Arizona Land Conservation Fund Transfer, Proposition 301 (2010)
State and Local
Spending & Finance
|Not on ballot|
- 1 Election results
- 2 Text of measure
- 3 Support
- 4 Opposition
- 5 Other perspectives
- 6 Analysis, reports and studies
- 7 Media endorsements
- 8 Path to the ballot
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 Additional reading
- 12 References
The measure would have transferred $123.5 million from a land-conservation fund to the general fund. The measure was introduced in order to help balance the state budget. The measure, and two other ballot provisions, were placed in front of voters to help close the predicted $2.6 million deficit in the next fiscal year, and the $700 million of the 2010 budget shortfall.
- See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Official election results of the measure were:
|Proposition 301 (Land Conservation Fund Transfer)|
Text of measure
A "yes" vote shall have the effect of transferring the balance of money in the land conservation fund, which was established by voters in 1998 as part of the "Growing Smarter Act," to the state general fund.
A "no" vote shall have the effect of keeping the balance of money in the land conservation fund.
A concurrent resolution enacting and ordering the submission to the people of a measure relating to the Land Conservation Fund.
- Representative Rick Murphy was in support of the measure, and stated so in an editorial published by ABC15.com.
- Arizona State Senate Steve Pierce stated about the measure and Proposition 302: "There will be a lot of bad things happening if these (propositions) don't pass."
- Linda Turley-Hansen, syndicated columnist and former Phoenix TV anchor, advised a 'yes' vote on the measure in an editorial revealing her recommendations for all the propositions on the November ballot.
- State Senator Ron Gould and State Representative Nancy G. McLain both voiced their support for the measure.
- The Tucson Chamber of Commerce recommended a 'yes' vote on the measure in an editorial.
- Supporters stated that if voters reject this measure, along with a measure that would repeal the First Things First Program, the state's budget deficit could grow larger.
- According to reports out of the state, Moody's Investors Service lowered Arizona's debt rating from Aa2 to Aa3 due to the state's economic weakness, which included budget deficit and reliance on alternate revenue sources that were non-recurring.
- According to an Arizona Republic article on October 10, 2010, many lawmakers criticized the 1998 vote that established the program. They argued that the fact that the programs cannot be stricken, unless voters did so, gave them less flexibility to figure out ways to alleviate Arizona's financial issues.
- Byron Schlomach, in an editorial published by the Sonoran Alliance, called for the passage of the measure, along with Proposition 302, stating, "The Legislature built the current budget under the assumption these two propositions would pass. If they fail, the state funding shortfall will be at least $700 million. Meanwhile, additional federal funding for the state Medicaid program will be lower than expected. Tax revenues are coming in a bit slower than had been forecasted too."
- Rick Murphy argued in an editorial published by ABC15.com, "The cold, hard truth is that every potential solution will cause hardship for someone. We are way past the point of good solutions. If the voters refuse to allow the voter-protected funds to be swept, most or all of the cuts that were avoided by the passage of the sales tax increase in May will probably happen anyway sometime next year. Your “YES” vote on Prop. 301 will help the legislature’s efforts to avoid that."
- The League of Women Voters stated their opposition to the measure, along with Proposition 302.
- The Pima County Democratic Party recommended a 'no' vote on the measure.
Arguments that were made against the measure included:
- The plans to use conservation fund money was for good use. According to Sandra Bahr, Grand Canyon Chapter director of the Sierra Club, Scottsdale already had plans to use the money for expansion of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Bahr stated, "There are some state trust lands that are not the mountains themselves, but provide some important connections, including to the Tonto National Forest - very spectacular Sonoran Desert lands."
- Bahr later stated in an editorial published by ABC15.com, "Our children will benefit from the conservation of lands and the dollars these lands generate for the trust. This is much more than we can count on from the Arizona Legislature. For all of these reasons, the Sierra Club, along with other conservation organizations, teachers, and the League of Women Voters of Arizona, is urging you to reject this ill-conceived plan and vote no on Proposition 301."
- Opponents of the measure said that eliminating the Land Conservation Fund would provide a negative impact on the preservation of open space and public education funding.
Possible fiscal impact
- In an email sent to Ballotpedia from the state treasurer's office, it was noted that Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin did not take an active role in supporting or opposing the measure. Martin did weigh in on the fiscal implication of the measure, however, by stating that a cash-flow problem in the state wouldn't happen unless voters rejected the proposal.
Analysis, reports and studies
A legislative council analysis performed on the measure and published in the Arizona Secretary of State's Publicity Pamphlet, impartially stated the following, in terms of what the measure would do if enacted:
- The Land Conservation Fund consists of monies appropriated from the state general fund and monies received as donations. $20,000,000 was appropriated annually for 11 years from the state general fund to the Land Conservation Fund. The final appropriation is scheduled in fiscal year 2010-2011. Monies in the fund must be used to award grants to:
- 1. Acquire and conserve state trust land or development rights in state trust land.
- 2. Implement conservation based management or reduce production on state lands leased for agricultural purposes.
- Proposition 301 would transfer the remaining balance in the Land Conservation Fund to the state general fund.
- The Arizona Daily Star supported Proposition 301, saying, "Would sweep money from a voter-protected conservation fund, the Growing Smarter program, and allow lawmakers to use the money toward balancing the state budget."
- Inside Tucson Business endorsed the measure in an editorial published on September 17, 2010, "Propositions 301 and 302 are necessary parts of an equation that requires everything government does must be on the table for consideration during these trying economic times. The fact that the Proposition 302 will also rectify a flawed program is an added benefit. Voters should vote “yes” on both Propositions 301 and 302 to save bigger catastrophes from happening."
- The East Valley Tribune recommended a 'yes' vote on the measure, stating, "Protecting Arizona’s scenic resources and open spaces is important. But the appropriation for this fund runs out in 2011 anyway. And securing the $123 million available from this fund will help alleviate the state’s severe budget crisis and prevent more important programs from being cut."
- The Desert Lamp stated in an editorial about the measure: "Obviously, given the current budget crisis, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, and while 301 and 302 are at best short-term fixes, more money in the general fund means more money the legislature can allocate based on the needs of the moment."
- The Yuma Sun stated opposition to the measure, along with Proposition 302, writing, "The two propositions are a prime example of bad decision-making. The state's budget was “balanced” earlier this year based on voter approval of these propositions. This was fiscally irresponsible because we believe voters could very well disagree with taking funds from the two programs."
- The Arizona Republic, was against the measure, stating, "Open-space plans around Arizona depend on the fund, including those in Cave Creek, Flagstaff, Prescott and Pima County. Education gets a boost from every purchase. Prop. 301 would give it all up for a one-time financial fix that wouldn't fill one-tenth of this year's budget gap. Voters should give this one-word response: "No.""
Path to the ballot
The measure was signed by Jan Brewer on March 18, 2010, thus placing the measure on the November 2010 ballot. A majority vote is required in the Arizona State Legislature to refer a measure to the ballot. Arizona is one of ten states that allows a referred amendment to go on the ballot after a majority vote in one session of the state's legislature.
- Arizona Sales Tax Increase (2010)
- Arizona Growing Smarter Repeal (2010)
- Arizona First Things First Program Repeal (2010)
- Arizona 2010 ballot measures
- Business Week, "Governor signs Arizona budget-balancing bills", March 18, 2010
- Arizona Legislature, "House Bill 2060"
- Arizona Secretary of State, "Publicity Pamphlet", Retrieved September 21, 2010
- Arizona Secretary of State, "2010 General Election:Ballot measures"
- ABC15, "Hear Me Out: Is Proposition 301 good or bad for Arizona?", October 3, 2010
- The Daily Courier, "2 props seek to boost ailing Arizona budget", October 7, 2010
- East Valley Tribune, "Voters: Awaken and prepare for heavy-duty ballot propositions", October 10, 2010
- Kingman Daily Miner, "Officials sound off on upcoming propositions", October 14, 2010
- Inside Tucson Business, "Pro-business endorsements from Tucson chamber of commerce", October 22, 2010
- Arizona Republic, "Another budget deficit looms", June 27, 2010
- Arizona Central, "Arizona's debt rating is lowered again", July 25, 2010
- Arizona Republic, "2 propositions risky for Voter Protection Act", October 10, 2010
- Sonoran Alliance, "Two ballot propositions needed to keep state budget balanced", September 7, 2010
- Arizona Republic, "League votes 'no' on 4 propositions", October 7, 2010
- Blog For Arizona, "PCDP Ballot Measure Recommendations", Retrieved October 18, 2010
- Public News Service, "AZ Voters to Decide Fate of Pristine State Lands", July 12, 2010
- ABC15, "PROP 301 IS BAD FOR ARIZONA: By Sandy Bahr, Chapter Director, Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter", October 3, 2010
- Morrison Institute, "2010: Proposition 301, Sweeping the Land Conservation Fund", Retrieved September 3, 2010
- KOLD.com, "Ariz. treasurer says fall cash-flow crisis averted", July 13, 2010
- Arizona Daily Star, "The Star's recommendations on state, local propositions", October 28, 2010
- Inside Tucson Business, "To avoid bigger catastrophes, vote yes on 301, 302", September 17, 2010
- East Valley Tribune, "Endorsements: Ballot propositions", October 24, 2010
- Desert Lamp, "The Desert Lamp’s Ballot Proposition Endorsements", October 20, 2010
- Yuma Sun, "2 measures on ballot related to fiscal failure", October 20, 2010
- The Arizona Republic, "Voters should bar ill-conceived raid", October 20, 2010
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