Monday, July 16, 2012

The November Ballot Initiatives

This November's ballot initiatives now have numbers assigned. I'm assuming from the way the Oakland Tribune wrote it this is it and no more will be added? Let's take a look at them:

Prop 30- The Governor's tax increase proposal. Sales and income tax increase:

I'm voting NO despite being one who thinks we may well have to raise taxes to balance the budget. The legislature funding the start of the High Speed Rail project was the straw that broke this camel's back, and that's not the only example of the legislature showing no sense of fiscal responsibility. Why give them more money to play with?

Prop 31- Establishes a two year budget cycle:

Yes. Might save some money and makes the budget only a two year headache.

Prop 32- Union and corporate contribution limits:

I believe the Tribune describes this initiative wrong. It says it prohibits unions using members' dues for political campaigns. Unless I'm mistaken, it just requires unions to get the members permission before using their dues for campaigns.

I'll likely vote Yes, although it probably won't amount to much after all is said and done. Everyone can still contribute to campaigns in any number of other ways. I'm not a big believer in campaign finance restrictions, anyway. I suppose I could just stand aside.

Prop 33- Auto Insurance Changes:

"Drivers could switch insurers and keep loyalty discounts, but those who allow their insurance to lapse could face steep hikes."- so says the OT description. Whatever. I'm not sure I like the idea of voters setting insurance rates. I'll sit on this one but I'm leaning towards a No vote.

Prop 34- Replaces death penalty with life without parole:

I helped gather signatures for this one so I'll be voting Yes. Among other things, it will save money.

Prop 35- Enhances penalties for human sex trafficking:

No opposition, yet, according to the OT. One reason is it's so non- politically correct to oppose any increase in penalties for crimes that involve sex in any way. Go public against something like this and you're likely to be accused of child molest or sex trafficking yourself.

Well, let me be one of the first. I'll be voting NO because I'm sick of feel- good laws that duplicate laws we already have and amount to solutions in search of a problem. That's not to say there aren't sex related crimes taking place. We just already have ways to deal with them.

Prop 36- Amends Three Strikes Law:

Changes the Three Strikes Law so that third strike has to be a serious, violent felony to qualify for life in prison. Didn't we already vote on this? I suppose I'll vote Yes, with reservations. Some of these guys should probably spend life in prison even if the third strike isn't violent.

Prop 37- Genetically Modified Foods labeling requirement:

I'm sympathetic with the idea, if only because I like to be able to see what's in food I eat. I don't really care whether it's genetically modified, though. I don't like throwing in with the food labeling hysteria, either. I don't like food producers being asked to add more and more to labels that most people don't even read. I'm leaning toward voting NO or just standing aside. 

Prop 38- Tax increase for schools only:

Molly Munger's counter to the Governor's tax increases. I'll vote NO if only because we have more than enough spending formulas holding our budget hostage as it is.

Prop 39- Tax increase for multi- state businesses:

Gets rid of a so- called loophole where businesses from out of state can choose what method they get taxed by. Seems like just another California anti- business rant to me. Businesses here are already facing what could be substantial tax increases from the cap and trade scheme where they get punished for emissions. I'll likely vote NO unless someone comes up with a compelling reason to do otherwise. It's either NO, or stand aside.

Prop 40- Referendum on State Senate districts:

This would nullify the new districts created by that newly formed redistricting commission. No real benefit from either a Yes or No vote. I'll be standing aside just as I did on the initiative that formed that redistricting commission in the first place.


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