Phoenix, AZ – Voters will get to decide next year if they want to outlaw
affirmative action programs and any special programs or
preferences for women and minorities.
The Senate gave final approval Monday to a proposed
constitutional amendment to prohibit preferential treatment or
discrimination by government on the basis of race, sex or ethnic
origin. The measure, which already has been approved by the
House, now goes on the 2010 ballot. The plan is aimed at policies
ranging from admissions to the state's two publicly funded law
schools to the set-aside and bid preferences offered by some
cities for minority-owned businesses. Rep. Steve Montenegro said
they have to go.
(It is unconscionable that we are allowing government to
discriminate in these areas of public employment, public
education and public contracting simply because someone has,
their skin color is different or their ethnicity or their race is
different. That's not equal treatment. And if we want to move
beyond race, these are the type of initiatives that we have to
send to the people and have them decide.)
Supporters tried to put a similar measure on the ballot last year
through an initiative drive but failed to gather enough valid
signatures. No one spoke against the measure during Monday's vote
but some organized opposition is expected for the campaign.