MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: Thank you, very much. Speaking against Prop 301 is Sandy Bahr, Treasurer of No on 301.
MS. SANDY BAHR: Thank you. We ask Arizona voters to please vote no on Proposition 301 and to reject this legislative sweep of the Land Conservation Fund.
Prop 301 proposes to raid the Land Conservation Fund established by the voters' back in 1998. It sweeps the dollars into the general fund where the Legislature appropriates them. Legislators argue that if they can't get their hands on this fund, then they'll have to further cut education. However, Prop 301 would actually harm both conservation and education, which is why teachers and conservationists alike, are opposing it.
The Land Conservation Fund provides a match for communities to conserve important state trust land, including lands in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, Pima Counties , Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, among many others. Dollars can only be used to conserve state trust land, and they go directly into the trust to benefit primarily public schools.
The Arizona Legislature has had many bad ideas over the years, and is frequently out-of-touch with the voters. That's why so often we must resort to the initiative process to advance important issues, such as funding for land conservation, parks and wildlife. And that's also why we the voters, have had to act a safeguard voter approved measure and pass the Voter Protection Act.
The Voter Protection Act is the only reason that Prop 301 is on the ballot. Without it, the Legislature would have already raided the Land Conservation Fund like they have so many others.
Yes, these are tough economic times, but it's no time to ignore our responsibility to future generations by eliminating these dollars. Our children will benefit from both conservation and the dollars these lands generate for the Trust. That's much more than we can count on from the Legislature. Please vote no on 301.
MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: Thank you, very much.