Here are the Tribune’s recommendations for the propositions on the Nov. 2 ballot:
Proposition 100 — YES
This would give the Arizona Land Department some much-needed flexibility to exchange some state lands with other entities when it is in the public interest. This is an essential component to badly needed reform of the Arizona Land Trust to, among other things, preserve some public lands that are in the path of East Valley growth while maximizing income from land sales that primarily benefit the state’s public schools.
Proposition 101 — NO
This attempt by the Arizona Legislature to make it harder for citizens to legislate directly through the initiative process would require tax increases every time voters pass a ballot measure that would necessitate expenditure of public dollars. It would shut down the public’s ability to help set state priorities through the initiative process while still requiring the Legislature to balance the budget.
Proposition 102 — YES
Arizona State University President Michael Crow wants it to become a world-class research institution, with the ability to partner with private industry to ensure advances in science and engineering reach the market quickly — while also allowing ASU to benefit. By removing a constitutional prohibition against the university owning stock in private companies, ASU would be able to negotiate mutually beneficial partnerships. Such agreements would be made public and subject to strict oversight.
Proposition 103 — YES
Substitute Justice Court judges, known as justices of the peace pro tem, would be required to meet the same qualifications as elected JPs, removing a condition set by the state Supreme Court that they be attorneys. It’s an unnecessary, incongruous requirement that prevents many otherwise qualified former JPs from filling in when elected JPs are absent, and it should be removed.
Proposition 104 — NO
This is another attempt by the Legislature to make it harder for citizens to legislate directly through the initiative process, by requiring that petitions be turned in seven months before the election, instead of the current four. The earlier deadline is unnecessary.
Proposition 105 — YES
This puts a representative of charter schools on the Arizona Board of Education, which is only fair and right.
Proposition 200 — NO
This measure would do nothing to curb the influx of illegal immigrants into Arizona. But it would cause huge hassles for citizens who would be required to demonstrate proof of citizenship for a wide range of public services, including emergency medical treatment. Furthermore, it would discourage illegal immigrants from seeking medical treatment when needed, thus increasing chances of serious outbreaks of communicable diseases in our communities. There are ways illegal immigration can and should be addressed — primarily at the federal level. This is the wrong way.
Proposition 300 — YES
Being a state legislator is supposed to be a part-time job, but all the lawmakers we know work full-time — and more. $24,000 plus per diem pay while the Legislature is in session is paltry compensation for their work load, regardless of what you think of the end result. This measure would raise their pay to a more reasonable $36,000 per year.
Proposition 400 — YES
Despite all the quibbling about light rail, this plan to expand the Valley’s transportation systems over the next 20 years deftly balances competing local needs. The East Valley will get badly needed freeways, expanded bus service and improved arterial streets and intersections, while Phoenix will get light rail, improved bus service and some expanded freeways. The initial 20-mile light rail line from Glendale through central Phoenix and into Mesa — which is being constructed apart from Proposition 400 — will not be extended unless ridership passes muster in a performance audit. And even if light rail were expanded under Proposition 400, it would use only 15 percent of overall revenues.
Proposition 401 — YES
Providing the dollars necessary to allow the Valley’s community colleges to expand to meet surging demand is absolutely essential to our educational and economic future. This bond measure is very large — nearly $1 billion — but the community college board says it represents only about half the need for new and improved facilities. The board has done a good job of managing the district’s skyrocketing growth while maintaining a high level of educational quality. It has put together a solid expansion and maintenance package that deserves voters’ approval.