees would be required to hold elections by secret ballot, regardless of union.

It seems strange that the Arizona government would want a say in how employees make decisions about their unions. Business interests in support of this measure, while labor unions oppose it, are a strong indication that this is an unnecessary amendment. It is also an invitation to future lawsuits from the federal government, which Arizona does not need to waste more time and money on.

 

Proposition 203

 

Like it or not, medical marijuana is fast shedding the remnants of its social stigma and becoming an acceptable, and — in California a preferred,— method of treating patients who suffer from chronic pain as a result of a debilitating disease. With this measure, Arizona would become the 14th state in the U.S. to approve the drug for medicinal purposes. This is not, as some have suggested and/or hoped, a full legalization of marijuana, but rather continuing a national trend to support a substance that may provide some relief to those who live constantly in pain. Makes sense to us.

 

Proposition 302

If passed, this proposition would divert tobacco tax revenues for early childhood development and health programs into Arizona’s general fund in an effort to ameliorate its deficits. State legislators would have to set aside money from the state budget in order to continue paying for these programs. The proposition would also eliminate the Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board and the First Things First program.

This is not the first time the state government has tried to take away money from the program. State legislators took $7 million of accrued interest from the fund to help offset the state’s 2009 budget deficit. The board sued and the Arizona Supreme Court ruled unanimously in its favor. While Arizona still needs to fix its massive budget deficit, cutting programs designed specifically to help children ages 5 and under is not the way to do it.

 

 

  

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