More in our Ballot Propositions/Voter Initiatives Forum Discussion
Proposition 19: legalizes recreational marijuana use. Proposition 19, also known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 -
If approved by voters, will legalize various marijuana-related activities, allow local governments to regulate these activities, permit local governments (but not the state government) to impose and collect marijuana-related fees and taxes and authorize various criminal and civil penalties.
Proposition 20: adds Congressional reapportionment to the authority of the citizens redistricting commission created by Prop 11 of 2008 - voters first Act for Congress -
Official summary: Removes elected representatives from the process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to the recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission. Redistricting commission is comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four voters registered with neither party. Requires that any newly-proposed district lines be approved by nine commissioners including three Democrats, three Republicans, and three from neither party.
Estimated fiscal impact: Probably no significant change in state redistricting costs.
The Congressional Redistricting Initiative, if approved by voters, will:
Ballot language was filed by Charles Munger. He was a supporter of Proposition 11 in 2008, which created a new way for political districts to be drawn for California's state legislators and its state Board of Equalization.
A competing initiative that may also qualify for the November 2 ballot, the Financial Accountability in Redistricting Act, seeks to repeal Proposition 11.
If this initiative does not succeed, the next Governor of California and members of the California State Legislature will, as before, choose how to draw lines for however many U.S. Congressional districts California is determined to be entitled to after the 2010 census. Estimates are that California will have somewhere between 52 and 54 seats in congress after those census calculations are completed.
From 2000 to 2010, the population in California has undergone a major shift eastward, with people moving to California's inland areas from its coastal enclaves. This means that California's congressional district boundaries will certainly undergo major upheaval after the 2010 census. As one example, the San Francisco Bay Area grew less than 1% since the last redistricting, while the Central Valley area has grown by 21%. Los Angeles County has grown 5%, while San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties have grown by 17%. Another notable factor is that California's population hasn't grown, relative to the population of the rest of the United States, and may even have proportionally shrunk. California may even lose one or two seats.
BOTTOM LINE - WE WANT TO BE IN CHARGE OF OUR DISTRICTS. INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS, NOT THECALIFORNIA STATE LEGISLATURE, SHOULD MAKE THESE DECISIIONS.
Funding for State Parks Initiative Prop 21
Proposition 21 -
A. Imposes a $18.00 VLF ( vehicle lic fee) on ALL California Car Registrations as well as motor cycle, and boat fees etc. The purpose is to create a "Trust Fund" (piggy bank) For the State Park System. It purports to provide free day use of the State Parks, if the initiative is passed.
B. Imposing a fee or TAX on everyone that registers a vehicle in California whether or not they use the park isn't right or prudent.
C. Given California's' notorious financial problems, creating a trust fund under the cloak of keeping the parks open and FREE, is an invitation to the powers that be, to raid the fund when they are in a jam, instead of curtailing spending. TheCalifornia recycling program is a prime example of this type of reckless spending.
D. California Parks have a 1 Billion dollar backlog in maintenance and repairs. I am sure there is a long list of Union Companies that stand to benefit from this new fee. This proposition if passed uses 1 percent of the revenue for "administrative and oversight" costs, also establishes a "Citizen Oversight Committee". We have no idea what kind of cronyism will be going on if this is passed.
E. and last but not least, the backers of this prop has heavy Union Backing. Nurses, Teachers, California NAACP, Seirra Club, Tree Huggers INTL. <-------(that wasn"t a joke), Casa Nicaraugua, Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment just to name a few. It is a Progressives dream.
Proposition 22 - Ballot title: Prohibits the State from Taking Funds Used for Transportation or Local Government Projects and Services. Bars state government from taking, borrowing, shifting or restricting use of tax revenues dedicated by law to fund local government, community redevelopment or transportation projects -
The goal is to "wall off" money in local government budgets from the state government. The initiative would prohibit the state from taking local government, transit and transportation funds. Proposition 1A in 2004 and Proposition 1A in 2006 allow the state government to borrow from some categories of local funds during fiscal emergencies.
Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities, says of the current system that it is "unsustainable, and we want to make sure that local services are not sacrificed because of the inability of state leaders to manage the state budget."
Under the proposal, the state would not be allowed to borrow or take revenue derived from locally imposed taxes, such as hotel taxes, parcel taxes, utility taxes, and sales taxes. These local taxpayer dollars are dedicated to cities, counties, special districts and redevelopment agencies and are used to fund public safety, emergency response, and other local government services. Local public transit and transportation funds, including funds from the Proposition 42 gas tax, HUTA gas tax. Also, if the ballot proposition is approved, when a local government entity sues the state government under the law and wins, the state comptroller must automatically appropriate the funds needed to pay to that local government the funds that the court has decided it is owed.
Official summary: Prohibits the State from shifting, taking, borrowing, or restricting the use of tax revenues dedicated by law to fund local government services, community redevelopment projects, or transportation projects and services. Prohibits the State from delaying the distribution of tax revenues for these purposes even when the Governor deems it necessary due to a severe state fiscal hardship.
Estimated fiscal impact: Significant constraints on state authority over city, county, special district, and redevelopment agency funds. As a result, higher and more stable local resources, potentially affecting billions of dollars in some years. Commensurate reductions in state resources, resulting in major decreases in state spending and/or increases in state revenues.
Quick info on Prop 22 - It very much favors urban areas. For rural counties it will concentrate monies in the cities and leave the county areas where many people live without resources. In southern CA it's probably not an issue but northern CA will be dramatically affected. Most of our populations live outside city limits and now they won't be able to use monies for projects.
I looked today and did not find anything updated from the text I have been through. I find most people are for it, the League of Women's Voters are staying neutral on the issue. There was a law suit filed by backers because they don't feel like the phrase, "local government" was used enough.
From Walnut Creek organizer:
I thought you might want to forward this info to the person or group that studied prop 22. It sounds like we may be duped if we vote yes on this proposition. I'm thinking we need to vote no. Please pass this info on and consider it before you take a stance on this. thanks.
I rarely read Tom Barnidge's column in the Times but his August 4 column lauding the $12 million dollar bridge over Treat Boulevard caught my eye. Unfortunately Barnidge missed the real story about this unneeded bridge.
The real story is that the bridge was built with county Redevelopment Agency funds. Where does that agency get its money? It siphons off property tax dollars that should be going to schools, fire, police and other necessary government agencies.
Redevelopment Agencies (RDAs) control about 30% of urbanized land inCalifornia. 12% of all property taxes are seized by these agencies. Statewide that amounts to $65 billion annually in funds diverted from counties, cities, school, fire and police districts.
Now let's go back to the Treat bridge. I was a member of the 2002-03 Grand Jury where we did an investigation of the Pleasant Hill BART Station county redevelopment area. Please take time to read that report at http://www.cc-courts.org/_data/n_0038/resources/live/0306rpt.htm.
Among the conclusions was: "The expenditure of some $4 million for a bridge over Treat Blvd. is improper. Whatever the increase in pedestrian or bicycle traffic, the building of the bridge is not an appropriate use of redevelopment dollars". And, of course, the Grand Jury recommendation was, "Do not proceed further with plans to build the bridge over Treat Blvd".
The stated reason for the bridge back in 2003 was that it would increase bicycle and pedestrian traffic into the BART station and increase BART ridership. The agency admitted that it had a consultant's report that said the bridge would not do that. When queried why they were building the bridge in the face of that report, the response was, "because we can".
That comment illustrates the arrogance of RDAs. They are largely unsupervised and can do whatever they want with impunity.
According to Barnidge, the final cost of the "bridge to nowhere" is $12 million. Just think what schools or fire or police districts could do with that.
With the miserable performance of RDAs and their seizing of billions of property tax dollars that should be used for essential services, we can't let that happen. Those dollars should be available for those essential services, not unnecessary and expensive bridges.
Barnidge closed his column with this comment about the bridge, 'A government project that the public likes'. Too bad he didn't follow Paul Harvey's lead and tell the rest of the story.
Local city diverts public monies to CRA. Another reason to OPPOSE Prop 22.
In case you have not read about this Oakley situation, here is Katy Grimes account:
I know it is a tough one, but this prop is designed to confuse us into thinking we should support it. Please check this link out that a patriot sent me. It spells out exactly what the dangers are in this bill and there are many!!! Go to this link and see for yourself. Chuck DeVore also single handedly changed the GOP stance on this prop.
For more backup re: No on 22 - the most outspoken guy on this is
Assemblyman Chris Norby, and I plan to attend his conference in October.
Proposition 23: rolls back AB 32, the states landmark greenhouse gas emissions law, until the states unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters -
AB 32 was enacted in 2006. The goal of AB 32 is to cap state-created greenhouse gases by 2020, based on 1990 emissions. Steps taken under AB 32 include retrofits on diesel engines and new devices on gas pumps. AB 32 has been described by the Wall Street Journal as "theGolden State's version of a cap-and-trade carbon tax."
Arguments made against AB 32 include:
AB 32 is likely to become a factor in California's 2010 gubernatorial election. This is because the next Governor of California, by the terms of AB 32, has the power to suspend AB 32 regardless of whether the initiative passes.
Meg Whitman has said that she would act to freeze AB 32 for a year or more. - Jerry Brown says that he would support "adjusting" some features of AB 32 but that he generally supports it and would not suspend it.
Jim Kellogg, secretary-treasurer of the State Building & Construction Trades Council says, "I don't doubt that there will be more green jobs inCalifornia, perhaps even thousands of them; however, we don't want to put at risk the millions of well-paying, blue-collar jobs that put bread on the table right now. We need to make sure we do our homework, ask the tough questions and make adjustments as necessary to implement AB 32 in a way that reduces greenhouse gases without hurting millions of families in this state.
The California Manufacturers & Technology Association. A spokesperson said that if AB 32 is implemented as planned, it would be the "death knell for scores of manufacturing jobs.
When AB 32 was signed, the unemployment rate in California was 4.8%. In January 2010, California's unemployment rate had crept over 12% and 2.25 million Californians were unemployed. In March 2010, it was learned that 8 of California's 58 counties have an unemployment rate exceeding 20%. The last time that the unemployment rate in California was below 5.5% was in 2007. Since 2001,California has lost 34% of its manufacturing jobs
BOTTOM LINE - BUSINESSES IN CALIFORNIA ARE SUFFERING UNDER THE BURDEN OF AB32. WE HAVE SEEN SEVERE JOB LOSSES AND BUSINESSES LOCATING TO FRIENDLIER STATES BECAUSE OF THIS ONEROUS LAW. LET'S CREATE A JOB FRIENDLY, BUSINESS FRIENDLY ENVIORNMENT NOW SO THAT WE CAN AGAIN CREATE A VIGOROUS CALIFORNIA ECONOMY.
Proposition 24: repeals recently enacted corporate tax breaks letting businesses carry back losses, share tax credits, and use a sales-based income calculation to lower taxable income.
BOTTOM LINE - DO WE REALLY WANT TO ENCOURAGE MORE BUSINESSES TO LEAVE AND GO TO ANOTHER STATE THAT IS MORE BUSINESS FRIENDLY?
Proposition 25: Reduces legislative vote requirement to pass a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. California Proposition 25, the Majority Vote for the Legislature to Pass the Budget Act -
Official summary: Changes the legislative vote requirement necessary to pass the state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. Provides that if the Legislature fails to pass a budget bill by June 15, all members of the Legislature will permanently forfeit any reimbursement for salary and expenses for every day until the day the Legislature passes a budget bill.
Estimated fiscal impact: Unknown changes in the content of the state budget from lowering the legislative vote requirement for passage. Fiscal impact would depend on the composition and actions of future Legislatures. Minor reduction in state costs related to compensation of legislators in years when the budget bill is passed after June 15.
BOTTOM LINE - THE LEGISLATURE IS SPENDING TOO MUCH OF OUR MONEY NOW. IF WE GIVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE IT EASIER ON THEM, THEIR SPENDING HABITS WILL ONLY GET WORSE.
Proposition 26: Increases legislative vote requirement to impose state levies and charges from a simple majority to two-thirds.
California Proposition 26, or the Supermajority vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees Act. Increases legislative vote requirement to two-thirds for state levies and charges, with limited exceptions. Changes Constitution to require voters to approve, either by two-thirds or majority, local levies and charges with limited exceptions.
Estimated fiscal impact: Potentially major decrease in state and local revenues and spending, depending upon future actions of the Legislature, local governing bodies, and local voters
The proposed initiative would require a two-thirds supermajority vote in the California State Legislature to pass many fees, levies, charges and tax revenue allocations that under existing rules can be enacted by a simple majority vote. Supporters of the initiative call it the Stop Hidden Taxes initiative, because they believe that fees, levies, and so on imposed by the California government amount to taxes, and should therefore require the same supermajority vote required to enact income or sales tax increases. According to Allen Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, "The Stop Hidden Taxes initiative will prohibit politicians from using a loophole to raise even more taxes by disguising them as fees. Right now, elected officials at the state and local level pass higher taxes by labeling taxes as "fees" so they can pass or increase them with a 50% vote instead of the two-thirds required by law - and in the case of many local taxes, enact them without a public vote. We need theStop Hidden Taxes initiative to close this loophole. Higher taxes and fees make it more difficult for businesses to stay in California - the very businesses that employ Californians, create jobs and generate revenue for our state. Increasing employment and growing the economy are crucial to California's recovery.
The California Tax Reform Association is one of "an array of good-government and environmental groups, who see the latest proposal as simply a vast corporate loophole. They angrily contend that companies cloak themselves as the defenders of jobs and fairness, when in fact they are gaming the system to maximize profits.
BOTTOM LINE - LET'S NOT MAKE IT ANY EASIER FOR THE LEGISLATURE TO PILE ON MORE TAXES UNDER THE GUISE OF FEES. THIS NEEDS TO STOP.
Proposition 27: eliminates citizens redistricting commission created by Prop. 11 of 2008, putting all reapportionment authority back in the Legislatures hands. -
California Proposition 27, Elimination of the Citizen Redistricting Commission - Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority for Redistricting with Elected Representatives.
Official summary: Eliminates 14-member redistricting commission selected from applicant pool picked by government auditors. Consolidates authority for establishing state Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization district boundaries with elected state representatives responsible for drawing congressional districts. Reduces budget, and imposes limit on amount Legislature may spend, for redistricting. Provides that voters will have the authority to reject district boundary maps approved by the Legislature. Requires populations of all districts for the same office to be exactly the same.
Estimated fiscal impact (summary): Likely decrease in state redistricting costs totaling several million dollars every ten years.
If approved, this measure will repeal California Proposition 11 (2008), which authorized the creation of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. It would also modify the provision in California law that says that proposed congressional districts can't be subjected to a veto referendum.
According to political journalist Shane Goldmacher, Democratic political strategists say that this initiative can be seen as a political tactic to defeat the Congressional Redistricting Initiative, which is likely to be on the November 2, 2010 ballot: "Democratic political strategists say the best way to ensure a 'no' vote this fall on the congressional [reform] measure]] is to confuse the public further with a second ballot measure on the already head spinning topic of political line drawing.