Arizona State Trust Land Amendment, Proposition 119 (2012)

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Proposition 119
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Arizona Constitution
Referred by:Arizona State Legislature
Topic:Property
Status:On the ballot
The Arizona State Trust Land Amendment, also known as Proposition 119, will be on the November 6, 2012 general election ballot in the state of Arizona as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would authorizes the Arizona Legislature to enact a process to exchange trust land if the exchange is related to protecting military installations and managing lands. The formal title of the bill was Senate Concurrent Resolution 1001.[1]

Text of the measure

Summary

The summary of the measure reads as follows:[2]

A Concurrent Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Arizona; Amending Article X, Constitution of Arizona, by adding Section 12; Relating to state trust lands.[3]

Support

The following is information obtained from the supporting side of the measure:

  • State Senator John Nelson is a supporter of the measure.[4]
  • League of Arizona Cities and Towns are also supporters.
  • Sandy Bahr, director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, stated, "The bottom line is the voters have the last say on these land exchanges. This isn't open-ended, broad authority for the state Land Department to go out and do a deal.”[4]

Arguments

The following are arguments submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State in favor of the measure. More arguments can be read here:

  • "This would authorize land exchanges between the State Land Department and the Federal Government. The land exchanges can be for two purposes: improving the management of the state lands for the purpose of sale or lease or conversion to public use or for the protecting military facilities. Any exchange will have to be referred to the ballot by the legislature and approved by the voters in order to be consummated. All exchanges must have two appraisals, an analysis, and be vetted at two public meetings. Full and up-front disclosure of the parcels involved is also required, so there will be no surprises regarding which lands are involved. Voters have been skeptical of past land exchange measures that gave broad open-ended exchange authority to the State Land Department. This measure reigns in that authority and says there must be public involvement and review as well as public support via a vote prior to any exchange. This will help address checkerboard land ownership that hinders protection of wildlife habitat and will help protect state trust lands that are adjacent to some military facilities."[5]
  • "Proposition 119 is Arizona's opportunity to communicate to the United States Department of Defense that we are serious about protecting and preserving our military bases and facilities. Please vote YES on Proposition 119.Preserving our system of military bases in Arizona not only guarantees that many of America's greatest heroes reside in our own communities and become part of the fabric of our future, but also that the military industry continues to be viable here - and that means keeping thousands of jobs and an economic contribution in excess of $9 billion per year. Proposition 119 allows the Arizona State Land Department to help in preserving military bases and facilities by providing land for those uses, while, at the same time, earning money for public schools and other institutions, which own those lands in Trust. I participated in drafting Proposition 119, and am pleased to say it honors private property rights, including our precious water rights, through independent appraisals and public hearings. Another significant benefit of Proposition 119 is that it requires all parties involved to engage in thorough and transparent public processes and hearings before any land exchange is undertaken. It is also important to note that EACH proposed land exchange would go to a statewide VOTE. These kinds of exchanges could lead to more thoughtful land use decisions in many Arizona communities. Please vote "yes" on Proposition 119. It will lead to great things for Arizona."

Submitted by Maria Baier, Arizona State Land Commissioner.

Opposition

Path to the ballot

A majority vote is required in the Arizona State Legislature to send a constitutional amendment to the ballot. Arizona is one of ten states that allow a referred amendment to go on the ballot after a majority vote in one session of the state's legislature.

See also

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References