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 also granted Arizona approximately 10.9 million acres of state trust land, subject to certain terms for the management, operation, use and disposition of those trust lands. Proposition 120 would amend the Arizona Constitution to declare Arizona’s sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within the state’s boundaries. Specifically excluded from this declaration are Indian reservations, lands of the United States and federal “forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings” obtained for federal government purposes, as required by Article I, section 8, clause 17 of the United States Constitution. Proposition 120 also would amend the Arizona Constitution to repeal Arizona’s disclaimer of all right and title to public lands within the state (except Indian reservations) and to repeal Arizona’s consent to provisions of the Enabling Act. Proposition 120 would declare that each state possesses full attributes of sovereignty on an equal footing with all other states, as provided by the United States Constitution, and that state sovereignty is fundamental to the security of individual rights, free government and the inherent political power of the people.
ARGUMENTS “FOR” PROPOSITION 120
(I support Proposition 120. When the western territories became states, the federal government violated the enabling acts that incorporated them and retained land within each of the western states in violation of federal law. Federal retention of that land hurts the economy of the western states and leaves them struggling to adequately fund public education, nurture their economies, and manage their forests and natural resources. Simply put, federal control and interference in state affairs inhibits Arizona’s ability to provide for the welfare, health and safety of our people. The EPA threatens to close coal-generating power plants with excessive regulations. Closing these plants will result in higher utility costs for everyone. We can’t build a bridge or perform needed flood control activities because of interference from numerous federal agencies. We experience catastrophic forest fires, loss of wildlife habitat, threats to community watersheds, and loss of jobs, all of which affect the economy everywhere in the state. When the federal government mismanages our forestlands, the state cannot intervene. Roads are being closed and citizens denied access across federal lands. It takes years to obtain mining permits from the federal government, and some areas are closed to mining all together. As a result, Arizona loses billions of dollars that could be used to fund education and address other budget concerns. Meanwhile, our abundant natural resources remain under the control of unelected federal bureaucrats. Arizona is a sovereign state, and we have a right to control the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife, and other natural resources within our boundaries. Passing Prop 120 would be a small but important step in asserting our state rights and a rejection of the archaic colonial control by the federal government. I SUPPORT PROP 120 .)
Sylvia Allen, State Senator, Arizona State Senate, Candidate for Navajo County Board of Supervisors, District 3, Snowflake
Proposition 120/ HCR 2004 “…and they [Congress] may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual states, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter therefore will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way.” This “conspiracy theory” is not from talk radio. It was written, presumably by Robert Yates in October of 1787 as part of an effort to convince Americans that this newly written document could be abused. The Constitution of the United States allows for certain properties for the federal government. (1) To establish Post Offices and post roads (I, §8, Clause 7), (2) the Seat of Government (3) and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature (4) for the Erection of Forts, (5) Magazines, (6) Arsenals, (7) dock-Yards, and (8) other needful Buildings (i.e. Court buildings). Article IV, § 3, Clause 2 and the Fifth Amendment referring to “public purposes” apply ONLY to those ends. The Fifth Amendment was never meant for States, counties or cities to steal private land from one for the private benefit of another. Congress has NO authority to establish a National Forest Service or National Park Service and all land inside Arizona belongs to the citizens of Arizona. While I urge people to take back our land and vote YES on this proposition, I also urge that citizens recoil from the selling of the forests and lands around our Grand Canyon State Park and other parks to private interest.
Glen C. Davis, Williams
Farm Bureau Supports a “Yes” Vote on Proposition 120 Arizona Farm Bureau supports Proposition 120. Farmers and ranchers understand both stewardship and productivity of the land and our natural resources. In the last ten years, we have had devastating forest fires, followed by damaging floods. The machinery of federal bureaucracy slows and in some cases stops recovery and re-use. Our members, along with many others have become frustrated and inflamed over the federal mis-management of our public lands. Proposition 120 draws a line and throws an anchor out to exhibit we are at wits end. It begins with our forests and federal stewardship and runs to how the government functions as a landlord. Certainly, Proposition 120 requires further action by Congress, but so does any other measure necessary for course correction. We hope this message ignites and sustains a dialogue to lead to meaningful reform in federal policies and programs.
Kevin G. Rogers, President, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Gilbert
James W. Klinker, Chief Administrative Officer, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Gilbert
Freedom requires being sovereign. Our federal Constitution established two systems for separation of powers to preserve our liberty. Unfortunately only the separation of the three branches of government is reported. Equally important is the separation of powers between federal government and sovereign states. States gave limited authority for the federal government under our Constitution. All powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people . Prop 120 is an Arizona constitutional amendment to re-establish this necessary constitutional separation/balance of power to protect our liberty and civil rights. It declares our public lands and natural resources, are under our sovereign control, as provided in the NW Ordinance of 1787 and SW Ordinance of 1790 for the admission of states, excluding Indian lands and lands under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Over the last century, the separation between federal and state powers has been eviscerated. Without Senate accountability to our legislatures we are the recipients of unfunded federal mandates and restrictions which take our civil constitutionally guaranteed rights under the guise of giving us a faux benefit we can’t pay for. This abuse is demonstrated by; the denial of century old water rights for Tombstone; denial for Arizona to manage Arizona forest lands resulting in devastating fires; denial of Arizonans to commercially and environmentally regulate our own natural resources; and denial to protect our citizens at the border . In 2009 we caught 29,000 illegals from terrorist designated countries ! What better stewards are there of our land and safety, than the citizens that live with their decisions? When the Feds screw up – they have no consequences – but we do! The feds propose “anti-bully” rules for our schools but what we need is an anti-federal bully rule. We the people Vote for Prop 120!
Proposition 120: A measure to establish Arizona’s Sovereignty over its natural resources If passed, this proposition will provide Arizona with the same authority over its own natural resources enjoyed by other states. It will grant the state the ability to more effectively protect and harness the economic potential stored in the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within the state. Proposition 120 will increase Arizona’s ability to use federally held land: Currently, Arizona exercises control of only 29% of the land held in our state. This puts the state at a disadvantage compared to other states as we seek to fund public services that are essential to ensuring our economic solvency and infrastructure needs. The proposition contains a declaration of full sovereignty over lands and resources within Arizona as a new section to the Arizona Constitution, on the basis of maintaining “Equal Footing” with other states. Proposition 120 will allow the state to improve the management of Arizona’s natural resources: Since 2001, over two million acres of Arizona’s forests have burned due to irresponsible federal management. (Recently, federal land management has threatened the future water supply and very existence of the historic town of Tombstone.) The proposition gives Arizona exclusive sovereignty over all state territories and resources, except for Indian reservations and lands ceded to the United States, such as military forts and installations. As Arizona’s population continues to grow, it is imperative that the state be allowed to manage its own land and benefit from the wealth of its resources. The continued vitality of our state will depend heavily on our ability to exercise our authority over the natural wealth currently being denied us.
Chester Crandell, State Representative, Arizona House of Representatives, Heber
Ranching Families Support Prop 120
The federal government has already failed Arizona…if the catastrophic forest fires have not been enough….Just watch what they have planned for the water in Arizona. The federal government claims jurisdiction over everything it desires in Arizona – the animals, the water, and the lands. Proposition 120 provides all of Arizona’s citizens the opportunity to assert their opinion of whether or not we in Arizona or the federal government bureaucrats in Washington care more about our animals, water and lands. The fact is – we in Arizona care more. Please vote YES on Proposition 120!
Norman J. Hinz, President, Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association, Phoenix
Patrick Bray, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, Phoenix