Arizonans across the state will go to the polls this November for the 2020 General Election. Along with the political candidates that citizens will elect, voters will also have the opportunity to vote on several propositions to become law. Here’s a guide to major propositions that Pima County residents will be asked to vote on
Proposition 207 would legalize and regulate marijuana for the entire state of Arizona.
Specifically, adults 21 or older would be permitted to possess, use or transfer no more than one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at their primary residence. Smoking marijuana in “public and open places” would still be banned.
The proposition would establish a 16% excise tax on marijuana sales to fund public programs, such as community colleges, infrastructure, public safety and public health programs.
Courts would be allowed to vacate and expunge certain marijuana arrests, charges, adjudications, convictions or sentences; citizens convicted with marijuana charges could petition for their expungement beginning July 12, 2021.
The proposition also gives state and local governments power to regulate the sale and production of marijuana by a capped number of licensees.
The interest group leading the campaign in favor of Proposition 207 is Smart and Safe Arizona. The group said the proposition will generate $300 million in Arizona state government revenue, free up law enforcement, provide $100 million a year for community colleges, give $15 million to the Arizona Teachers’ Academy, create thousands of jobs, fund new infrastructure projects and provide $30 million a year for public health programs.
The main opposition group against Proposition 207 is Arizonans for Health and Public Safety. The group said the proposition will lead to greater numbers of kids using high-potency marijuana, more children born with THC in their systems, an increase in impaired drivers, weaker marijuana DUI laws and “a monopoly that rewards marijuana-insiders.”
For more opinions in favor of Proposition 207, check out the following articles:
- “Proposition 207 would correct a historic wrong. Vote yes on recreational marijuana in Arizona” by the Arizona Republic Editorial Board
- “Star Opinion: Prop. 207 would change Arizona forever. Vote 'yes'” by the Arizona Daily Star Editorial Board
For more opinions against Proposition 207, check out the following articles:
- “Never mind Proposition 207's objective to legalize marijuana. The troubles are in the details” by Robert Robb for the Arizona Republic
- “Prop. 207: Will legal marijuana be a smelly problem in the Valley?” by Sonu Wasu for ABC 15 Arizona
Proposition 208 would increase funding for public education for the entire state of Arizona by imposing a 3.5% tax surcharge on 1) taxable income over $250,000 for taxpayers who are single or married but filing separately and 2) taxable income over $500,000 for married persons filing jointly or heads of households.
A “Yes” vote for the proposition would direct the additional revenue to 1) hiring and increasing salaries for teachers and other non-administrative support personnel, 2) career training and higher education pathway programs for high school students and 3) the Arizona Teachers Academy.
Invest in Education is the leading advocacy group in support of Proposition 208. They said the proposition will restore millions of dollars to K-12 education “to solve the teacher-shortage crisis, lower class sizes, hire aides and counselors, and expand career and technical education” by implementing the tax surcharge on Arizona’s top one percent of earners.
Arizonans for Great Schools and a Strong Economy is mounting the opposition effort against Proposition 208. The group warns that there is no accountability for the spending of the funds (no guarantee that they will be used inside the classroom), the tax imposed by the proposition would result in a massive tax increase for small businesses and raise the top marginal income tax rate by 77.7% for those subjected to the proposed tax.
For more opinions in favor of Proposition 208, check out the following articles:
- “2020 Star Opinion: 'Yes' on Prop. 208 'Invest in Ed'” by the Arizona Daily Star Editorial Board
- “Notes from the Chair | Vote YES on Prop 208” by Pima County Democrats
For more opinions against Proposition 208, check out the following article:
- “Jonathan Hoffman: Why Prop. 208 'Invest in Ed' is a bad idea” by Jonathan Hoffman for the Arizona Daily Star
Proposition 481 relates to Pima Community College. It would increase the base factor of PCC’s annual expenditure limit by $11,484,199, for a new limit of approximately $30.6 million.
An expenditure limitation caps the amount of tax-based revenues a local governmental entity can use for operational purposes. This proposition would not increase taxes, but would increase the amount of already collected government revenues that PCC could spend for operational purposes.
According to PCC’s governing board, these funds would allow the college to “continue to support students at the highest level, educate a highly skilled workforce and position the college to jumpstart the economy.”
For more opinions in favor of Proposition 481, check out the following article:
- “2020 Star Opinion: 'Yes' on Prop. 481 for PCC” by the Arizona Daily Star Editorial Board
For more opinions against Proposition 481, check out the following article:
- “Pima Community College Is Being A Bit Underhanded About Proposition 481” by Luis Gonzalez for Arizona Daily Independent News Network
Prop 486 for South Tucson proposes an alternative expenditure limit for the next four years; if passed, this would replace the expenditure limit set by the state. The city would determine the limit yearly after public hearings.
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