VIA SBINSIDER November 22nd
Lawmakers wanted to gut the Voter Protection Act with a Proposition 128 — and who could have guessed that voters would really not like that idea? The Voter Protection Act, which failed, essentially says that the Legislature can’t subvert or repeal anything that voters have approved at the ballot. And one Proposition 128 would’ve seriously undercut that protection. It failed by like 30 percentage points, which was a devastating loss.
Voters were a little bit more open to the idea of requiring initiatives that increase taxes to pass with 60% of the vote when they approved Proposition 129. Sixty percent is a pretty tall order. Very few initiatives, let alone tax increase initiatives, receive 60% of the vote. But from here on out they’ll have to to become law — and it’s going to make it really hard to pass tax increases in Arizona. Remember, the Legislature also needs kind of a super majority threshold to increase taxes in the state.
Disabled Veterans with less than 100% disability can now apply for property tax relief. This used be Arizona law but was overturned on 14th Amendment grounds. The Assessors pushed for this to be on the ballot for a decade and starting in 2023, veterans with service related injuries can present their Veterans Administration award letters to the Assessor’s office and if they meet the income and home value limitations, can get a reduction in proportion to their injuries.
Proposition 131, which passed, creates a new political position — lieutenant governor. This means that gubernatorial candidates will be running on a ticket from here.
Think of it kind of like the vice president. Right now, the vice governor of Arizona is essentially is the secretary of state. If our governor dies or gets impeached or resigns for any reason, the secretary of state takes over and those people are independently elected. They may not be of the same political party.
When Janet Napolitano left Arizona in 2009, Jan Brewer took over. We switched the governor’s party in a second there. So, this allowed the governor to pick their No. 2, which is probably not a bad idea for the sake of stability and continuity.
We’ll still have a secretary of state. They just won’t be second in line for the governorship.
Proposition 132, which narrowly passed, requires all initiatives to be about one subject only. And the idea is you can’t throw several different totally unrelated things into one initiative, forcing people to maybe vote for something they hate in order to get something they like.
It’s not really clear how that will play out in practice, and initiative backers worry that this will lead to the courts invalidating all sorts of initiatives that are really aimed at one central topic simply because they touch on multiple provisions of the law.
Proposition 209 and Proposition 211
The propositions targeting dark money and another aimed at predatory debt collection were both approved by just really massive margins by voters. And these were both initiatives not coming from the Legislature. Both of these are something the Legislature never would’ve done, but the voters really wanted to happen. We always knew that outlawing dark money would be a slam dunk. Voters hate dark money, but the courts have thrown several previous iterations of that initiative off the ballot for various technical issues. So when it finally made it, it was a slam dunk.
The same thing with predatory medical debt collection initiative. That’s just wildly popular with the voters. Lawmakers wouldn’t do it, but voters did it themselves.
That one was the biggest surprises because of all the things lawmakers have tried to do with so-called election integrity in the last couple years. This one was relatively tame.
It would’ve required voters to write their driver’s license number or last four digits of their Social Security on their mail and ballot. Right now, you just have to sign it, date it. And as the Washington Post recently noted, that is the first time in the last decade that a state, any state has rejected tougher voter ID laws.
Usually when asked via pollsters … 70, 80% of voters will say, yes, we need tougher voter ID laws. So the fact that this one narrowly failed is pretty shocking.