Senator Chuck Gray Recommends

Conservative Republican and Senator Chuck Gray of District 19 usually puts out a fairly good conservative overview on the ballot measures. Here are his recommendations:

Many have requested my opinion on the ballot initiatives. That’s all this is – my opinion. Hope it helps.

Chuck Gray

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Senator Chuck Gray’s 2008 AZ Ballot Proposition Recommendations

Summary:
Vote “YES” on all 100 series
Vote “NO” on all 200 series
Vote your conscience on Prop 300

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Details of Propositions and My Recommendations:

Proposition 100 – YES
Protect Our Homes Initiative

(Stops future taxes on real property sales)
Explanation: Proposition 100 would amend the Arizona Constitution to prohibit the state or any county, city, town or other political subdivision of the state from directly or indirectly imposing any new tax, fee or other assessment on the sale, purchase, transfer or other conveyance of any interest in real property (such as homes and other real estate). This proposed measure would not affect any tax, fee or other assessment in existence prior to this year.
Recommendation = YES

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Proposition 101 – YES
Health Care Freedom of Choice
(Ensures that Arizona citizens will continue to have the right to choose their own health care plans and services. In other words Government can’t tell you where to go for health care.)
Explanation: Proposition 101 would amend the Arizona Constitution to provide that:
1. No law shall restrict your freedom to choose a private health care plan or system of their choice.
2. No law shall interfere with your right to pay directly for lawful medical services.
3. No law shall impose a penalty or fine, of any type, for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage.
4. No law shall impose a penalty or fine, of any type, on your participation in any particular health care system or plan.
Recommendation = YES

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Proposition 102 – YES
Marriage Amendment
(Provides that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid as a marriage in this state)
Proposition 102 would amend the Arizona Constitution to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.
Recommendation = YES

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Proposition 105 – YES
Majority Rules Initiative
(Prop 105 would require that any ballot initiative that increases taxes, or requires a spending obligation, be approved by a majority of the registered voters in the state. This makes it tougher to pass taxes and other fee increases at the ballot.)
Explanation: Proposition 105 would amend the Arizona Constitution to provide that an initiative measure that establishes, imposes or raises a tax, a fee or other revenue or mandates a spending obligation on a private person, a labor organization, other private legal entity or this state shall not become law unless the initiative measure is approved at the election by a majority of registered voters in the state.
Recommendation = YES

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Proposition 200 – NO
Payday Loan Reform Act
(A “NO” vote will have the effect of capping interest on payday loans at 36% starting in 2010. The 36% cap will become law automatically in 2010 UNLESS Prop 200 passes. Prop 200 will stop those caps from becoming law.)
Explanation: Proposition 200 was written and put on the ballot by the Payday loan industry. The legislature refused to allow the industry to continue charging interest rates as high as 400% and in some case higher on loans after 2010. Prop 200 is the industry?s attempt to write their own law and to override the current AZ Consumer Loan Act cap of 36% APR which will begin to apply to payday loans in 2010. If passed, Prop 200 would stop future caps on payday loan interest rates.
Recommendation = NO

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Proposition 201 – NO
Home Owners Bill of Rights
(Construction is one of Arizona’s largest industries and out of state lawyers know it. They have been trying for years to more easily sue homebuilders. This makes construction in Arizona a goldmine for attorneys.)
Explanation: Prop 201 does the following:
1. Mandates a ten-year transferable warranty on all new homes.
2. Any “prospective” buyer can sue- (you don’t even need to buy a home to sue under this Act.)
3. Forbids mediation, homeowners must hire an attorney and go to court.
4. Builders will not be able to make immediate repairs, forcing buyers to court and wait years for court decisions before repairs can be made.
5. Eliminates the current “loser pays court fees” statutes, encouraging lawyers to go to court and making them the only winners in the process.
6. Too many other negatives to list.
Recommendation = NO

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Proposition 202 – NO
The “Stop Illegal Hiring Act”

(It’s deceptively named – It would gut the current Arizona Employer Sanctions Law and make it almost impossible to stop illegal hiring through prosecution by state officials.)
Explanation: Prop 202 does the following:
1. Prop 202 requires Arizona to wait until the Federal Government has taken action against an employer before the state takes action.
2. Exempts thousands of Arizona employers by requiring Arizona officials to use of the same Federal standards of proof that have not worked in the past.
3. It eliminates the “Silent Witness” portion of the current law. All complaints regarding employer illegal hiring must be written and signed. This stops employees from reporting violations anonymously.
4. It imposes an impossible standard of proof. High-level managers who are not officers or owners could hire illegal aliens with impunity, and would not face any enforcement.
Recommendation = NO

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Proposition 300
Legislative Salary Recommendation to increase Legislator salaries from $24,000 to $30,000
(Putbon the ballot by a commission NOT by the legislature.)
Recommendation = N/A


Comments

  1. I would kindly suggest citizens should question the judgement of any politician who suggests we vote to disfranchise ourselves, as is the case of prop 105. I also see nothing in prop 201 that forbids mediation – where is this specified?

  2. Wooden Teeth says

    Chuck Gray is one solid guy. I wish all solid guys would take a stand on legislative pay. We need legislators who don’t need $32k a year any more than they need $24k. And if they need either, there are others more fit, more successful, and more able to spend their time on public needs rather than their own.

    And if you’re telling folks to vote their conscience on just one issue, what are you saying they should base their vote on with the others?

  3. A problem with 105 is that it binds the hands of the legislature to reform our tax system even when the reform may result in a net tax reduction.

    If supporters think this is a good law, they should push it in the legislature—a better, more flexible option for everyone.

  4. Prop 200 does impose a limit on fees that can be charged for payday loans. If those fees are counted as interest, the maximum APR is 1095%. However, individual transactions are capped at a 15% service charge.

    While that is an extraordinarily high interest rate that most people would not pay, it is not unreasonable for high risk borrowers who are not providing collateral other than a post-dated check.

    The real issue is whether people without good credit histories should be denied legal access to loans suitable for their credit risk. They are not suitable for 36% APR loans because of the risk, so the real choice is whether they should be allowed to (1) borrow at market rates of up to 15% for as little as 5 days, (2) NOT borrow at a 36% APR mandated by state law without a payday loan exception because no sane lender would offer bad credit risks money for even a 36% APR, (3) drive bad credit risks to criminal loan sharks, (4) force banks to provide loans at a 36% APR to people who “need” them (inviting a bank disaster like we have with sub-prime mortgages).

    Keep in mind that most banks charge a 3% cash advance fee to customers they are willing to issue credit cards to. The 15% fee is not out of line for the risks involved with people banks will NOT issue credit cards to. If 1 in every 10 payday loans becomes either unrecoverable or the recovery costs become substantial, it would take a service charge over 11% for the payday loan company to break even without even recovering any of their overhead or making a profit.

    Those opposing Prop 200 are wishful thinkers like those who gave us the sub-prime mess that is now causing an international financial panic. They are trying to deny the fact that some people are high credit risks and think that lenders should ignore those risks or just ignore the high risk people trying to borrow. Driving people into the tender hands of loan sharks and out of a legal system within the purview of the courts and other sources of legal rights will only increase organized crime and corruption in our communities. A person who defaults on a payday lender might go through bankruptcy, but a person defaulting on a loan shark might end up badly beaten up or dead. Plus, a loan shark might “rewrite” the terms of the loan. The borrower has no legal recourse without the risk of threats from professional criminals. A payday lender operates within the legal system and can be taken to court for fraud or reported to the police without serious risk to the borrower.

    The reason that Prop 200 is on the ballot instead of passed by the legislature is that the legislature has dragged its feet. Some legislators are aghast at the “usury” (though I suspect none of those legislators would be willing to give 36% APR loans to borrowers currently served by the payday loan industry – and they would lose money if they did) while others are probably trying to push the payday loan industry to the edge in order to extort more money out of them in either campaign contributions and/or other concessions. Once this proposition passes, the payday lenders will not have to keep begging legislators for permission to operate.

    Note on APR calculation:
    The 1095% is calculated by taking the minimum loan duration of 5 days and dividing that into 365 days per year. That gives 73 periods per year. Multiply that by the 15% maximum service fee and you get 1095%. Of course, if you compound that on a weekly basis, the effective APR is much higher, but rollover loans are prohibited by Prop 200. New loans can be issued only the day after an old loan is paid off.

  5. What a brilliant post.

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