Arizonans will face a long ballot when they cast their votes in the November 8, 2022 election. Besides voting on statewide, legislative, judicial and school board candidates, there are 10 propositions on the ballot. Of the 10 propositions, eight were referred to the voters by the Legislature. For the Legislature to make a ballot referral, the body must pass enabling legislation. Six of the legislative referrals are bad ideas that limit the rights of Arizonans or attempt to game the system. Five of them are Constitutional Amendments.
My views on the propositions are in the graphic. Below, you can read more about the propositions and watch the two part video from The Arizona Ground Game (TAGG) Speed Dating the Ballot Propositions event held on Sept. 17, 2022 and inserted at the end.
TAGG co-founder Tamar Rala Kreiswirth MC’d the event. The presenters were:
Rep. Pam Powers Hannley (me) on six of the legislative referrals, Props 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, and 309. [NO on all of them.]
Erik Jung from Healthcare Rising on Prop 209 Predatory Debt Protection Act. [YES.]
Merrill Eisenberg, Ph. D. from Stop Dark Money on Prop 211 Voters’ Right to Know Act. [YES.]
Firefighter Ryan Ward on Prop 310 fire districts; funding; TPT increment. [YES.]
Karina Ruiz de Diaz, Executive Director of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition on Prop 308 tuition; post secondary education. [YES]
Catherine Ripley, Pima College Governing Board member, discussing the impact of Prop 308 on students, the college and the community.
School teacher Chelsea Acree of Save Our Schools (SOS) discussing the petition push to stop universal voucher expansion with a vote in 2024. [UPDATE: SOS failed to gather enough signatures to stop universal implementation of Empowerment Scholarship Awards (ESAs).]
OB/GYN Dr. Marilyn Medwied discussing impact of the Supreme Court Decision on Roe v Wade and the Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom Citizens Initiative which didn’t make it on the November 2022 ballot. [UPDATE: This talk is chilling in light of the recent Pima County Superior Court ruling that will take Arizona’s abortion laws back to 1864. The judge was a Ducey appointee.]
Here’s More Background, Videos & Links on Each Proposition
NO on Props 128, 129, and 132: Attacks on Citizens Initiative
Three of the five Constitutional Amendments WEAKEN the Citizens Initiative process. The Arizona Constitution was written by progressives. The Citizens Initiative process gives voters the right to enact laws by bringing them to the ballot box for a vote.
The Republicans in the Legislature REALLY hate the Citizens Initiative because they like total control over what laws are proposed and enacted. In order to stop the people from passing new laws, Legislators like Senator Vince Leach propose bills to require more signatures or compliance with ever more cumbersome rules – like the ridiculous law that says your signature can’t flow outside of the signature box on Citizens Initiative petitions, although sloppy signatures are OK on candidate petitions. Overregulation has increased the cost and people power needed to put an initiative on the ballot.
People often complain about the money that is necessary to put a Citizens Initiative on the ballot now. That is because, over the years, layers of unnecessary bureaucracy have been added to the Citizens Initiative process by Republican Legislators. This is death by a 1000 cuts to a process that the people like. A few years ago, Republican Legislators used a ballot proposition to trick voters into severely weakening Clean Elections and making it more difficult to run clean. Again this year, they are trying to trick voters into voting against their own self interests with the six initiatives covered in my talk.
Prop 128 would weaken the Voter Protection Act, which protects Citizens Initiatives from malevolent tinkering or repeal at the hands of the Legislature. Before the Voter Protection Act – itself a Citizens Initiative – the Legislature ignored the will of the people repeatedly and stopped many successful initiatives from becoming law. Prop 128 says that if the Arizona Supreme Court finds a Citizens Initiative illegal or unconstitutional, the Legislature can immediately eliminate it, even if it has already been passed by a majority of the voters. In recent years, Governor Doug Ducey and Republican Legislators added seats to the Arizona Supreme Court and packed the court. Legality, constitutionality and single subject are all court room rationales that the Republicans have used to attack Citizens Initiatives and force them off the ballot. Since Republican and Chamber of Commerce courtroom tactics to silence the people don’t work 100% of the time, the powerful have proposed Props 128 and 129 to cement their tactics into the Arizona Constitution. Along with Prop 132, these three will make Citizens Initiatives much harder and more expensive — if not impossible — to pass. [NO.]
Prop 129 would require Citizens Initiatives to be limited to a single subject, and the subject must be in the title. The Legislature has a single subject rule for bills, but the Courts have ruled that Citizens Initiatives don’t have to follow that rule. Some initiatives have been challenged on the single subject rule. If Prop 129 were adopted, it would require groups to potentially pass more than one initiative to make the changes they want. Regulations passed by Republicans on a party line vote have increased the cost and complexity of the Citizens Initiative process dramatically in the six years I have served the Arizona House. Also, if the title and the initiative are not aligned then the initiative can be thrown out. If Prop 129 passes, the cost to put an initiative on the ballot would be through the roof, AND the titles could get really long. Prop 129 is obvious obstruction of the process. [NO]
Prop 132 requires Citizens Initiatives to reach a super majority – 2/3 of the vote – to pass, instead of a simple majority. Ironically, this passed the Legislature on a party line vote with a one vote majority in each chamber. This is a blatant attempt by the Legislature to stop the people of Arizona from exercising their Constitutional right to propose laws to the voters. [NO]
NO on Prop 309: Additional Voter Identification Requirements
Prop 309 adds additional voter identification requirements to vote by mail. Prop 309 started as a striker proposed by Rep. Fillmore in the Government and Elections Committee. Arizona already has some of the strictest voter ID laws. This adds additional bureaucracy.
This is a solution looking for a problem because Arizona elections are already safe and secure. Prop 309 requires voters to not only sign the mail-in ballot envelope but to also add their date of birth and their “early voter identification number” – which would be drivers’ license number, official state ID, four digits of your social security number, OR the number from your original voter registration card issued by the county. Think of the levels of process that will be added to the Secretary of State’s procedures and EVERY county recorder’s procedures if Prop 309 passed. Now armies of volunteers are trained to match signatures on voter envelopes with signatures on record at the County Recorders’ office. Prop 309 would also require verification of the signature, date of birth and any of four different identifying numbers. If you mess up a number or forget one, your ballot is invalidated. Think of the process to check these numbers. Is there a database that has all of those federal, state and county numbers on us in one place?
There is NO evidence that this onerous bureaucracy is needed. Also, think of the privacy risk for putting those numbers on an envelope – even if it is an interior envelope. Don’t believe those cute little, red, white and blue “Yes on 309” signs blanketing Tucson. Vote “Hell No” on voter suppression. [NO]
NO on Prop 131: Creates Lieutenant Governor Position & Cements Succession
Prop 131 creates a new government office of lieutenant governor. Isn’t that more Big Government? The Lieutenant governor candidates will be chosen by the gubernatorial candidates who win the primary elections for each party and will run as a team.
I voted against this every time it came up in the House. In my opinion, it allows one party to entrench itself in the governor’s office. Why does Arizona need a lieutenant governor? Currently the line of succession is governor and then secretary of state. I have lived in Tucson for more than 40 years. In that time frame, the secretary of state became governor. Secretary of State Rose Mofford (D) took over when Gov. Ev Mecham (R) was impeached. Secretary of State Jane Hull (R) became governor after Gov. Fife Symington (R) was convicted of extortion and bank fraud. Secretary of State Jan Brewer (R) became governor when Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) left us to join the Obama Administration. Twice that caused a change of party in the governor’s office – once for each party.
The current succession underscores the need to win and hold not only the governor’s seat but also the secretary of state. Gov. Doug Ducey’s rumored political aspirations to jump from Arizona to DC were hamstrung by Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. After Hobbs took office, the Republicans created the Department of Administration by taking some of her office’s duties away. Ducey appointed the his favorite good old boy appointee former Speaker of the House Andy Tobin as Director of the Department of Administration in 2019. (In 2015, Ducey had appointed Tobin to be on the Arizona Corporation Commission.) Their slick line of succession plan failed when the lieutenant governor bill failed multiple times in the Legislature.
Prop 131 is a bad idea for several reasons:
- It makes it easier for governors to resign midterm to run for another office or be appointed to another office.
- Gubernatorial candidates choose the lieutenant governors as their running mates. Although they are not elected governor, they can easily become governor if the elected governor is unable or unwilling to serve the entire term. When the lieutenant governor becomes governor, they appoint their own lieutenant governor. You can see how this promotes cronyism and can cement a line of succession for one party.
- Incumbents have a re-election edge. Once a lieutenant governor moves up to the governor’s job, they can run for election as an incumbent, even though they were not elected governor.
- Running as a team is a double-edged sword for the gubernatorial candidates. They have passed the gauntlet of the primary and now they have to appoint a running mate. What if a segment of their followers don’t like the running mate, or there’s a scandal about the running mate? I think it’s better to run alone. Dr. Friese used to say to me, “Teams are dangerous” because we saw many teams go down in flames. [NO]
NO on Prop 130: Constitutional Changes to Property Tax Code
Prop 130 changes the Constitution to allow the Legislature to make changes to multiple parts of the property tax code. Prop 130 is based upon SCR 1011. If you watch my Capitol update videos, you may have seen the video about duplicate bills and how they are a waste of time and money. SCR1011 and its companion bill SB1095 are prominently featured in that video. There were eight bills – four sets of two bills – to change the property tax rate for disabled veterans and make their discount in property taxes commensurate with their percentage of disability and to allow disability that was not combat related to qualify for this benefit.
Rep. Neal Carter had set of bills which were negotiated with the counties. The counties rely on property taxes. SCR1011 allows the Legislature to tinker with property taxes for multiple groups in addition to disabled vets, and it provides for a major tax write-off for equipment owned by businesses and farmers. The Legislature sent Senator J.D. Mesnard’s bills – which have strings attached — to the governor for a signature. Prop 130 could harm counties and cause major tax shifts. When some groups pay no taxes or less in taxes, the rest of us pay more. Subsequent speakers at the TAGG forum talked about property taxes and what happens to local services when the Legislature cuts property taxes arbitrarily. The Legislature should have passed clean bills top fix the disabled veterans property tax exemption – not one that opens the door for sweeping property tax changes. [NO]
Yes on Prop 209: Predatory Debt Protection Act (Healthcare Rising)
In this video, Erik Jung of Healthcare Rising discusses Prop 209 Predatory Debt Protection Act. Despite increases in medical insurance coverage after the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, medical debt is still one of the primary reasons for bankruptcy. Prop 209 will greatly help people avoid losing their homesteads and other assets due to medical debt.
Yes on Prop 211: Voters’ Right to Know Act (Stop Dark Money)
In this video, Stop Dark Money organizer Merrill Eisenberg discusses how Prop 211 will bring more campaign finance transparency to Arizona elections. The Voters’ Right to Know Act requires disclosure of donor names to independent expenditure organizations. These are so-called “dark money” groups because their donors are secret. Dark money groups can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash to elect or defeat selected candidates, but they cannot coordinate directly with any candidate campaigns. Big money donors like to remain anonymous when they spend thousands or millions of dollars to elect or defeat candidates. It tarnishes the corporate image when the public finds out that the CEO is a kook with deep pockets.
Yes on Prop 310: TPT Increase to Fund Fire Districts
In this video, firefighter Ryan Ward discusses Prop 310 fire districts; funding; TPT increment. Ward does a great job explaining the back story on why Prop 310 is needed. Without giving up the story, the Legislature’s tinkering with property taxes over the past 10 years has left many rural fire districts dangerously underfunded. The goal of Prop 310 is improved response times for people who live rural Arizona and those who travel and vacation there. I recommend a “yes” vote on Prop 310. I also recommend that the Legislature stop cutting taxes and leaving local services gravely underfunded.
Yes on Prop 308: In-State College Tuition for Dreamers
In this video, Karina Ruiz de Diaz, executive director of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, discusses Prop 308 and offers a history lesson in Arizona government. Ruiz de Diaz was a young college student, when a proposition ending in-state tuition for resident non-citizens was passed. Through sheer determination and hard work, Ruiz de Diaz finished her college education, one class at a time because that was all she could afford. I recommend a “yes” vote on Prop 308. A better educated workforce helps us all. Education should be affordable for everyone.
In this video, Pima Community College Governing Board Member Catherine Ripley said that passage of Prop 308, in-state tuition for Dreamers, would help Pima Community College recruit more students and help the Tucson community as a whole. I agree. An educated workforce benefits us all.
Why Universal School Vouchers are #Bad4AZ
In this video, school teacher and Save Our Schools (SOS) volunteer Chelsea Acree talks about the recent efforts to stop enactment of universal school voucher expansion legislation passed by the Arizona Legislature in 2022. This video was recorded while SOS was still collecting signatures to stop voucher expansion and put vouchers on the ballot, as they did in 2018. Unfortunately, the signature drive fell short, and universal taxpayer-funded private and religious school vouchers became law in September 2022.
Post-Roe Status of Abortion Access and Reproductive Rights in Arizona
In this video, OB/GYN Dr. Marilyn Medwied discusses the state of abortion care in Arizona after the Supreme Court decision which struck down Roe v Wade and made abortion a state matter. Since this video was recorded, a Pima County Superior Court judge and Ducey appointee lifted a stay on an 1864 abortion law, making it the law in Arizona. Dr. Medwied offers chilling examples of the medical decisions that pregnant people and their doctors are now facing in Arizona. Medical care should be routed in science and public health — not religious mysticism surrounding the beginning of life.
Reproductive choice and access to legal and affordable medical and surgical abortion are on the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the Republican candidates for office in Arizona are anti-abortion and back the 1864 law.
Vote Democrat on or before Nov. 8 to preserve reproductive rights, voting rights and basic civil rights. Republicans want to party like it’s 1864. Democrats should vote like it’s 2022. Our country’s future is hanging in the balance.
Here are parts one and two, showing the entire TAGG event. These videos, as well as individual presenter videos, are also on my YouTube channel.