AP: Arizona voters reject two ballot measures, approve three other ballot measures

PHOENIX (AP) -- Projections by the Associated Press show voters have rejected two ballot proposition measures, while approving three others.

Proposition 127

According to projections, voters have rejected proposition Proposition 127, a measure that requires regulated utilities to obtain 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources like solar or wind power by 2030.

Proposition 127 was fiercely opposed by the state's largest utility, Arizona Public Service.

The utility's parent company spent more than $25 million to oppose the measure, arguing it would raise consumer costs by as much as $1,000 a year per customer annually and hurt the reliability of the state's electrical grid.

The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona proposal was backed by solar advocates in Arizona with funding from San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer.

Initiative supporters say Arizona hasn't taken advantage of its role as the sunniest state in U.S. to develop more solar energy. California's Legislature enacted a similar measure in 2015.

Proposition 305

AP is also projecting that voters have rejected Proposition 305, which would expand the eligibility for the state's education empowerment scholarship.

Proposition 305 was placed on Tuesday's ballot after educators collected enough signatures to block the 2017 expansion championed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. Opponents said it would siphon hundreds of millions of dollars from already-underfunded public schools.

Supporters said the expansion would give parents more school choice and boost public education accountability. 

Proposition 126

Meanwhile, Associated Press is projecting that voters in Arizona have approved a ballot measure that bans state lawmakers from imposing taxes on business services, otherwise known as Proposition 126.

Supporters of Proposition 126 said they wanted the ban because taxes on services would hurt economic growth and amount to double-taxation on profits from services that already are subjected to income taxes.

It was opposed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, his Democratic opponent David Garcia and a bipartisan array of interest groups. They argued putting the ban in the state Constitution would handcuff future Legislatures and governors who may need to make adjustments to the state sales tax.

They pointed to the decreasing percentage of the economy that is subject to current sales taxes. 

Proposition 306

Arizona voters have approved a measure that will limit the authority of the state commission that provides public financing to political candidates and give the governor more oversight over the commission.

The changes to state law will allow the governor to reject rules proposed by the members of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and will prevent candidates from spending public funds on political party services.

Proposition 306 was put on the ballot by the Republican-controlled Legislature in its latest effort to mute the commission's power. The independent panel finances candidates who reject private financing and fundraising and enforces campaign finance disclosure rules.

Passage of the measure means that regulations proposed by the bipartisan commission created by voters in 1998 can now be overturned by a panel overseen by the governor.

Proposition 125

The Associated Press is projecting that state voters have approved Proposition 125, a ballot measure that will allow the state to change state pension terms.

Proposition 125 was put on the ballot to approve changes to the underfunded pension systems approved by the Legislature last year.

The current method for calculating those increases in the corrections officer and elected officials retirement plans was hurting the financial stability of the retirement funds by allowing large increases in years the fund earned large returns.

New yearly increases will be pegged to the consumer price index, with a 2 percent increase cap annually.

The plan for elected officials including judges and state lawmakers was closed to new members several years ago. 

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