Going To Market
Propositions 100 And 102: Two Constitutional Amendments Tweak Our State's Financial Options.
THE LEGISLATURE placed both Propositions 100 and 102 on the ballot. The first is a constitutional amendment which spells out how public retirement-fund contributions can be used by state government.
Currently, there are four state retirement systems--1) public safety personnel; 2) corrections officers; 3) elected officials; and 4) a general program which covers most state employees, university personnel and public-school teachers. Contributions to these four systems are now controlled by state law and court decisions. Passage of Prop 100 would provide one more layer of protection to ensure the money in the funds is not used for improper purposes. At least we hope it does. Vote YES.
Passage of Prop 102 would change restrictions on the method by which the state can invest money from the sale of trust land granted to Arizona by the federal government at the time of statehood. Sale and lease of these vast holdings generate revenues primarily for the public-school system.
Currently, profits from the sale of this land are restricted to buying "interest-bearing securities" like bonds. Under Prop 102, 60 percent of these monies could be invested in stocks, which traditionally have paid a much higher rate of return.
Local attorney Robert Fleming, longtime member of the City of Tucson's Supplemental Retirement System Board, believes both propositions are good ideas. He says 61 percent of the city's fund is currently invested in stocks, and he believes combining stocks and bonds in a portfolio provides a "mix of returns and short-term safety."
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