Arizona Secretary of State - Ken Bennett


 
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301 Video Transcript
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Proposition 301 - Video Transcript

Introduction

PROPOSITION 301, LAND CONSERVATION FUND

SECRETARY OF STATE KEN BENNETT: A yes vote on Proposition 301 will 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 the money in the Land Conservation Fund.


"For"
Arguments

MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: Kevin McCarthy is a Proponent of 301. Kevin is President of the Arizona Tax Research Association.

MR. KEVIN McCARTHY: The Arizona Tax Research Association is a statewide taxpayer association, and we're here to urge your support for Proposition 301.

As all Arizonans are painfully aware, the national recession has hit Arizona particularly hard, and it has left our state budget in a chronic budget deficit. Arizona 's state budget has lost over 40 percent of the State General Fund revenue in the last three years alone. We lead the country with the percentage deficits that we face.

The Arizona Legislature has responded to that challenge by cutting spending to the tune of one point one billion. We've raised taxes one point two billion, and in addition to that they have used a variety of one-time revenue sources to try to Band-Aid the budget as the economy recovers.

What you're being asked to do with Prop 301 is to support the use of the one-time revenues that are left in the State Land Conservation Trust. Those monies were originally earmarked to purchase the land and to conserve state trust land.

We urge you to support that because we think that Prop 301 is pretty simple. It's about setting priorities. We can use this money for K-12 schools, universities, low income healthcare, or prison funding, which we think are decidedly higher priorities for the use of state taxpayer money, than to use it to buy open space when we are at the depth of the recession, and we encourage you to support Prop 301. Thank you.

"Against" Arguments

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.



 
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KEN BENNETT
Arizona Secretary of State

© September 2010