Road initiative runs out of TIME - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Road initiative runs out of TIME

Prop. 203 joins open-space measure in ballot graveyard

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Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 11:00 pm

Voters will have to wait for another TIME to vote on an initiative to expand roads in the state.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Moving Arizona’s Economy Forward Initiative, or Proposition 203, was removed from the ballot late last month when the Arizona State Supreme Court ruled that a lower court should not review signatures invalidated by state officials.

The measure originally came under scrutiny in mid-August when Secretary of State Jan Brewer disqualified the initiative for failing to collect the proper number of petition signers.

TIME backers argued that many of the nixed signatures were removed on technicalities. 

The measure would’ve increased the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar to raise funds for expanded highways and railway systems.

Proponents of the initiative, or Proposition 203, argue that the state is in need of transportation alleviation and that the $42.6 billion raised over 30 years through the tax would be enough to address the rising population.

Addressing the transportation raised by the measure now goes to the state lawmakers.

“The responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the legislature,” said TIME spokeswoman Katie Hutchinson.

At this point, there are no definite plans on whether the initiative would make an appearance on a future ballot, Hutchinson said.

The initiative raised more than $900,000 in donations as of July 28, according to state campaign finance records.

Supporters of the measure included Governor Janet Napolitano and Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup.

Also axed from the November ballot is Proposition 103, the Conserving Arizona’s Water and Land measure.

The initiative would’ve preserved 580,000 acres of state trust land and provided a classroom funding stream through land planning and management.

Like Proposition 203, the secretary of state removed the open spaces initiative for not having the proper number of valid signatures.

The final count by state officials recorded 210,825 signatures out of the required 230,047 for the open space initiative.

“The verifying process of checking millions of petition signatures is something my office takes very seriously in compliance with the Arizona Revised Statutes,” wrote Brewer on her Web site.

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