Arizona State Trust Lands Question, Proposition 110 (2010)

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The Arizona State Trust Lands Question, also known as Proposition 110, or SCR 1047, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Arizona as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. Defeatedd The measure was proposed to authorize the exchange of state trust lands in order to protect military installations and was sponsored by John Nelson. According to the measure at the time, the legislature must provide a process for exchanging those lands.

The proposal was filed by the Office of the Secretary of State on April 26, 2010 which was during the forty-ninth legislature. The bill was first introduced to the Arizona State Senate on February 2, 2010.[1][2]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results

Official election results for the measure follow:

Proposition 110 (State Trust Lands)
Result Votes Percentage
Defeatedd No 801,670 50.3%
Yes 792,394 49.7%
Total votes 1,594,064 100.00%
Voter turnout 55.65%

Results via the Official Election Canvass of Results from the Arizona Secretary of State's website.

Text of measure

Ballot title

The ballot title that Arizona voters saw read as follows:[3]

A "yes" vote shall have the effect of authorizing the sale or lease of state trust land without auction or advertisement in order to protect military installations and operations. It will also allow voter-approved exchanges of state trust land after public notice and hearing if the exchange is related to either protecting military facilities or for land management purposes.

A "no" vote shall have the effect of retaining current law regarding the sale, lease and exchange of state trust land.

Short title

The short title of the measure, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's website, read as follows:[4]

A concurrent resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Arizona; Amending Article X, Section 3, Constitution of Arizona; Amending Article X, Constitution of Arizona, by adding Section 12; Relating to State Trust Lands.


The summary of the measure read:[2]

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Arizona; amending article X, section 3, Constitution of Arizona; amending article X, constitution of Arizona, by adding section 12; relating to state trust lands.

Constitutional changes

Arizona State Trust Lands Question, Proposition 110 (2010), Constitutional text changes

The measure was proposed to amend Article X, Section 3 and adding a new Section 12 to that same article.[2]




The following arguments were made in support of the measure:[11]

  • The measure would shield any future overtaking of military bases in the state, such as Luke Air Force Base. The passage of the measure would protect those bases.
  • The measure would repeal the ban against land exchanges that was in place. Supporters stated that the process of land exchanges worked in previous years, and the measure would allow the state to do so for the first time since 1990.
  • If the measure passed, it would make sure that land exchanges have to include analyses that include fiscal impact, public hearings and approval of voters.
  • Senator John Nelson stated about the measure, "The military income is inflation-proof. It's recession-proof. It comes in consistently and constantly and to me it's a good investment. If we can't buy the land to help them, then we ought to find other ways of preserving the bases."[12]
  • Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter, commented on the measure, arguing, "None of us want to see that parcel of land developed. This would provide a mechanism for conserving that land, and likewise, lands up at the headwaters of the Verde River."[12]




The following arguments were made in opposition to the measure:[11]

  • Opponents stated that the measure would not bring any change to the process.
  • The measure, according to opponents, didn't bode well for open space preservation.
  • The measure, because it set up an exchange process that needed a public vote, would hurt future reform efforts.

Campaign contributions


The following contribution was made in favor of the measure:

Contributor Amount
Sonoran Institute $10,000

Analysis, studies and reports

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:[3]

In 1910, the United States Congress passed the Arizona-New Mexico Enabling Act, allowing Arizona to become a state. The Enabling Act granted Arizona approximately 10.9 million acres of land, referred to as "state trust land". The state land trust is intended to produce revenue for various public institutions (schools, colleges, prisons, etc.). The state can lease or sell trust land, and the natural products (timber, minerals, etc.) of the land, only to the "highest and best bidder" at public auction.
In 1936, Congress amended the Enabling Act to give Arizona more flexibility in managing and disposing of trust land by allowing the state to exchange trust land for other public or private lands. Arizona did not amend its state Constitution to incorporate that authority for land exchanges. The Arizona Supreme Court has determined that without amending the Arizona Constitution the state cannot conduct land exchanges.
Proposition 110 would amend the Arizona Constitution to allow the state to dispose of (for example, sell or lease) state trust land or interests in trust land or to place restrictions on interests or rights in trust lands, without advertisement or auction, in order to avoid incompatible use of the trust land that would interfere with military installations, facilities, ranges, airspace or operations or to enable military combat readiness and allow full spectrum test and training operations.
Proposition 110 would also amend the Arizona Constitution to allow the state to exchange state trust land for other public land. The exchange must be in the best interest of the state land trust. The purpose of the exchange must be to either assist in preserving and protecting military facilities in this state from encroaching development or for the proper management, protection or public use of state lands. There must be two independent appraisals that show that the true value of the land the state receives in the exchange is equal to or greater than the true value of the trust land the state conveys. There must also be two independent analyses that detail the income to the state land trust before and the projected income to the trust after the exchange, the financial impact of the exchange on each county, city, town and school district in which the lands are located, the physical, economic and natural resource impacts of the exchange on the local community and the impacts on local land uses and land use plans. A detailed public notice of a proposed exchange must be given, public hearings must be held and an opportunity for public comment must be given. A proposed exchange is not effective unless it is approved by the voters at a statewide November general election.

Media endorsements

See also: Endorsements of Arizona ballot measures, 2010


  • The Arizona Daily Star supported Proposition 110, saying, "Would amend the constitution to require that state trust lands be sold or exchanged in a way that protects military installations from potential incompatible uses nearby."[13]
  • The East Valley Tribune recommended a 'yes' vote on the measure, stating, "To avoid potential abuse or sweetheart deals to land developers, safeguards are included that require two detailed independent appraisals of the exchange, a public hearing and, finally, voter approval of any deal."[14]
  • The Yuma Sun endorsed Proposition 110, saying, "The reason the ability to trade land is important, beyond increasing management efficiency, is that this can be used to help protect military facilities around the state and the ranges that they use for training, as well as for conservation purposes. The bases are a major economic benefit to our state."[15]
  • The Arizona Republic was in support, stating, "Voters can say "yes" with confidence to this ballot measure, which is so well drafted that it has support from all sides, including business interests, education groups and conservation advocates who staunchly opposed previous land-exchange proposals."[16]
  • The Desert Lamp stated in an editorial about the measure: "The lack of a public auction is certainly troubling, as it’s not hard to how such an opaque approach could create an incentive for politicians to hatch backdoor deals, but, unlike certain universities whose names I shall not mention, the final say ultimately belongs to the voters whom the land is meant to benefit."[17]


  • Goldwater State was against the measure, stating, "Passage of Proposition 110 is a giveaway to developers, the military, and those who make money off the military's presence at the expense of everyone else. Vote No!"[18]

Path to the ballot

The measure passed by the Arizona House of Representatives on April 21, 2010 and was previously approved by the Arizona State Senate on March 22, 2010. A majority vote is required in the Arizona State Legislature in order to send a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment 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.[2]

See also

Suggest a link

External links

Additional reading

Government documents


  1. Arizona Legislature, "John Nelson"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Arizona Legislature, "Senate Concurrent Resolution 1047"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Arizona Secretary of State, "Publicity Pamphlet", Retrieved September 21, 2010
  4. Arizona Secretary of State, "2010 General Election:Ballot measures"
  5. Tuscon Citizen, "Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry endorses five ballot measures", June 25, 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Arizona Republic, "Arizona's prop. 110 proposal would protect military sites", September 25, 2010
  7. East Valley Tribune, "Voters: Awaken and prepare for heavy-duty ballot propositions", October 10, 2010
  8. Blog For Arizona, "PCDP Ballot Measure Recommendations", Retrieved October 18, 2010
  9. Kingman Daily Miner, "Officials sound off on upcoming propositions", October 14, 2010
  10. Inside Tuscon Business, "Pro-business endorsements from Tucson chamber of commerce", October 22, 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 Morrison Institute, "Understanding Arizona’s Propositions: Prop 110", Retrieved September 3, 2010
  12. 12.0 12.1 Public News Service, "AZ Trust Lands Proposition Would Benefit Conservation, Military", September 16, 2010
  13. Arizona Daily Star, "The Star's recommendations on state, local propositions", October 28, 2010
  14. East Valley Tribune, "Endorsements: Ballot propositions", October 24, 2010
  15. Yuma Sun, "Proposition 110 provides method to protect bases", October 13, 2010
  16. Arizona Republic, "Prop. 301 is a loser; vote 'yes' on Prop. 110", October 7, 2010
  17. Desert Lamp, "The Desert Lamp’s Ballot Proposition Endorsements", October 20, 2010
  18. Goldwater State, "Ballot question summaries and recommendations part 1: Propositions 106-113, the Constitutional amendments", November 1, 2010