A look inside and your guide to the Nov. 7 propositions
Become an informed voter
Nineteen propositions appear on the Nov. 7 ballot in the general election. These propositions will amend the state Constitution or change state laws. The language on sample ballot materials can be difficult to understand. It is important to understand what each measure means prior to heading to the polls to cast a vote. A list of the 19 propositions and what a "Yes" vote means follows. Our editorial board has discussed the propositions and on most, we've decided to take a stance. We've taken the time to discuss the propositions for the purpose of assisting our readers. We hope you find this helpful when you head to the polls.
Proposition 100 - Bailable Criminal Offenses. If passed, Proposition 100 would prevent those charged with serious felonies from being eligible for bail if they are in the United States illegally. We vote yes.
Proposition 101 - Local Property Tax Levies. Proposition 101 would require the levy limit for towns, cities, counties and community college districts to be calculated from the 2005 actual tax levy. We vote yes.
Proposition 102 - Standing in Civil Actions. Proposition 102 would block undocumented immigrants from being able to obtain punitive damages in lawsuits and would limit awards to actual damages. We vote no.
Proposition 103 - English as the Official Language. Proposition 103 would require state government to take all formal action in English. This includes many exemptions, such as for legal proceedings. We vote no.
Proposition 104 - Municipal Debt. This would allow municipalities to raise debt capacity for street and public safety projects. It would rise from 6 percent to 20 percent of assessed property valuation. We vote yes.
Proposition 105 - State Trust Lands. Proposition 105 would preserve 43,000 acres of state trust land and give the Legislature the option to set aside 400,000 more acres. We vote no.
Proposition 106 - Conserving Arizona's Future. Proposition 106 would preserve 694,000 acres of state trust land across Arizona. We vote yes.
Proposition 107 - Protect Marriage Arizona. This would amend the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and any legal recognition similar to marriage. Proposition 107 would prohibit local governments and school districts from providing domestic-partner benefits, such as health insurance. We vote no.
Proposition 200 - Arizona Voter Reward. Under Proposition 200, a lottery would be created and would feature a $1 million prize for people that vote in primary and general elections. This would be retroactive to this year's election and would be funded through unclaimed state lottery prizes. We vote no.
Proposition 201 - Smoke-Free Arizona - Proposition 201 would prohibit smoking in most indoor public places including restaurants and bars. Exceptions would include tobacco shops, outdoor patios and some hotel rooms. This measure adds a two-cents-per-pack tax on cigarettes. The State Department of Health Services and Education - to fund enforcement - would use the tax. We vote no.
Proposition 202 - Arizona Minimum Wage. The passage of Proposition 202 would raise the minimum wage in Arizona to $6.75 an hour starting in 2007. The wage would be adjusted annually thereafter for cost-of-living. We vote no.
Proposition 203 - First Things First for Arizona's Children. Proposition 203 would add an 80-cent-per-pack on tobacco products. Proceeds from the tax would be used to fund pre-school programs, health screenings and other services, mostly for children living in poverty. Local councils and a state board would manage the funds. We vote yes.
Proposition 204 - Humane Treatment of Farm Animals. This measure would require that calves raised for veal and pregnant pigs be provided sufficient space to turn around, lie down and fully extend their limbs. We vote yes.
Proposition 205 - Your Right to Vote. Should this pass, all registered voters would automatically be sent mail-in ballots prior to every election. Only a few countywide polling places would be open on election day for on-site voting or to return ballots. We vote yes.
Proposition 206 - Arizona Non-Smoker Protection. Proposition 206 would ban smoking in some indoor establishments. Exceptions include bars and separately ventilated bars within restaurants and other establishments. This measure would supercede all local smoking ordinances. We vote yes.
Proposition 207 - Private Property Rights Protection. Proposition 207 would restrict cities' use of eminent domain. It would require governments to compensate property owners when a zoning or other action reduces their property value. We vote no.
Proposition 300 - Public Program Eligibility. The passage of Proposition 300 would make those convicted of using or possessing meth or meth-related paraphernalia ineligible for probation under certain circumstances. We vote no.
Proposition 301 - Probation for Methamphetamine Offences. Proposition 301 would make those convicted of using or possessing meth or meth-related paraphernalia ineligible for probation under certain circumstances. We vote yes.
Proposition 302 - State Legislators' Salaries. This measure would increase state legislators' annual salaries from $24,000 to $36,000. We vote yes.
Also on the ballot is an override election for the Coconino Community College. The total amount of the override is slightly more than $16 million over seven years - a flat $2.319 million per year that will not increase regardless of increases in property values. The annual cost to homeowners will remain the same over the seven-year period. The cost to property owners is relatively small. For a property valued at $100,000, the annual cost would be $14.77, which is $1.23 per month or 28 cents per week.
The money will be used to meet the needs of growing enrollment and will facilitate the addition of new career and technical programs. Many residents of all ages benefit from attending CCC. Not everyone can afford to begin their education at a major university, and community college meets the needs of those that cannot. We vote yes.
Voting is a privilege that should not be taken lightly. Become an informed voter. We'll see you at the polls!
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