AzPHA Recommends YES on Props 209, 211, 308 & 310
Urges NO on Prop 128
AzPHA’s 501(c)3 nonprofit status prohibits us from taking positions on the candidates- but we can take positions on policy issues and the ballot propositions. We’ve taken a deep dive into the public health implications (direct & indirect) of all 10 ballot propositions and have taken positions on 5 of them.
AZPHA Recommends YES Votes on the Following Propositions
PROP 209: Predatory Debt Collection Protection Act
Summary: The measure makes multiple changes to state statutes on wage garnishment debt collection. It limits the interest rate on medical debt to 3%. It would protect more equity in homes, vehicles, household goods and bank accounts from being taken by creditors. It also limits the amount that can be garnished from wages to pay off debts.
Arguments for it: Medical debt causes many Arizonans to fall into bankruptcy. The standards for wage garnishment and asset collection are outdated. People shouldn’t lose their homes or vehicles because of predatory debt.
Who’s backing it: Arizona Public Health Association, Healthcare Rising Arizona (which receives support from the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West), Arizona Students’ Association, Phoenix Workers Alliance, Neighbors Forward AZ, Democrats of Casa Grande
Who’s opposing it: Goldwater Institute, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Tucson Metro Chamber, Greater Phoenix Chamber, Arizona Bankers Association
PROP 211: Voters’ Right to Know Act
Summary: Prop 211 would change state law to require political groups and people spending more than $50,000 to influence the outcome of an election to disclose the original donor of contributions over $5,000. It would also require real-time reporting of significant campaign spending and allow the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission to enforce the provisions of Prop 211. Allows civil penalties for violations.
Arguments for it: “Dark money” is a corrupting influence on our democratic system and Arizona voters deserve to know who is funding political campaigns. Prop 211 will bring transparency and accountability to campaign messaging because voters will know who is paying for those ads. And it’ll stop regulated utility companies like Arizona Public Service from secretly funding the campaigns of their own regulators, as has happened in past elections.
Who’s backing it: Arizona Public Health Association, League of Women Voters of Arizona, former Phoenix mayors Paul Johnson and Terry Goddard
Who’s opposing it: Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Center for Arizona Policy Action
PROP 308: Tuition; Post-secondary Education
Summary: Prop 308 would change state law to allow all Arizona students, regardless of immigration status, to be eligible for financial aid and in-state tuition at Arizona universities and community colleges. Students must have graduated from an Arizona high school and been enrolled for two years. It would ask voters to repeal Prop 300 from 2006, which passed overwhelmingly at the time and barred non-citizens from receiving in-state tuition.
Arguments for it: Arizona students should be able to attend Arizona universities, regardless of immigration status. Undocumented students and Dreamers are a vital part of our economy. It’s good for business and it’s the right thing to do.
Who’s backing it: Arizona Public Health Association, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Arizona Education Association, Aliento Education Fund, Valley Interfaith Council, Stand for Children, Local First Arizona
Who’s opposing it: Former Senate President Russell Pearce, the Arizona Republican Party, RidersUSA
PROP 310: Fire districts; Sales tax
Summary: Prop 310 would increase sales taxes by a tenth of a penny on the dollar to fund rural fire districts.
Arguments for it: Fire districts serve 1.5 million Arizonans and handle not only fighting fires but providing emergency medical services in car crashes along major parts of Arizona’s highway system. Fire districts are strapped for labor, equipment and resources, and 911 calls often take upwards of 30 minutes for a response.
Who’s backing it: Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Arizona Fire Chiefs Association, rural fire districts
Who’s opposing it: Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Arizona Republican Party
AZPHA Urges NO Vote on Prop 132
PROP 132: Initiatives; Supermajority vote
Summary: Prop 132 would amend the state Constitution to require a 60% vote to increase taxes at the ballot.
Who’s for it: Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Goldwater Institute, Doug Ducey, Arizona Tax Research Association
Arguments against it: Lawmakers already need a two-thirds majority vote to pass any increases on taxes or to roll back tax credits and exemptions, and that supermajority requirement has hindered lawmakers’ ability to pass even common-sense tax increases. Bottom line: this proposition is designed to limit the voice of voters.
Who’s against it: Arizona Public Health Association, League of Women Voters of Arizona, Arizona Center for Economic Progress, Arizona Education Association
AZPHA is Not Taking an Official Position on Props 128, 129 & 309 but Our Executive Director Urges NO Votes
PROP 128: Voter Protection Act; Court Determinations
Summary: Prop 128 is a constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to bypass the Voter Protection Act to amend or repeal any ballot measure with any ‘illegal’ or unconstitutional language. (Currently, the Voter Protection Act bars lawmakers from repealing voter-approved laws, or from amending them, unless lawmakers can muster a three-fourths majority in both chambers and the changes “further the intent” of the voter-approved law.)
Who’s backing it: Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Center for Arizona Policy, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona
Argument against it: One single sentence or word in an initiative might be found unconstitutional or ‘illegal’, and the courts can already nullify just the unconstitutional or ‘illegal’ part and leave the rest. But if Prop 128 passes, lawmakers could then throw out the entire law, even though most of it is perfectly constitutional, which would shift power from the voters to the Legislature.
While the word ‘unconstitutional’ in the statutory language has a clear meaning, the word ‘illegal’ does not. The very purpose of a voter initiative is to change laws. For example, if Proposition 128 passes and there is a voter initiative in 2024 that constitutionally legalizes abortion could the courts decide the initiative is ‘illegal’ because it contradicts existing law?
Who’s opposing it: League of Women Voters of Arizona, One Arizona, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), Save our Schools Arizona, Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter, Will Humble
PROP 129: Initiatives; Single Subject
Summary: Prop 129 would limit initiatives to a single subject and require each provision be represented in the title. While lawmakers are barred from loading multiple subjects into a single bill, citizens writing initiatives are not, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled.
Who’s backing it: Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Center for Arizona Policy Action
Arguments against it: It would eliminate initiative backers’ ability to combine forces for good-governance initiatives that touch on several aspects of the law. It would give the courts yet another technicality to use to ignore the will of the people. And the same rules shouldn’t apply to initiatives as lawmakers because passing a bill is a lawmaker’s job, but it costs citizens a lot of time and money to pass their own laws via initiative.
Who’s opposing it: Arizona Education Association, One Arizona, League of Women Voters of Arizona, Will Humble
PROP 309: Voter Identification; Affidavit
Summary: Prop 309 would change state statutes to require voters who vote in person to show a photo ID, instead of multiple pieces of certain mail, like bank statements. For voters without a photo ID, the state would issue a free non-operating license for voting purposes. If receive a ballot by mail, you would have to write your birthdate, ID number and signature on a “concealed early ballot affidavit” before mailing it back or dropping it off at a polling place.
Who’s backing it: Heritage Action for America, Arizonans for Voter ID, Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Arizona Republican Party, Goldwater Institute, Arizona Women of Action, Election Transparency Initiative, America First Policy Institute
Arguments against it: It will impede people’s ability to vote by adding burdens and creating confusion. It will invade people’s privacy.
Who’s opposing it: Arizona County Recorders, Prescott Indivisible, League of Women Voters of Arizona, One Arizona, Defend Arizona Rights, Opportunity Arizona, Arizona Education Association, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), Chispa Arizona, Our Voice Our Vote Arizona, Mi Familia Vota, Will Humble