Are school vocational programs failing some students with special needs?
Arizona Election Results: Arizona Propositions
Results for Arizona's ballot measures.
Arizona voters have approved a measure that allows the state to adjust how pensions are dispersed for retired correctional officers and elected officials.
The measure was based on legislation, passed by the Arizona House and Senate with bipartisan support. Instead of their payouts being determined by investments, retirees will now receive yearly cost-of-living adjustments, set by the regional consumer price index.
Officials from the retirement system say this will save taxpayers millions of dollars and provide greater financial stability to the pension system. A similar measure was passed for public safety pensions in 20-16, with 70 percent of voters approving that change.
Arizona voters have approved a ballot measure launched by the Arizona Association of Realtors that prohibits the Legislature from taxing business services.
Supporters of Proposition 126 said they wanted the ban because taxes on services would hurt economic growth and amount to double-taxation on profits from services that already are subjected to income taxes.
In 2016, the state Legislature took up the idea of taxing services in order to broaden the revenue stream for the state. That bill died in committee.
The Arizona Realtors Association took note and decided to push forward Prop 126 to prevent any kind of service tax in the state, saying realtors and other service-based businesses would be negatively affected. Both candidates for governor and state treasurer spoke out against the ballot measure, but Arizona voters have spoken out against any new service taxes.
The measure prevents officials at the state, county and city government levels from imposing new or increased taxes on services not already in effect by Dec. 31, 2017.
It was opposed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, his Democratic opponent David Garcia and a bipartisan array of interest groups.
They argued putting the ban in the state Constitution would handcuff future Legislatures and governors who may need to make adjustments to the state sales tax.
They pointed to the decreasing percentage of the economy that is subject to current sales taxes.
Arizona voters have rejected a measure requiring regulated utilities to obtain 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources like solar or wind power by 2030.
The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona proposal was backed by solar advocates in Arizona with funding from San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer.
The race to green Arizona ended up being all about another kind of green. It was the most expensive ballot measure in the state’s history.
Steyer poured millions into the proposed constitutional amendment — one that was fiercely opposed by the state's largest utility, Arizona Public Service. A group backed by the utility fought the measure, spending millions of dollars on ads, and rounding up a wide coalition of opponents.
The utility's parent company spent more than $25 million to oppose the measure, arguing it would raise consumer costs by as much as $1,000 a year per customer annually and hurt the reliability of the state's electrical grid.
Over the course of the election, voter support for the measure eroded and it was ultimately defeated handily. Despite the outcome, proponents of the measure say it signals Arizona’s support for clean energy, even if this particular plan fell short.
Initiative supporters say Arizona hasn't taken advantage of its role as the sunniest state in U.S. to develop more solar energy. California's Legislature enacted a similar measure in 2015.
Arizona voters rejected an expansion of the state’s school voucher program.
The referendum validated the efforts of grassroots organizers in Save Our Schools Arizona and the more than 100,000 people who signed petitions to put the issue on the ballot.
Proposition 305 would have expanded Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account Program to make all students eligible with participation capped at 30,000.
Right now, the program allows parents of children in specific groups to pull them from public school and receive about 90 percent of the funding to seek an alternative education.
ESAs are open to students with disabilities, in schools with a D or F rating, foster care, with parents in the military, parents who are legally blind, deaf or hard of hearing and living on Indian Reservations among other groups.
A recent report from the Auditor General’s office released last month found lax oversight allowed ESA parents to misspend $700,000 meant to support their child’s education.
Arizona Superintendent Diane Douglas attributed the problems to a lack of funding designated by the legislature.
“We have been grossly underfunded,” Douglas said in an interview after the report was released.
Karye Perez was at the Republican election watch party at the DoubleTree hotel in Scottsdale with her 7-year-old daughter Eliana. She started out homeschooling her children, but applied to the ESA program about a year and a half ago.
“We’re blessed because of it,” Perez said.
Despite her support for the program overall, she joined more than 822,000 Arizonans in voting no on Proposition 305.
“I’m all for it but I want it to be able to be... broader," Perez said.
A two-pronged ballot measure that changes election rules has passed. Rules from the bipartisan Citizens Clean Election Commission are now subject to oversight from a partisan board selected by the governor.
Democrats pushed for voters to strike down Proposition 306, as they didn’t want the Governor's Regulatory Review Council to have a say over election rules, particularly those tied to the mandatory disclosure of campaign donors. The second part of the measure had bipartisan support.
With this voter approval, publicly funded candidates can no longer buy services from a political party or partisan organization.