Monday, October 18, 2010

And The Props Keep Coming! 300's

Prop 301

Prop 301 would move public money from the Land Conservation Fund to the state general fund. There is about $20 million in the Land Conservation Fund. This money was both publicly funded and privately donated specifically for the conservation of state trust land and for implementation of conservations management.

I do not think that now is the right time to be concerned with the conservation of land. Land and environmental issues are a luxury; issues for times of plenty. We are not in those times. It is time to trim the fat and get serious about cutting budgets. And while this prop does not deal with cutting the state budget, it at least moves in the direction of using what we have rather than saving this for conservation purposes, which benefits very few. The environmentalists have a strong hold on this state and I think we should be honest about what’s important right now; environmental issues are not.

Also, I find it suspect that the Arizona Educations Association is against this proposition. What dog does the NEA have in this fight? I can only think of one reason the NEA would want this to fail is that they love taxes and fear that any cut to a budget would come from the education budget. Not that this a long-shot; bureaucrats love to threaten cuts to education so that the people will cry out uniformly, “NO!” and say yes to taxes. Nevertheless, if the NEA is against it, I’m for it.

I’m going to vote Yes on this proposition. The Arizona Tax Research Associations, the state’s only taxpayer organization, supports this prop because it would guard against higher income taxes since the money from the Fund would be accessible for the general fund. I’m for anything that moves in the direction of fewer taxes.

Prop 302

This proposition would terminate the Early Childhood Education Board, which oversees the spending of money collected by an $.80 tax on tobacco products. The money that is currently in the fund would be redirected to the general fund and specifically appropriated for health and human services for children.

As unpopular as this is, I’m voting Yes.

I think there is far too much spending on early childhood education. Although this proposition does not repeal the $.80 tax on tobacco product (which I would love!), it does repeal and terminate the AZ Early Childhood Development and Health Board. I’m always for less government and fewer bureaucrats.

There are several pages of “against” letters on this one. And as far as I can tell they are all people who have a financial interest in keeping the Early Childhood Education and Health Board going. I just can’t help but be dismayed by how much dependence the state government has created with this, and other, programs. It’s sad.

And I’m still voting yes.

With that, I’ve worked through the state level propositions. You’re on your own for judges! I really hope this has helped a few of you.


chandy said...

Is there a payback plan for the takeover of land conservation funds? Do you know if it is a loan or a seizure? It seems to me that if private donors gave money to a certain group or institution, and the state just comes along and takes it for their own use (however badly they may need it) that is basically a fraudulant takeover. I don't consider myself a die-hard environmentalist, but the fact that it is privately donated fudns makes that one sticky for me.

Jessie said...

Chandy, you bring up a good point. I am hesitant to vote for something that seizes private property. But the money was donated to a state fund, which means that the people donating understood the money was now under state control.

I would have liked to have seen a provision in the bill about setting aside the private donations in a trust, and using the state funds for the general fund.

Nevertheless, I still voted for this proposition. We need to use the money we already have. This is like when a family member gives us money for a vacation, but then a refrigerator goes out. So we go to that family member asking if we can use that money to replace our fridge. I see this proposition the same way.

Furthermore, it can be said that all tax moneys are "private"...Right?

Kristi said...

Thank you friend! Again, appreciate this clarification. Now I just need to find my ballot in the stack of mail and tackle it.

Hopefully I haven't missed the mail-in deadline.

I certainly know I'm tired of all the nasty ads on TV.

chandy said...

You'll be happy to know that I voted yes on 301 ;)

Erin said...

Thanks :) Loved reading your thoughts on everything. Thanks for sharing!!