Tag Archives: AZ Constitution

Phoenix Prop 101: ‘Home Rule’ City Expenditure Limitation Override

Proposition 101 would set Phoenix’s expenditure limit to the amount of the Council-adopted budget.

The Arizona Constitution caps the spending of municipal governments unless local voters periodically approve their own limitation.  The state-imposed cap uses the fiscal year ending 1980 as a baseline, and is adjusted only for cost-of-living and population growth.  Phoenix has previously operated under a local override, and the expected 2016–17 local budget exceeds the state’s limitation by about $928M.

While the state limitation provides some protection against a fiscally out of control municipality, in general it is appropriate for the local taxing and spending authority to remain as close to the local voters’ representatives as possible.

Plenty of opportunity for debate and comment exists within the local budgeting process, and there is no reason not to entrust the City Council with home rule spending authority.  I plan to vote YES on Prop 101, and expect it to pass with little opposition.

AZ Prop 122: Rejecting Unconstitutional Federal Actions

Proposition 122 would amend the Arizona Constitution and purports to grant Arizona authority to reject federal laws that are determined to be unconstitutional by the Legislature (or by initiative).

Supporters claim it would give the state new tools to force the federal government to shoulder the cost of its own unfunded mandates, but the state already has sovereign authority to pass laws, and where conflicts arise it is already within the Attorney General’s purview to take the state’s case to federal court on 10th Amendment or other grounds.

Nevertheless, the Yes on 122 campaign offers it up as a panacea for issues ranging from CPS/DCS accountability, to ObamaCare-related health plan cancellations, to Tombstone’s water line reconstruction dispute with USFS; but it’s unclear how this proposition would improve Arizona’s ability to respond to any of those issues.

This measure is similar to 2012’s Prop 120 and another that didn’t make the ballot.

Tinkering with the Constitution is not to be taken lightly, and without a compelling reason to do so, I suggest you vote NO on 122.

AZ Prop 117: Limiting Property Valuation Assessments

Proposition 117 would amend the State Constitution to limit the amount by which the assessed value of real property can be increased from one year to the next. It was proposed by the Legislature to replace the current valuation method, which uses two values—one uncapped and one capped at a higher percentage than the new proposal.  Specifically, this proposal would cap increases in property valuation at 5% annually. Continue reading AZ Prop 117: Limiting Property Valuation Assessments

AZ Prop 114: Crime Victims Protection Act

Proposition 114 would amend the State Constitution to prevent felons from suing their victims for injuries.  This amendment was proposed by the Legislature, which is currently barred by Art. II §31 and Art. XVIII §6 from statutorily limiting recovery of damages for any death or personal injury claim.

The Legislature should have the freedom to limit civil liability claims; and while this Proposition would not fully restore this power, would provide a common-sense exception to the current ban, and it is an important step toward tort reform. Continue reading AZ Prop 114: Crime Victims Protection Act

Arizona Ballot Propositions 2012

It’s that time again: time to wade through 121 pages of proposed ballot measures and pro/con arguments published by the Secretary of State’s office—and that’s before we get to the judges up for review or any candidate research, so buckle up, kids.

I plan to blog through all of them (hopefully sometime before the election).  Posts in the series will be tagged “AZ Ballot Measures 2012”.

Before we get into the propositions themselves in the next post, some general reminders:

Continue reading Arizona Ballot Propositions 2012