Vote Yes on Prop 119

ANALYSIS BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL  

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 119 would amend the Arizona Constitution to allow the state to exchange state trust land for other public land in this state if the following requirements are met:   1. The exchange must be in the best interest of the state land trust.   2. The purpose of the exchange must be to either assist in preserving and protecting military facilities in this state from encroaching development or to improve the management of state lands for the purpose of sale or lease, or conversion of state land to public use.   3. 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 also must 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.   4. 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.   5. A proposed exchange is not effective unless it is approved by the voters at a statewide November general election.

ARGUMENTS “FOR” PROPOSITION 119  

Support State Trust Land Accountability and Transparency   Vote “Yes” on Proposition 119

Proposition 119 provides for accountable and transparent state trust land exchanges by requiring that each exchange be approved by the Arizona voters.   This proposed constitutional amendment, if passed by the voters, authorizes land exchanges between the State Land Department and the Federal Government. The land exchanges can be for two purposes: improving the management of the state lands for the purpose of sale or lease or conversion to public use or for the protecting military facilities   Any exchange will have to be referred to the ballot by the legislature and approved by the voters in order to be consummated. All exchanges must have two appraisals, an analysis, and be vetted at two public meetings. Full and up-front disclosure of the parcels involved is also required, so there will be no surprises regarding which lands are involved.   The voters have been skeptical of past land exchange measures that gave broad open-ended exchange authority to the State Land Department. This measure reigns in that authority and says there must be public involvement and review as well as public support via a vote prior to any exchange. This will help address checkerboard land ownership that hinders protection of wildlife habitat and will help protect state trust lands that are adjacent to some military facilities.   We encourage you to vote “yes” on this important measure.

John Nelson, State Senator, Arizona State Senate, Legislative District 12, Litchfield Park  

Sandy Bahr, Director, Sierra Club-Grand Canyon Chapter, Phoenix

SCR 1001 (Prop 119) – THCC POSITION: SUPPORT

Statement: The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports Prop 119 and believes it is the best interest of the community to allow the state to exchange land to protect the corridors surrounding our military installations. The military provides a huge economic impact on Tucson, Phoenix and Sierra Vista and we encourage the further development of each military base. The exchange of land allows the military to be sensitive to neighborhood concerns regarding noise and traffic and provides a win-win for the citizens of our state.

Lea Marquez Peterson, President & CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tucson  

Tannya Gaxiola, Chairwoman, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tucson

YES ON PROPOSITION 119  

Proposition 119 is Arizona’s opportunity to communicate to the United States Department of Defense that we are serious about protecting and preserving our military bases and facilities. Please vote YES on Proposition 119.   Preserving our system of military bases in Arizona not only guarantees that many of America’s greatest heroes reside in our own communities and become part of the fabric of our future, but also that the military industry continues to be viable here – and that means keeping thousands of jobs and an economic contribution in excess of $9 billion per year.   Proposition 119 allows the Arizona State Land Department to help in preserving military bases and facilities by providing land for those uses, while, at the same time, earning money for public schools and other institutions, which own those lands in Trust.   I participated in drafting Proposition 119, and am pleased to say it honors private property rights, including our precious water rights, through independent appraisals and public hearings. Another significant benefit of Proposition 119 is that it requires all parties involved to engage in thorough and transparent public processes and hearings before any land exchange is undertaken. It is also important to note that EACH proposed land exchange would go to a statewide VOTE. These kinds of exchanges could lead to more thoughtful land use decisions in many Arizona communities.   Please vote “yes” on Proposition 119. It will lead to great things for Arizona.

Maria Baier, Arizona State Land Commissioner, Phoenix

Why you should vote YES:   1. It will HELP OUR MILITARY BASES in Arizona. This year I sponsored legislation that reinforced the legislature’s support of Luke Air Force Base and its efforts to obtain the F-35 fighter mission. It had unanimous legislative support and was recorded as part of the official public record submitted to the military. At many of the meetings I heard the same message….we need to protect the base from encroachment so that the military can do its job. This initiative will provide the necessary tools needed to protect our military bases and facilities throughout the state.   2. The military not only safeguards our state and Country, but it provides a HUGE ECONOMIC BENEFIT to our state. The military facilities in our state provide a positive economic impact of $9.1 Billion and more than 96,000 jobs.   3. Vote YES. You can help Arizona and you can help America. All it takes is your vote.

Debbie Lesko, State Representative, House Majority Whip, Arizona House of Representatives, Glendale

The Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection urges you to VOTE YES on Proposition 119.   This proposition seeks to provide a means to conserve Arizona State Trust lands and create open space buffers around military bases. It includes an amendment to the state constitution to allow land exchanges of State Trust land in order to protect military facilities and properly manage, protect, and use State Trust lands.   Proposition 119 provides an avenue for accountability and transparency to the exchange process, a critical condition to ensure that the citizens of Arizona have a voice in the process. These measures include two independent analyses of lands for exchange, public hearings regarding the exchange, and a statewide vote during general election concerning any proposed exchanges.   When Arizona became a state 100 years ago, the federal government gave Arizona over 10 million acres of land for the benefit of public schools and 13 other state institutions. According to the current Arizona constitution, State Trust land must be leased or sold to the highest bidder, leaving few other opportunities for State Trust lands. Most State Trust land is currently under lease (commercial, grazing, agriculture, or mineral), although to date over one million acres have been sold and developed.   Proposition 119 is good first step to modernize the methods for planning and disposition of State Trust lands. For years, conservationists across the state have been searching for meaningful State Trust Land reform, with the goal of protecting a small sub-set of lands that contain important wildlife habitat, creeks and streams, open space, and recreational and scenic values. This proposition makes a welcomed change to the current method of State Trust land disposal and allows for a continuing discussion regarding how Arizona can best address its land ownership.   We encourage you to VOTE YES on Proposition 119.

Carolyn Campbell, Executive Director, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Tucson

Trevor Hare, Conservation Science Chair, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Tucson

Protect State Trust Lands!

Vote YES on Proposition 119

There are over 9 million acres of state trust land in Arizona and many of them are among the most scenic and environmentally important places in the state. Many of those acres are in a “checkerboard” pattern of alternating ownership, creating very difficult land management issues. Proposition 119 amends the Arizona Constitution to allow the exchange of state trust lands for other public lands with the intention of either protecting military facilities in Arizona by buffering them from development or converting the exchanged lands to public use. This last purpose would help achieve conservation goals such as removing state lands from within national monuments .   With Proposition 119, voters finally have an opportunity to implement a process whereby state trust lands can be exchanged for federal lands in a manner that ensures accountability and transparency . The exchange process will have an open and public process that: identifies all lands that will be exchanged; requires two land appraisals; includes an analysis of the impacts; and requires two public meetings.   Each land exchange must also go to the voters, so the voters have the final say to ensure that an exchange is truly in the public’s interests . This will also help limit the number of exchange proposals.   The Grand Canyon Trust supports this proposal because it is good for conservation and in the best interest of the schools and other beneficiaries of the state land trust.   The Grand Canyon Trust urges you to vote YES on Proposition 119!

Nikolai Lash, Program Director, Grand Canyon Trust, Flagstaff  

Rick Moore, Senior Director of Programs, Grand Canyon Trust, Flagstaff   Support Open and Accountable State Trust Land Exchanges

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports Proposition 119   Few industries have as strong of a positive impact on Arizona’s economy as defense and aerospace. A 2010 Arizona Chamber Foundation policy brief found that private sector defense and aerospace manufacturers account for 37,000 direct jobs that pay average annual salaries of $85,000 (see www.azchamber.com/policy/foundation). These industries depend on the continued operations of military installations throughout the state. Arizona’s five major Army, Air Force and Marine installations and four principal National Guard operations are responsible for over 96,000 direct and indirect jobs. These facilities contribute $9.1 billion in economic output and $401 million in state and local tax revenue according to a 2008 report by the Arizona Department of Commerce.   Simply put, our state has lost almost 250,000 jobs since the beginning of the Great Recession. Although improving, the economy is still fragile. Proposition 119 will help prevent incompatible land use that could put at risk the jobs associated with military bases. For these installations to remain vibrant, they must allow for the full spectrum of military testing and training operations on the ground and in the air. Proposition 119 will ensure they are able to complete their critical missions and remain an integral part of Arizona’s economy for decades to come.   We urge voters to support Proposition 119.

Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix

Doug Yonko, Chairman, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix  

Tucson Metro Chamber SUPPORTS Proposition 119

The Tucson Metro Chamber is a membership-based business advocacy organization that represents more than 1350 businesses in Tucson and Pima County. Small business makes up approximately 85 percent of Chamber membership, reflecting the overall business community.   The Chamber works to develop a climate in which businesses can create jobs in a robust economy. The Chamber supports ballot measures such as Prop 119 that will promote economic development and environmental protection. As Arizona grows, it is imperative that our State has the authority to exchange state trust lands to preserve open space, avoid encroachment on military installations and continue to benefit public education.   The diverse military facilities in Arizona operate within a physical environment uniquely suited to their mission objectives. Combined, they represent a critical component of our nation’s defense. Likewise, Arizona’s military and defense industry generates tens of thousands of jobs, more than $9 billion dollars in economic activity; and hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue. The stability of this employment and tax base is indispensable to the fiscal health of the State of Arizona.   Prop 119 provides for a fair and open process to evaluate which state trust lands are going to be put before the voters for exchange and prescribes a narrow provision of state trust lands subject to this authority. The proposition ensures that the result of any recommended exchange shall continue to benefit public education without any diminution of value.   This measure has broad support from environmental organizations, economic development groups and other business advocacy groups.   Please join us in voting YES on Proposition 119.

Bruce L. Dusenberry, Chair of the Board, Tucson Metro Chamber, Tucson

Michael Varney, Chief Executive Officer, Tucson Metro Chamber, Tucson  

Paid for by Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Proposition 119 creates a constitutional framework to provide future generations of Arizonans to protect the value of state trust lands and to protect Arizona’s valuable military bases from encroaching development.   Voting “Yes” will amend the Arizona Constitution to create a narrow process for state trust land exchanges only if the result of doing so would 1) provide a buffer for military installations from encroaching development; and/or 2) convert the land to public use or if the swap would improve land management, to help sell or lease trust lands.   Proposition 119 protects local communities and state land by ensuring that these land exchanges take place in an open, public and participative environment and one that requires the vote of the people.

Nicole W. Stickler, Phoenix

Statement in Support – Proposition 119   This statement in strong support of Proposition 119 is submitted on behalf of Arizona’s cities and towns, proud partners of the U.S. military and advocates of its presence in our strategically critical state.   Arizona’s cities and towns recognize the vital contributions that our major military installations make to the state and local economies. Collectively, these installations create and support over 100,000 jobs in Arizona and are responsible for nearly $10 billion in total economic output every year. Additionally, Arizona’s military industry generates some $400 million in tax revenues annually.   Even more critical than their economic impact is the role these installations play in maintaining our national security. Our unique facilities provide for unparalleled training, testing and readiness opportunities. Ensuring the mission viability of the state’s military installations remains a top priority for Arizona’s Mayors and City/Town Council members.   The long-term mission viability of a base is one of the most critical factors that the Department of Defense considers when deciding whether to preserve, expand or close a military installation. Proposition 119 helps protect the strength of military bases in Arizona by authorizing the State Land Department to participate in land exchanges to prevent encroachment on a base’s operations without harming private property rights. Proposition 119 also establishes a process to ensure transparency for all land exchanges, including requirements for legislative and voter approval, to guarantee protection of state trust land and private property rights.   The League of Arizona Cities and Towns encourages all voters to support Proposition 119.

Doug Von Gausig, President, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Clarkdale

Mark Mitchell, Vice President, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Tempe  

Vote YES on Proposition 119

The network of military facilities in Arizona comprises an integrated array of bases, testing and training facilities, ranges, and airspace that operate within a physical environment uniquely suited to their individual and combined mission objectives and critical to our Nation’s defense posture. The network is also an essential part of our State’s economy.   The importance of military facilities and operations located in Arizona to the U.S. military cannot be understated: Arizona is distinctively positioned to satisfy the majority of the needs of the Department of Defense for many years to come with our unique network of capabilities, training resources, research, development, test, and evaluation activities.   Arizona’s military industry generates thousands of jobs, more than $9 billion dollars in economic activity, and hundreds of millions of dollars in State and local tax revenue. The stability of employment and tax revenues produced by the Arizona military industry are indispensable to the fiscal health of the State.   Arizona leads the nation in established standards to balance private property rights and compatible land use to protect and enhance the missions and long-term viability of military facilities and operating areas. Proposition 119 further demonstrates Arizona’s commitment to that balance through a transparent exchange process that protects State Trust Land beneficiaries as well as military missions and installations.   Proposition 119 strengthens the partnership among agencies, organizations, and stakeholders at the local, State, and federal levels, with the common goal of preserving the unique and irreplaceable assets of Arizona’s network of military facilities, and ensuring their long-term sustainability as keystones in the nation’s defense and a cornerstone of the State’s economy.   Please join us in voting YES on Proposition 119.

Lisa A. Atkins, Co-Chair, Military Affairs Commission, Litchfield Park

Thomas M. Finnegan, Co-Chair, Military Affairs Commission, Sierra Vista

Support the Airmen, Soldiers and Marines Who Protect Our Freedom   We are collectively urging you to support Proposition 119 on the November ballot. This proposition includes provisions to facilitate State trust land exchanges for the purpose of preservation of the military missions of the State of Arizona. Our constituency, consisting of the citizens and businesses of Arizona, is supportive of these measures to preserve the primary economic engine in our State.   The importance of military facilities and operations located in Arizona to the U.S. military cannot be understated: Arizona is distinctively positioned to satisfy the majority of the needs of the Department of Defense for many years to come with our unique network of capabilities, training resources, research, development, test, and evaluation activities.   As the Presidents and Directors of the State’s military installation support groups, we stand ready to address any questions you may have with regard to the benefit of this change to the State or to the specific benefit to individual installations.   Please join us in voting YES on Proposition 119.

Ron Sites, President, Fighter Country Partnership, Goodyear

Mike Grassinger, President, DM-50, Tucson

Kevin Peterson, President, Huachuca 50, Sierra Vista

Cochise County, the City of Sierra Vista and the Town of Huachuca City Urge You to Vote “YES” on Proposition 119   We are the home of Fort Huachuca’s family of more than 25,000 Soldiers, civilians, contractors and their families. We, and the entire state, benefit directly from the more than $2B in economic activity generated by the Fort. Over the years, we have used all of the tools available to us to help protect the base from encroachment. Proposition 119 will provide us with yet another tool to protect Fort Huachuca’s vital missions.   The long-term mission viability of a military installation is one of the most critical factors that the Department of Defense considers when deciding whether a base is preserved, receives new missions or closes. Proposition 119 helps protect the viability of military bases in Arizona by authorizing the State Land Department to participate in land exchanges to prevent encroachment on military operations without harming private property rights. Proposition 119 also sets up a process to ensure transparency for all land exchanges, including requirements for legislative and voter approval, to guarantee protection of state trust land and private property rights.   We urge you to vote “yes” on Proposition 119.

Rick Mueller, Mayor, City of Sierra Vista, Sierra Vista

Pat Call, District 1 Supervisor, Cochise County, Bisbee

Byron Robertson, Mayor, Town of Huachuca City, Huachuca City

Vote Yes on Proposition 119   It will provide an important tool to support our national security, preserve our military bases as important economic engines, and achieve important land and water conservation objectives by securing healthy buffers around our military bases and ranges. This is a winning situation for all Arizonans.   Critical military testing and training facilities have been in operation in Southern Arizona and Tucson for decades. They have helped make our soldiers, sailors .airmen and Marines the best trained, best equipped, best led and most respected military force in the World. Protecting our ability to conduct military training and testing in Southern Arizona is in our national interest and vital to our national security.   Military assets in Arizona provide an economic impact of over $9 Billion annually and over 96,000 jobs within our State. Preserving the military installations and ranges in Arizona is an essential part of our State economy.   Environmental preservation is fostered through appropriate use of land as a buffer around our military bases and ranges. Additionally, this proposal includes the kind of transparency and accountability that is necessary to ensure that land exchanges are in the best interest of the State trust and the larger public.   Prop 119 provides a fair and open process to evaluate what state trust lands can be exchanged. It requires public involvement and review as well as public support via a vote prior to any exchange.   We are individually and collectively urging you to support Proposition 119 on the November ballot.

Eugene D. Santarelli, Lieutenant General (Retired), USAF, President, S’relli Consulting, LLC, Tucson

Robert Johnston, Lieutenant General (Retired) USMC, Tucson

Ronald E. Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson

Vote Yes on Prop 119

Arizona is uniquely situated because of the network of military installations and ranges that provide necessary training assets for every branch of our military. Arizona has also recognized the stable economic value of the network of military installations in our State of more than $9 billion annually. Arizona’s communities and policy leaders have invested a significant amount of time and effort in adopting policies that protect and enhance military missions so vital to our national defense.   Continued viability of the installations is largely dependent on the ability of the installations to continue without encroachment. Equally important are the test and training ranges, and the access to those ranges.   It is in Arizona’s best interests to keep the missions and installations in Arizona. The best way to protect the network of Arizona military installations and test and training ranges is by passing Proposition 119 to enable the State to use state and federal assets to protect the state and federal assets of the military installations.

R. Thomas Browning, Brigadier General, USAF (Ret’d), Scottsdale  

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