Vote Yes on Prop 110

VOTE YES ON PROP 110

Prop 110 provides a means to conserve Arizona lands and create open space buffers around military bases. Prop 110 amends the State Constitution to allow land exchanges of State Trust land with the federal government in order to protect military facilities and properly manage, protect, and use State Trust lands. All exchanges must be for properties of like value and undergo two independent appraisals, thus ensuring that no revenues are lost that would benefit the Trust’s beneficiaries. The exchanges also must be reviewed by the State Legislature and approved by the voters of Arizona.

Although the U.S. Congress amended the Enabling Act in 1936 to allow for the exchange of State Trust lands, Arizona has never amended its constitution to be in line with federal law. Prop 110 rectifies this discrepancy. Prop 110 provides a transparent public process for land exchanges between the State Land Department and the federal government. These types of exchanges will protect important wildlife habitat and eliminate checkerboard ownership and fragmentation. The strategic consolidation of State Trust lands may also relieve the State Land Department of pieces too small or isolated to manage effectively.

Background

(Source: Arizona Secretary of State Website, Legislative Council Analysis)

In 1910, the United States Congress passed the Arizona-New Mexico Enabling Act, allowing Arizona to become a state. The Enabling Act granted Arizona approximately 10.9 million acres of land, referred to as "state trust land". The state land trust is intended to produce revenue for various public institutions (schools, colleges, prisons, etc.). The state can lease or sell trust land, and the natural products (timber, minerals, etc.) of the land, only to the "highest and best bidder" at public auction.

In 1936, Congress amended the Enabling Act to give Arizona more flexibility in managing and disposing of trust land by allowing the state to exchange trust land for other public or private lands. Arizona did not amend its state Constitution to incorporate that authority for land exchanges. The Arizona Supreme Court has determined that without amending the Arizona Constitution the state cannot conduct land exchanges.

Proposition 110 would amend the Arizona Constitution to allow the state to dispose of (for example, sell or lease) state trust land or interests in trust land or to place restrictions on interests or rights in trust lands, without advertisement or auction, in order to avoid incompatible use of the trust land that would interfere with military installations, facilities, ranges, airspace or operations or to enable military combat readiness and allow full spectrum test and training operations.

Proposition 110 would also amend the Arizona Constitution to allow the state to exchange state trust land for other public land. The exchange must be in the best interest of the state land trust. The purpose of the exchange must be to either assist in preserving and protecting military facilities in this state from encroaching development or for the proper management, protection or public use of state lands. There must be two independent appraisals that show that the true value of the land the state receives in the exchange is equal to or greater than the true value of the trust land the state conveys. There must also be two independent analyses that detail the income to the state land trust before and the projected income to the trust after the exchange, the financial impact of the exchange on each county, city, town and school district in which the lands are located, the physical, economic and natural resource impacts of the exchange on the local community and the impacts on local land uses and land use plans. A detailed public notice of a proposed exchange must be given, public hearings must be held and an opportunity for public comment must be given. A proposed exchange is not effective unless it is approved by the voters at a statewide November general election.

For the full text of Prop 110 and the ballot arguments submitted in support of Prop 110, visit:
http://www.azsos.gov/election/2010/Info/PubPamphlet/english/Prop110.htm

Along with the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, the following organizations and people have endorsed Prop 110:

Arizona League of Cities & Towns
Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Arizona State Land Commissioner Maria Baier
DM-50
Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Fighter Country Partnership
National Federation of Independent Businesses
Senator John Nelson
Sierra Club
Sonoran Institute
The Nature Conservancy
Valley Partnership

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