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Summary of Propositions Nov. 2018

Summary of the California Ballot Propositions November,2018

Spending and Taxes

The people of California have legitimate concerns about the spending habits of their legislature. That’s why the state constitution requires that all General Fund Bond Measures – bonds that are repaid from general revenues – sales taxes, income taxes, corporate taxes and the like – be approved by voters.

This year there are five General Fund Measures.

Each of them a timid step that allows members of the legislature to claim credit for making progress toward solving the critical issues facing the state’s citizens – without outright lying.

Proposition One — $1.5 Billion Bond Issue for “housing programs” with an anticipation of some matching federal dollars.

It will help some 40,000 families over a 5 year period — too little, too late.

Proposition does nothing to address the root causes of the affordable housing crisis in California.

Proposition Three — $9 Billion for projects to maintain and manage our water supply.

Important repairs will protect our current water supply but will not add new water to the system.

With this measure, the legislature is just kicking the can-full-of-reality down the road: California has a finite water supply.

A long term strategy to close the gap between the available water and a growing population will have consequences for all. Making voters angry could jeopardize incumbency.

Proposition Four — $1.5 Billion Bond Issue to Fund Construction and Modernization at the state’s 13 children’s hospitals.

This bond issue only comes to the ballot because voters don’t trust the legislature to do what they say they will do with allocated funds.

A lesson learned by observing Sacramento over the last half century.

Proposition Six – Repeals a 25 cent a gallon gasoline tax imposed by the state legislature.

Even when the legislature does try to do something significant — ideology trumps common sense and they do it wrong!

The 25 cent gasoline tax is most regressive tax passed in recent memory. The Los Angeles Times did the math — calculating that 95% of the taxes would be paid by people who owned vehicles valued at less than $24,000 and the Tesla crowd would pay 1%.

Assertions that the gas tax will raise enough money to fix our roads AND finance more public transit demonstrate the legislature’s myopia. The very same legislature joined the California Attorney General in suing the Trump Administration over relaxation of mandated higher fuel efficiency standards for future automobiles. The more energy efficient cars become, the less tax revenue will be collected from the same or more cars on the roads.

Circumventing the Courts

Proposition Two – $2 Billion Bond Issue to fund housing programs for individuals with mental illness and addiction.

Housing is the foundation for successful treatment and rehabilitation of the mentally ill and addicted who, too, often live on our streets.

Here’s the catch. Proposition 2 takes existing dollars from treatment programs to repay the proposed bonds. If good-hearted voters fall for this modification of the 2004 Mental Health Services Act, the legislature can by-pass a likely court challenge to the bonds.

If the homeless and addicted voted, the legislature could have found the needed $142 million dollars in a $202 Billion state budget loaded with special perks for special interests — but the homeless don’t vote.

Proposition Seven – Overturns a 1949 Daylight Savings Time Initiative

Existing law requires a vote of the people to approve any California-specific variance from congressionally mandated daylight savings time standards.

Will voters cede this decision solely to members of the state legislature — beholden to environmental extremists?

Proposition Eleven – Mandates on-call pay for privately employed Emergency Management Employees.

It results from a court ruling that would require privately employed emergency workers to turn off their communication devices during work breaks.

There is no opposition.

Benefiting Lobbyists and Donors

Proposition Five – Expands the special circumstances under which an exempt person (over 55, disabled, or displaced by natural catastrophe) can take post 1978 property tax base to a new home.

Proposition 13 – which established the existing property tax system in California – is often referred to as the “3rd Rail of California Politics – touch it and you die.

Proposition Five boosts the political fortunes of the members of the California State Legislature.

If passed, immediate property tax benefits to the exempt classes of property owners are estimated at a $100 million and perhaps as much as a $1 Billion dollars over the next decade – all at the expense of our public school system.

Proposition Eight – Restricts allowable profits for private Community Dialysis Centers (CDC).

Shockingly, a careful examination of this initiative, finds that the CDC corporate owners, nurse members of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU), and private insurers are paying for both the campaign for and the campaign against this initiative. They win either way!

Instead of an initiative, what is needed is legislative oversight of the responsible state agencies: Department of Public Health, the California Dept. of Insurance and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

However, oversight could embarrass the legislature’s principal political patron – the SEIU.

Proposition Ten –Does not control rents.

It allows local rent controls properties built since 1995.

This proposition will not increase the supply of affordable housing. The Legislative Analyst suggests it may discourage new multi-family unit construction.

The state legislature is the place where affordable housing must be created — by reducing the cost of development and the elapse time for architectural design to completed construction through smarter regulation and land use policy.

Proposition Twelve – Prevents Cruelty to Farm Animals

Here comes the United States Humane Society USHS, again, trying to pass legislation California does not need. This is USHS fund raising for their own Political Action Committee (PAC). It is not smart public policy.

For the past 100 years, California has led the nation in preventing cruelty to animals.

The market-place is way ahead on this issue – with major retailers Walmart and Safeway and chain restaurants (McDonalds, Taco Bell and local establishments) already committed to sourcing cage-free product.

Just something to consider —

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