Tuesday, September 14, 2010

California November 2010 Propositions

The following very brief discussions, with recommendations, are preliminary. I hope to treat each proposition in more detail, and may change my recommendations on further consideration.

Proposition 19 Legalizes Marijuana Under California but Not Federal Law. Permits Local Governments to Regulate and Tax Commercial Production, Distribution, and Sale of Marijuana. Initiative Statute [link to full text of California Proposition 19]

Recommendation: YES

Comment: Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, and so should be treated about the same way.

Proposition 20 Redistricting of Congressional Districts. Initiative Constitutional Amendment [link to full text of California Proposition 20]


Comment: The state legislature, currently responsible for drawing Congressional districts, has served only the incumbents and their political machines. Giving the job to an independent commission does not guarantee a better job will be done, but at least the opportunity should be there. No more gerrymanders, please!

Proposition 21 Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State Parks and Wildlife Programs. Grants Surcharged Vehicles Free Admission to All State Parks. Initiative Statute. [link to full text of California Proposition 21]

Recommendation: YES

Comment: For me $18 a year more in car tax is not a big deal, but it could be for many Californians. I'd rather fund the parks by getting the U.S. military budget under control, but that is not an option.

Proposition 22 Prohibits the State From Borrowing or Taking Funds Used for Transportation, Redevelopment, or Local Government Projects and Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. [link to full text of California Proposition 22]


Comment: The California Legislature has enough trouble coming up with balanced budgets without more restrictions on how they can allocate the funds that are available. If you don't like the way the legislature allocates taxes and spending, vote out your incumbent.

Proposition 23 Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) Requiring Major Sources of Emissions to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming, Until Unemployment Drops to 5.5 Percent or Less for Full Year. Initiative Statute. [link to full text of California Proposition 23]


Comment: I understand people's concern about the California economy, and the negative effects that high taxes and unecessary regulations can have. However, global warming is the mother of all storms coming right at us, and AB 32 should spur California to become an economic leader in this Age of Global Warming.

Proposition 24 Repeals Recent Legislation That Would Allow Businesses to Lower Their Tax Liability. Initiative Statute [link to full text of California Proposition 24]

Recommendation: YES

Comment: The legislation to be repealed was a corrupt deal. The pre-2008 rules for tax effects of business operating losses were reasonable and fair.

Proposition 25 Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass Budget and Budget-Related Legislation from Two-Thirds to a Simple Majority. Retains Two-Thirds Vote Requirement for Taxes. Initiative Constitutional Amendment [link to full text of California Proposition 25]

Recommendation: YES

Comment: Everyone in the state needs budgets to be passed on time. Changing the budget vote to majority rule encourages, though it does not guarantee, a timely budget. With the majority party clearly in charge, it will be clearer who to blame when the tiny amount of work our legislators really need to get done fails to be completed on time.

Proposition 26 Requires That Certain State and Local Fees Be Approved by Two-Thirds Vote. Fees Include Those That Address Adverse Impacts on Society or the Environment Caused by the Fee-Payer’s Business. Initiative Constitutional Amendment [link to full text of California Proposition 26]

Recommendation: NO

Comment: Passing, or not passing, fees by a legislative majority is the only way to get things done. If you hate a fee, help defeat the incumbents who passed it.

Proposition 27 Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority for Redistricting With Elected Representatives. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute [link to full text of California Proposition 27]

Recommendation: NO, NO, NO!

Comment: In local governments, elected officials are supposed to recuse themselves on votes where they have a self-interest. Elected officials are all very self-interested in the drawing of election districts. In the past the legislature has redistricted mainly to keep incumbents, or their political machines (now that there are term limits) in power. Keep the indpendent redistricting commission!