Proposition 19 – Yes.
I know it’s not written well, and it’ll probably be overturned by federal supremacy. But if it doesn’t pass, it will be interpreted as a mandate against legalization and set the movement back five years minimum.
Proposition 20 – No
This would establish a 14-member non-elected California Citizens Redistricting Commission to take the partisanship out of the Congressional redistricting process and in theory prevent gerrymandering. There would be an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. The problem is that Democratic Party majority states such as Illinois keep passing these reforms while sleazoids like Tom Delay continue to gerrymander to ridiculous proportions in places like Texas and Oklahoma. California has the biggest delegation and this will have an enormous impact benefiting Republicans at the national level. I wouldn’t object so much if similar measures were being simultaneously passed in the red states.
Proposition 21 – Yes
This would restore the vehicle licensing fee amounts to the benefit of the park system by $18.00 per year. As an incentive, the measure also offers free entrance to the state parks. I consider fees of this nature to be regressive taxes, so I tend to oppose them, but this will save the park system.
Proposition 22 – No
The measure would keep municipal redevelopment funds local, which sounds good, but it would deprive the state of the ability to reallocate all of its resources in times of fiscal emergency, and that will be a detriment to everything from state highways to education.
A side note, this measure applies only to cities, not counties. That means if the cities don’t cough up their cash, they’ll take even more from those living in unincorporated areas.
Proposition 23 – Big No!
This is about oil companies freaking out about Assembly Bill 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which imposes enforceable limits on greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. Basically it prevents the act from materializing until the state’s unemployment rate has been under 5.5 percent for a year.
Proponents say that the new regs will kill jobs. Opponents say that California’s infrastructure is at the point where a green boost could actually increase jobs, which runs counter to the prevailing economics narrative of the past 30 years. The argument has taken prominence in the Governor’s race. Is it a job killer, or stimulative? In any case, the oil companies picked a perfect time to push this as everyone is jittery about jobs. But there’s no consensus among economists. Ironically, there are a number of business interests outside of the oil industry which oppose this thing, because investors have been working towards the transition for some time now.
Proposition 24 – Yes
In order to pass a recent budget Democrats had to concede some “reforms” of taxes which allow companies to share tax credits with subsidiaries and related businesses and greatly expanded the ability of businesses to spread credits for losses over many years even those which are profitable. This measure would essentially repeal those provisions and re-establish firm criteria for determining the income of multistate businesses. The estimate is that it will restore 1.7 billion in revenue. The opposition consists of the usual whining that businesses will leave California, but they’ve sung that song for decades now and being on the Pacific Rim, California is going to be a desired business location regardless. Besides, can you attract the best employees if you relocate to Nevada? Who wants to live there?
Proposition 25 – Big yes!
Would put an end to the gridlock which has cost the state billions by reducing the vote threshold to pass a budget and budget related matters from two thirds to a simple majority. Long, long overdue!
As an added perk legislators would lose their salaries on a daily basis until it passes. The losses would not be made up.
It does not, by the way, reduce the two-thirds majority to pass taxes – which would be fine with me.
Proposition 26 – No
This would require a two thirds majority for any local increases in fees, levies, charges, and any revenue not currently defined as taxes. As I’ve said, fees tend to be regressive, but it would make it impossible for local governments to raise money. Think Measure L. It would have failed under Prop. 26.
Proposition 27 – Yes
This would basically dissolve the Redistricting Commission created by proposition in 2008 and restore the responsibility to the legislature – it was the state district version of this year’s Prop 20. I’m not in favor of non-elected panels anyway, and I especially want accountability in something so important. All the same reasons I oppose Prop 20.
Over the weekend I’ll post my candidate endorsements. I may have a surprise or two.
Thanks to John Rogers for this link. It’s a chart of various political organizations from left to right with their ballot prop endorsements.