Taking Initiative

Here are the texts of key initiatives for which organizers are seeking signatures in Arizona. With the exception of Healthy Arizona 2, Lee Petition Management is working for all of them. The texts were obtained from the secretary of state.

English Language Education for Children in Public Schools

Requires that all public school instruction be conducted in English. Children not fluent in English shall normally be placed in an intensive one-year English immersion program to teach them the language as quickly as possible while also learning academic subjects. Parent may request a waiver of these requirements for children who already know English, are ten years or older, or have special needs best suited to a different educational approach. Normal foreign language programs are completely unaffected. Enforcement law suits by parent and guardian are permitted.

Healthy Children Healthy Families

The Healthy Children Healthy Families initiative uses Arizona's tobacco settlement money to: Provide health insurance for uninsured working parents; Strengthen KidsCare, Arizona's program for uninsured children; Help children start school ready to learn through new efforts for child abuse prevention, prenatal outreach, family mentoring and expanding preschool opportunities; Promote early detection and prevention of cancer, heart and lung disease and strokes; Assist older Arizonans with their health care needs; Protect Arizona's programs for preventing and reducing tobacco use. Let's use tobacco industry payments for health care and prevention for Arizona families.

Healthy Arizona 2

In 1996 voters overwhelmingly passed the first Healthy Arizona Initiative to provide healthcare for Arizona's working poor at the federal poverty level and fund six preventative health programs. Politicians have again failed to carry out the will of the people. This initiative requires that our recent settlement with the tobacco industry -- which will bring Arizona several billion dollars -- be spent on the health of Arizonans, starting with funding 1996's Healthy Arizona Initiative. It circumvents the politicians, returning power to the voters, because three years is too long to wait to see the doctor.

Fair Districts, Fair Elections

This citizen-sponsored Arizona Constitutional amendment will create a new "citizens' independent redistricting commission" to draw new legislative and congressional district boundaries after each U.S. Census. This amendment takes the redistricting power away from the Arizona Legislature and puts it in the hands of a politically neutral commission of citizens who are not active in partisan politics and who will serve without pay to create fair districts that are not "gerrymandered" for any party's or incumbent's advantage.

Taxpayer Protection Alliance

The Taxpayer Protection Act of 2000 will: (1) end all Arizona state and local income taxes over a four year phaseout period; (2) ensure that any new taxes be approved by a majority of voters; and (3) allow voluntary pledges in favor of elimination of the federal income tax and its replacement by a federal sales tax to be placed on election ballots next to the name of all candidates who take that pledge.

Consumer Choice and Fair Competition Telecommunications Amendment

• Updates century-old telephone regulations to encourage consumer choice and competition in telecommunication services and to assure that all consumers and companies are treated fairly;

• Ends state government regulation of rates for local phone services in communities where two or more competing companies offer basic local service, and requires that consumers in those communities who have access to only one company receive the same competitive rates offered other consumers;

• Maintains state authority to set rates in communities served by only one company and allows use of modern rate options, such as rate caps.

Citizens Growth Management Initiative

This initiative would require cities and counties to adopt growth management plans to limit urban sprawl. The plans would have to set urban growth boundaries, limit development and new city services outside the boundaries, require developers to pay for roads and schools to serve new subdivisions, and protect air and water quality. Plans could not be substantially changed without voter approval, and citizens could adopt plans and amendments by initiative. The initiative would also limit wildcat subdivisions, provide for public access to state conservation lands, and amend existing laws to conform them to the initiative.

Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act of 2000

The Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act of 2000 will: (1) ensure that assets forfeited by criminals will be used for drug treatment and gang prevention; (2) mandate harsher punishments for serious drug felons and remove minimum sentences for non-violent drug users; (3) change the punishment for possession of two ounces or less of marijuana from a potential jail term to a fine; (4) make non-violent drug offenders convicted only of simple possession eligible for parole; and (5) establish a system run by the Attorney General for legal distribution of medical marijuana to qualifying patients.

 
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