Ballots & Propositions

It’s that time again… the time when we all get to hear about what the “right” direction for our country is and how corrupt the other party is.  We also get to vote on a smattering of propositions submitted by law makers, councils, and last but not least our fellow citizens.

It’s a great joy reading them because their writers have made sure to write them in the most easy to understand language and have been very careful not to be deceptive (snicker).

I spent some time reviewing the propositions and I thought I would share how I plan to vote on each of them and why.  I live in Arizona, so if you don’t, what follows will probably be of little value to you.

Proposition 100

Prop 100 is a proposal to amend the Arizona constitution so that a tax may not be levied on the sale or transfer of any real property.

What the supporters are saying:
Supporters are basically arguing that we are already taxed through property taxes and a sale or transfer tax would simply serve to reduce peoples equity in their homes which would be bad.

What the opposition says:
We shouldn’t bind the hands of our government by taking possibilities for raising revenue off the table.  And we need to have a more distributed tax base.

How I’m voting: Yes

I plan to vote yes on this proposition for several reasons.  For starters I like simple taxes.  Adding one more tax with all its special rules and caveats does not seem simple to me so all the more reason to prohibit it.  The second big reason I am voting yes is because there is no alternative offering comprehensive tax reform; without that I am in favor of anything that restricts the governments ability to collect taxes.

Proposition 101

Prop 101 seeks to limit the legislatures ability to enact laws that would limit/prohibit an individuals ability to choose between private health care options or penalize them for declining medical coverage.

What the supporters are saying:

Basically preserves a patients right to choose the form of health care that works best for them and seeks to prevent socialized health care.

What the opposition is saying:
Constitutional amendments that limit the freedom of the legislature is dangerous because no one can predict what challenges the future may hold.  The amendment is also not well defined which could force the judicial system to interpret what it means.

How I’mVoting: Yes

I believe that socialized health care is the wrong approach.  All one has to do is to look at countries like England who have socialized plans to see what a mess it will truly be.  In the end I think that more citizens will receive a higher level of care if the free market is ultimately allowed to regulate the system–not some state sponsored plan.  This proposition is no where near what I would like to see in terms of restrictions but it’s a start and that’s why I will be voting yes on Prop 101.

Proposition 102

Prop 102 seeks to ammend the Arizona constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

What the supporters are saying:
Across the country legislature’s and judges are redefining the traditional meaning of marriage.  This amendment prevents that and keeps it in the hands of Arizona’s voters.

What the opposition is saying:
A similar amendment to this one failed already in 2006, lawmakers should respect what the voters have already said.  This bill does not protect the sanctity of marriage it just furthers the governments involvement in private citizens lives.

How I’m voting: No

I’m a religious guy and it’s not that I agree or disagree with homosexuality; rather, it’s that I don’t want the government telling people how they should live their lives.  This amendment fails my basic test for how I believe government should be: To secure the God given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I don’t believe the government should define what happiness is, just make it possible for individuals to pursue it in the manner that they see most fit.  This amendment does the opposite–it tries to define and impose a viewpoint on someone; so I will be voting no.

Proposition 105

For any measure that increases taxes a majority of registered voters must approve the initiative not just a majority of those who actually vote.

What supporters are saying:
Supporters claim that this would prevent special interest groups from passing taxes in low turn-out elections.

What the opposition says:
The opposition says that this would make it nearly impossible to pass any kind of new tax measures because it effectively casts a no vote by all registered voters who don’t vote.

How I’m voting: No

I have gone back and forth on this one.  Ultimately it will make it nearly impossible to pass any new tax in Arizona; however, it will likely also make it impossible to change the tax code at all.  I’ve considered that it may be better to have this on the books until such a time as comprehensive tax reform can be established and then propose a constitutional amendment that would remove the effects of this proposition.  I want tax reform and I still have hope that it can happen; that’s why I’m voting no on this proposition, because it will make that tax reform harder to reach.

Proposition 200

 

Remove the sunset clause in the current legislation that allows pay day loan services to operate in Arizona so they may exist indefinitely.  Currently, unless new legislation is enacted they will have to close their doors in 2010.  This proposal also trys to reduce some fees and introduce some industry reform.

What the supporters are saying:
This ammendment will help borrowers when they need it most by reducing fees and establishing flexible repayment plans.

What the opposition is saying:
This proposition allows a predatory industry to continue to keep the poor, poor and does little to reform their practices.

How I’m voting: No

 

I hestitated in my decision to vote no on this proposition.  I don’t think that the government should try and protect consumers from themselves.  If someone believes that the best option for them is to take out an exorbitantly priced pay day loan then I think that is their decision and they should have the freedom to make it.  However, I also don’t believe in regulation that creates special interests.  This proposition falls outside the bounds of what I think the government should do which ultimately caused me to vote no on this proposition even though the likely outcome will be that the payday loan industry will go out of business because of government regulation.

Proposition 201

 

Require home builders to offer a 10 year warranty on purchases of new homes and restrict the ability of builders to seek reimbursement of legal fees if they are sued.

What the supporters are saying:
Would protect home owners from defects in the new homes they have purchased and give them a say in selecting what contracters should be used in making the repairs.  Allows homeowners to freely seek remediation in the courts without fear of being counter-sued for legal fees.

What the opposition is saying:
This proposition will create many frivolous lawsuits and will ultimately raise the cost of home ownership for everyone.

How I’m voting: No

I plan to vote no on this proposition because I believe that builders should have the right to seek reimbursement for legal fees if it was a frivolous law suite.  I also believe that the current law adequeltly protects homeowners and all this bill represents is the governement mucking with the free market to give an advantage to one party; which I fundamentally disagree with.  No hesitation on this one!

Proposition 202

This proposition proposes new rules with respect to hiring of illegal immigrants.  Specifically by changing the definition of “Knowing” in current law to that of an actual officer demonstratably knowing that an employee is an illegal alien.

What supporters are saying:
This proposition will reduce hiring of illegal aliens in our state and punish those who hire them.

What opponents are saying:
This proposition will make it harder to prosecute those who hire illegal aliens and will prevent the state from acting until federal action is taken.

How I’m voting: No

This proposition is very deceptively worded.  It claims to be against the hiring of illegal aliens but in practice the things it wishes to do will make it easier to hirer them; thus, I am voting no.

 

Proposition 300

Raise the legislatures salary from the current $24,000 per year to $30,000.

What supporters are saying:
The
legislature deserves a raise and you shouldn’t deny them this just
because you are unhappy with the job they are doing.  We have to pay
them well to attract top talent to the job.

What oponents are saying:
Legislatures
are already adequetly compensated as they are only expected to work in
the legislature for less than 100 days of the year.

How I’m voting: No

 

Given
that the legislature is only required to meet for about a 3rd of the
year I believe that the level of compoensation that is currently
offered is adequate. Honestly even if we were to raise their salary by
$6,000.00 do you really believe we would get more competent
legislatures?  I don’t, I think the hike would need to be much more
substantial than that.