Here is a quick synopsis of the November 2018 California Ballot Initiatives. Ballotpedia has much more detailed information at the links for each initiative.
Proposition 1 and Prop. 2 are masquerading as initiatives helping the homeless. Buyer Beware!
Opposition nails it: The Press-Enterprise: “If California’s leaders are serious about making California a more affordable place to live, they should concentrate their efforts on curtailing onerous regulations and restrictive land-use policies and making it easier for homebuilders to build. And if they insist on subsidizing housing, they should do so directly, rather than wasting taxpayer money on interest payments. Vote No on Prop. 1.”
If passed, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Contra Costa strongly feels the No Place Like Home Program will cause more homelessness by forcing more mentally ill people into severe symptoms that could increase the numbers living on the streets. NAMI says money currently dedicated to severely mentally ill will be redirected to homelessness.
And, Prop. 2 is extremely expensive: up to $5.6 Billion ($140 million x 40, for 40- year bonds) to raise $2 billion for housing projects.
“With millions of dollars of unspent water bond money from 2006 and 2014 water bonds, why is there yet another a water bond on today’s June Primary ballot, and another on the November ballot?” I wrote in June 2018.
The Mercury News explains opposition: “Proposition 3 is a classic “pay-to-play” initiative that California voters should soundly defeat on Nov. 6. The $8.9 billion water bond package points to some serious water issues that demand the Legislature’s attention. But loading up an initiative with giveaways to special interests and local public agencies is no way for the state to conduct its business. Voters should reject this end run around the legislative process.”
The 2018 ballot initiative is the third bond measure related to children’s hospitals in California. California Children’s Hospital Association developed all three of the ballot initiatives.
Argument against: Proposition 4 is the third bond measure sponsored by the California Children’s Hospital Association, which represents the eight private hospitals that will receive 72 percent of the money. If the association could have persuaded the Legislature to put this measure on the ballot, it would undoubtedly have done so. Lobbying is less expensive than mounting an initiative campaign.”
The state’s legislative analyst estimated that interest on the bond would be $1.4 billion over 35 years, bringing the total cost of the bond to $2.9 billion.
Prop. 5, the Property Tax Transfer Initiative, is on the ballot in California as a combined initiated constitutional amendment and state statute on November 6, 2018.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association urges a YES vote on Prop. 5:
Prop. 5 “would allow homeowners age 55 and older to sell their current homes, purchase a replacement property anywhere in the state and transfer the property tax assessment from the home they sold to the home they bought. This measure would remove restrictions in existing law that limit these transfers by putting conditions on the price and location of the replacement property. It would also allow older homeowners to transfer their base-year property tax assessment more than once.
We support this measure, which helps homeowners who want to downsize or move, but who stay put because of the high property taxes on a replacement property. Proposition 5 will likely result in more homes coming on the market, which will help new homebuyers by increasing the supply of available housing.”
And, the California Teachers Association opposes, which means this is a YES vote.
Ignore the ballot title and summary. This is the GAS TAX REPEAL of the 2017 tax increase on gasoline, diesel fuel and vehicle registrations. It also amends the state constitution to require voter approval of all future increases in fuel and vehicle taxes or fees.
The backlog of delayed road and bridge repairs, estimated by state officials to be $150 billion, is evidence that state lawmakers have not made road safety a priority,” HJTA wrote. “Instead of funding transportation infrastructure and maintenance, the politicians have diverted the revenue from transportation taxes to fund other priorities, or pet projects.”
“SB 1 raised taxes without reforming the well-documented waste and inefficiency at Caltrans. Taxpayers in California pay the highest taxes in the nation and suffer with roads in the worst condition. Taking more money from the wallets of California families to fund more of the same is not the answer. What’s needed is a new funding plan that spends all transportation-related tax and fee revenue on transportation.”
The Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure would allow the California State Legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) by a two-thirds vote if the federal Uniform Time Act is changed to allow for permanent DST. This is a ballot initiative in search of a problem.
We have Daylight Saving Time in the summer so it is light after we get home from work. And we switch to Standard Time in the winter so it’s light in the morning.
“Authorizes State Regulation of Kidney Dialysis Clinics.” The State and SEIU are attempting to take over kidney dialysis clinics, which already function very well, for severely ill kidney patients.
The American Nurses Association\California, California Medical Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, California Chapter and patient advocates all OPPOSE Prop. 8 because it jeopardizes access to care for 66,000 patients in California who need frequent dialysis treatments to stay alive.
“Patients on dialysis have kidney failure and are very sick. They require dialysis three days a week, four hours at a time to do the job of their kidneys to remove toxins from the body. These patients cannot survive without regular treatments. Prop. 8 dangerously reduces access to care and places vulnerable patients at serious risk.”—Phillip Bautista, BSN, RN, PHN, President, American Nurses Association\California
PROP. 8 WILL FORCE COMMUNITY DIALYSIS CLINICS TO CUT SERVICES AND CLOSE
Donations in Support of Prop, 8:
|SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West||$17,387,341.00||$71,171.24||$17,458,512.24|
|California State Council of Service Employees Issues Committee||$1,000,000.00||$0.00||$1,000,000.00|
|International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 617||$2,500.00||$0.00||$2,500.00|
|California Democratic Party||$0.00||$483.81||$483.81|
The Los Angeles Times: “But even if the revenue cap doesn’t drive clinics out of business, it would give them a perverse incentive to deliver care less efficiently — to raise patient-related spending in order to raise the revenue cap. And despite what supporters claim, there’s no guarantee that forcing clinics to spend more would do anything to make care better or more available.
Allows state government to regulate rent, and would actually create an even worse housing shortage in California.
“Proposition 10 would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law that protected property owners from new rent-control ordinances, moderated radical rent control and secured new construction in cities throughout California. If Costa-Hawkins is repealed, cities would be able to pass any type of rent-control law, including rent control on single-family homes, garage apartments, duplexes and small apartment buildings,” HJTA said. “For example, Proposition 10 would allow new rent-control bureaucracies to require every property owner to register and pay an annual fee so the city can track how many housing units exist and whether they are rented or owner-occupied.”
“Proposition 10 would discourage investment in rental housing, leading to less new construction and more tightening of an already squeezed housing market in California. Faced with the threat that rent control could be enacted at any time, some owners of existing apartment buildings might choose to evict the tenants and sell the property rather than stay in a business with rising costs and uncertain revenue.”
PROP. 10: BAD FOR RENTERS
“Tens of thousands of renters, INCLUDING SENIORS AND OTHERS ON FIXED INCOMES, could be forced out of their apartments and communities under Prop. 10, which allows wealthy corporate landlords to turn apartments into condos and short-term vacation rentals. It will increase the cost of renting and make it even harder to find affordable housing.”—Alice Huffman, President, California State Conference NAACP
Proposition 11 would allow ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call (reachable by a portable communications device) during meal and rest breaks. They still get the break, but because they areemergency medical technicians, they still need to react to a call.
A 2016 California Supreme Court ruling would stop the longstanding practice of responding to calls, even while on break, and require EMTs and paramedics to shut off radios, and be completely unreachable while on break. This means if the closest ambulance to your emergency is on break when you call for help, 911 dispatchers would have NO WAY to reach the ambulance crew because all communications devices would be turned OFF. Prop. 11 ensures your 911 emergency care is not delayed.
The California Supreme Court ruling was ridiculous, requiring all breaks to be totally “off-duty.” There are many jobs, employers and industries which could not even operate if they were required to shut down large equipment, or ignore sick patients because it is “break time.” The only reason this ended up on the ballot is because the Legislature has not done its job. Prop. 11 is a YES.
The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative, attempting to ban the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below aspecific number of square feet. Beginning in 2021, producers would be required to confine egg-laying hens in cage-free housing systems based on the United Egg Producers’ 2017 cage-free guidelines.
What you need to know: The Humane Society is the primary backer of this unnecessary initiative.
The Association of California Egg Farmers issued the following statement: “With this new initiative now calling for full compliance by the end of 2021, HSUS is reneging on the original agreement and this expedited timeline may result in supply disruptions, price spikes and a shortage of eggs for sale.”
The Humane Farming Association: “The Humane Society of the United States is once again deceiving voters, flip-flopping on the issue of cages, and perpetuating the suffering of millions of egg-laying hens throughout California. The inescapable reality is that, had Prop 2 actually accomplished what HSUS promised, California would be cage free at this very moment. Rather than correcting its historic failure, HSUS is now misusing our state’s ballot measure process with a whole new set of false promises. This betrayal of voters and farm animals must be soundly defeated.”
Be sure to vote on November 6, 2018
For more recommendations, visit the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
Katy Grimes is President of the Sacramento Taxpayers Association and a credentialed investigative journalist.
May 22, 2018
SacTax member Bill Cardoza, the former SCRP vice chair, offers up his Personal 2018 June Primary Ballot Recommendations. Bill did his homework:
2018 June Primary Election Guide – Bill Cardoza’s Recommendations
GOVERNOR John Cox — endorsed by Pres. Trump 5/18
- GOVERNOR Cole Harris
SECRETARY OF STATE Mark Meuser
CONTROLLER Konstantinos Roditis
TREASURER Jack Guerrero
ATTORNEY GENERAL Steven Bailey
INSURANCE COMMISSIONER Steve Poizner
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION Marshall Tuck
BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, DIST. 1 Ted Gaines
BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, DIST. 3 G. Rick Marshal
BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, DIST. 4 Joel Anderson
U.S. SENATE Tom Palzer
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 1 Doug LaMalfa
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 3 Charlie Schaupp
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 4 Tom McClintock
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 6 None (Doris Matsui)
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 7 Dr. Yona Barash
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 9 Marla Livengood
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 10 Jeff Denham
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 22 Devin Nunes
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 23 Kevin McCarthy
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 39 Young Kim
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 48 Dana Rohrabacher
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 49 Diane Harkey
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 4 Jim Nielsen
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 6 Janine Derose
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 8 Andreas Borgeas
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 16 Shannon Grove
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 29 RECALL Ling Ling Chang
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 1 Brian Dahle
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 3 James Gallagher
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 5 Frank Bigelow
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 6 Kevin Kiley
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 7 Write-in Scott Schmidt
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 8 Melinda Avey
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 9 Mario Garcia
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 11 Lisa Romero
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 13 Antonio Garcia
STATE PROPOSITION 68 NO
STATE PROPOSITION 69 NO
STATE PROPOSITION 70 NO
STATE PROPOSITION 71 YES
STATE PROPOSITION 72 YES
SACRAMENTO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, DIST 5 Don Nottoli
SACRAMENTO COUNTY ASSESSOR Christina Wynn
SACRAMENTO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY Anne Marie Schubert
SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF Scott Jones
EL DORADO COUNTY SHERIFF John D’Agostini
EL DORADO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY Vern Pierson
EL DORADO COUNTY RECORDER-CLERK Todd White
PLACER COUNTY SHERIFF Devon Bell
PLACER COUNTY CLERK-RECORDER-REGISTRAR Ryan Ronco
PLACER COUNTY SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT 1 Bonnie Gore
ORANGE COUNTY SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT 2 Michelle Steel
A message from Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association:
It’s an outrage—a massive tax increase on gasoline, diesel fuel and vehicle license fees, passed by reckless Sacramento politicians who have wasted and diverted the money from the transportation taxes and fees you already pay. But California voters can REJECT this tax hike with a ballot initiative that will repeal the increases and change the state constitution so that future gas tax increases must go on the ballot for voter approval.
RejectTheGasTax.com is a committee of No New Taxes, a project of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. We have been fighting for California taxpayers for 40 years in a never-ending battle against politicians who think you’re not paying enough in taxes.
We think you’re paying too much. California has the highest taxes in the nation, but Sacramento always demands more. Other states manage to have good roads, schools and public services without having taxes as high as California’s. The recent gas and car tax hike has only magnified the fact that Californians pay too much in taxes and get too little in return.
SIGN THE PETITION TO GET THE GAS-TAX REPEAL ON THE NOVEMBER 2018 BALLOT. Click here to download the printable petition plus instructions on how to complete it and return it to us. More than 500,000 valid signatures of registered voters are required to qualify the measure for the ballot. THANK YOU FOR JOINING THE HOWARD JARVIS TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION IN THIS IMPORTANT EFFORT!
Sacramento Rent Control Initiative – SacTax Opposes
Sacramento proponents of rent control have qualified a measure on the November ballot: the Sacramento Renter Protection And Community Stabilization Charter Amendment. The petitioners argue that, since the city does not regulate rent prices or prevent certain types of evictions, a new charter amendment is needed.
The proposed Sacramento charter amendment includes rules that would:
Implement “just cause” protections for tenants. This means that there will be limited reasons that a landlord can evict a renter.
Require financial relocation assistance for renters forced to move out. For instance, if a landlord terminates a lease with a tenant so that they can make improvements to a rental unit, the owner would have to pay the renter (at least $5,500 for those living in a studio or one bedroom apartment).
limit rent hikes to 100 percent of the Consumer Price Index and to just one increase per year. (The CPI increased by 2.5 percent last year, so that would mean rents could only go up by that amount.)
establish an autonomous, nine-member Rental Housing Board that would set rental rates, enforce the rules, and adjudicate tenant-landlord disputes, with unlimited powers including subpoena powers.
California Rent Control Initiative – SacTax Opposes
A statewide ballot measure would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act and allow rent control on newer apartments and housing.
Community activists gathered enough signatures to place a statewide initiative on the November ballot that would overturn state limits on local rent-control ordinances. The 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act forbids California localities from placing rental-price caps on single-family homes, condos and newer construction. It also bans vacancy controls, meaning that landlords in rent-controlled cities are free to raise the rent to market rates once tenants vacant the property.
If California voters approve the repeal of that measure, the state’s housing crisis will get worse — especially in the liberal, high-priced coastal cities that almost certainly will embrace tougher rent control laws.
2016 Sacramento November ballot UPDATE:
2016 – Measure B ballot initiative would have doubled the Measure A sales tax – raising it to a full 1% – while increasing our overall sales tax to 8.5% (county) and 9% (Sacramento city). STA fought this, and helped prevent Measure B from achieving 2/3 vote necessary to pass.
Congratulations to the No on Measure B committee!
2016 – Measure G was a $75 tax for six years, on top of what taxpayers already are paying from the 2012 SCUSD Measure Q, a $346 million school bond, and Measure R, a $68 million school bond, for a total of $414 million. STA fought this tax and helped prevent Measure G from passing.
Statewide Ballot Initiatives: November 8, 2016
Proposition 51 California Public School Facility Bonds Initiative
Prop 51 would raise $9 billion in general obligation bonds for schools. This is problematic on a number of fronts. First off, these bonds encumber the State General Fund and when you add the interest, this measure is going to cost upwards of $18 billion by the time the bonds are paid off. It is most unfortunate that voters think bonds are free money. They aren’t. They have to be paid off meaning we can’t afford other things, like repairing our roads and freeways or maintaining adequate capacity in our state prisons. Moreover, our state has already borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars in the last 15 years by way of State and local bond measures in order to build schools with no end in sight. The reason the schools keep borrowing all this money in spite of receiving nearly half of all property tax revenues is because they can’t afford to pay for their pension obligations. In essence, this is a shell game of fooling the voters into ostensibly paying extra for buildings when in reality they are subsidizing pensions. (NO)
Additionally, The student population is declining and projected to continue doing so over the next decade. The Legislative Analyst’s report suggested helping school districts catch up with the growing backlog of necessary school construction with a one-time allocation from Proposition 98 funds, while the state transitions to a better-planned system of ongoing grants.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office had an even more critical view of the current approach to funding school construction in its 2015-16 budget report. “Notably,” it said, “the existing program fails to treat school facility costs as an ongoing expense despite the recurring nature of facility needs, allows disparities based on school district property wealth, fails to target funding according to greatest need, results in excessive administrative complexity, and lacks adequate accountability mechanisms.” Ouch. But that was just the start. The report went on to point out that as long as there is money in the state fund, developers of big new housing projects don’t pay more than half the cost of building the schools necessary to serve those homes. That extra subsidy for new construction at a time when many existing schools are underutilized only encourages the sprawl that has been an environmental and resources drain on the state.
The San Jose Mercury News Editorial board took Prop. 51 to task:
The $9 billion initiative would lock in a costly, outdated and inequitable program that benefits builders at taxpayers’ expense. Vote no.
Bankrolled by $7 million mostly from the construction industry, Prop. 51 is an end-run around calls from Gov. Jerry Brown and the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office to reform school bond provisions. State money for school construction should better target needy districts and place more of the burden on developers, not the state, to help school districts accommodate residential development.
Brown has condemned “the developers’ $9 billion bond.” He called it “a blunderbuss effort that promotes sprawl and squanders money that would be far better spent in low-income communities.”
He’s right. Voters should reject more state school bond measures until the rules are rewritten.
Developers should pay for infrastructure their projects require, whether it’s roads, utility lines or more classrooms. To refurbish schools, districts should plan ahead for the cost or ask their own taxpayers for it.
In California, roughly 30 percent of school construction money comes from the state while developers have been relieved of the obligation to pay their full share for new classrooms.
This started in 1998, when voters approved the first of four statewide bond measures totaling $40 billion for K-12 through community college construction. Those bonds won’t be paid off until 2044. This year, they’ll cost the state $2.7 billion in principal and interest, 2 percent of the general fund.
The rules say that as long as the state has bond money available, local districts can’t require developers to pay more than half the cost of additional classrooms their new homes require. Now that the bond money has all been spent, developers want voters to replenish the kitty with Prop. 51 and keep the old rules in place until 2020. This would save them money but it would add $500 million annually to state debt payments.
Prop. 51 also would continue doling out school bond money primarily on a first-come, first-served basis rather than helping the neediest districts.
A lot has changed since the program started. In 1998, we faced projections of sharp student enrollment increases. Today, forecasts show a slight decline. And back then, districts had to get two-thirds voter approval for local construction bonds. Since that was lowered to 55 percent in 2000, 80 percent of local school bond measures have been approved.
Some poor communities really can’t afford to rehab existing schools. Helping them should be the state’s main role in school construction.
Prop. 51 is a good deal for developers but a bad deal for taxpayers and for the neediest school districts. Vote no.
Proposition 52 Voter Approval to Divert Hospital Fee Revenue Dedicated to Medi-Cal
Prop 52 is a bit difficult to understand.
A YES vote on this measure means: An existing charge imposed on most private hospitals that is scheduled to end on January 1, 2018 under current law would be extended permanently. It would be harder for the Legislature to make changes to it. Revenue raised would be used to create state savings, increase payments for hospital services to low-income Californians, and provide grants to public hospitals.
A NO vote on this measure means: An existing charge imposed on most private hospitals would end on January 1, 2018 unless additional action by the Legislature extended it.
However, in a nutshell, this proposition keeps in place a hospital fee that secures $3 billion per year in matching money from the feds to help pay for care for poor people. The reason this ballot measure is on the ballot has to do with the fact that the State Legislature was stealing some of the federal monies for other purposes! Prop. 51 keeps the program in place while keeping the legislature’s hand out of the cookie jar. (YES)
Proposition 53 California Voter Approval Requirement for Revenue Bonds above $2 Billion Initiative
Prop 53 is long overdue.
Dino Cortopassi’s measure prohibits the legislature from issuing or selling bonds without voter approval if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion. In a recent interview with Cortopassi, he explained “My initiative will force future projects to be efficiently planned. And they’ll only get one bite of the apple,” added Cortopassi. “The people are being led to slaughter – that’s what I care about.”
This proposition does not affect local projects, the University of CA, freeway construction or measures to address natural disasters. What it does do is keep unaccountable politicians and bureaucrats from spending money voters never authorized on boondoggle projects. (YES)
‘No Blank Checks Initiative’ To Cure California Lawmakers’ ‘Debt Addiction’
California currently owes $157 billion in general obligation bond and revenue bond debt. That is more than the current estimate to build the High Speed Rail train to nowhere. This is largely because state agencies are allowed borrow billions of dollars without the public knowing about it, amounting to a blank check. Should California voters have the right to vote on state revenue bonds for major projects that cost more than $2 billion? That’s the question behind Cortopassi’s very simple initiative.
Stockton-area farmer and food processor Dean “Dino” Cortopassi’s “No Blank Checks Initiative”, Proposition 56, seeks to amend the State Constitution to require voter approval for revenue bonds issued by the state and used to finance the state’s largest public-works projects, including Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels project to divert water from Northern California to the south.
You may remember Dino Cortopassi from his series of newspaper advertisements titled “Liar Liar Pants on Fire,” in which he accused Gov. Jerry Brown and elected lawmakers of “profligate spending” while they ignored the state’s mounting long-term debt.
Cortopassi created the ads to educate everyone about California’s huge and growing debt crisis and what they can do to help fix this problem. “The facts and figures on this website come directly from the State of California and expose fiscal mismanagement by our elected leaders,” the Liar Liar website says.
Understanding the California Debt Crisis
California voters must currently approve any projects funded through general-obligation bonds, debt which is backed by taxpayers. Revenue Bonds are an altogether different story. Revenue Bonds are municipal bonds that finance income-producing projects, secured by a specified revenue source supported by the revenue from a specific project, such as a toll bridge, highway or local stadium.
I talked at length with Cortopassi about the initiative, and his concerns for future generations of Californians saddled with the accumulation of debt that cannot be repaid even through future tax increases, including Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to pay for the $15-$50 billion plan to tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta proposing hefty bonds to be repaid by water users.
But what happens if Californians can’t pay the bonds back, what then? What do California residents do when there is not enough cash?
The answer is Cuts. Massive cuts, including services and retirees on public pensions.
“We are talking about a quantitative problem to people who think qualitative,” Cortopassi said. Qualitative research asks “why” or “what,” and quantitative research asks “how many?” Qualitative research explores problems or less-well defined questions using inductive reasoning and a variety of different methods. Quantitative research uses deductive reasoning and lots of numbers.
Cortopassi said one example is the accumulated debt of Caltrans – $65 Billion of unfunded repairs and maintenance. “It’s a black hole,” he said. “By their own admission, it would take $5 to $6 Billion each year just to keep the agency’s debt from getting bigger.”
Yet Governor Jerry Brown has only allotted only $500 to $600 Million for Caltrans in his annual budget. “He’s only paying 10 percent of what’s needed to repair the state’s roads… and at the same time holds himself up as responsible?” Cortopassi asked incredulously.
The governor typically announces his annual budget grossly under what the actual spending is. In January 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $122.6 billion budget. That was revised in May upward to a $169.3 billion state spending plan. The 2014 budget was originally $107 Billion, but ended up being $140 Billion. “How do you fund a $30 or $40 Billion shortfall?” Cortopassi asked. “Debt,” he said. “General Obligation bonds. But these are expenses, not ‘investments’ in the future as the politicians repeatedly say.”
And because Jerry Brown will not control the state agencies, which are under his control, the state has more and more unchecked debt.
And this is what Dino Cortopassi wants to put a halt to with the No Blank checks Initiative. The “Sacramento Gang” is not just made up of elected legislators, but includes lobbyists, political consultants, big-government associations, unelected agency heads and commission/board appointees – the “enablers,” as Cortopassi calls them. And it is the enablers who oppose “No Blank Checks Initiative” because the initiative threatens to stop their taxpayer-funded Gravy Train.
Cortopassi said a classic example of how the “Sacramento Gang” does “bait and switch borrowing” to get around the taxing restrictions of Prop. 13, and the two-thirds votes of the Legislature under the measure, is to use the State Bond Initiative, which only requires a simple majority of voters to approve, but gives the state permission to borrow money politicians want.
The “Bait and Switch” borrowing tactics trick voters into approving bond initiatives, which Cortopassi said increased state debt by 500 percent, from $20 BILLION in 1994 to $120 BILLION in only 20 years.
Here’s how it is done:
In “Bait and Switch” borrowing, politicians place a bond initiative on the ballot that appears to support highly popular causes, which most Californians care deeply about (like “clean water” or “highway repair”). That’s the “Bait.”
While taxpayers think they are paying for one thing, ﬁne print hidden within the initiative actually authorizes most of the BILLIONS in bond funds to be spent on dozens of other unrelated projects/agencies. That’s the “Switch.”
Cortopassi said the 2006 Water Bond Proposition 84 raised $5.4 BILLION in funds. But less than half of bond funds actually went to water agencies. Instead, hidden ﬁne print within the initiative, authorized $3 BILLION in unrelated “internal/external pork” spending.
Cortopassi said the Cal Chamber opposes his No Blank Checks Initiative, not only because they support big government, but because their members are also suppliers to big public projects. But the No Blank Checks initiative isn’t about stopping all big public projects; it just gives voters a chance to weigh in on the project and decide if the future debt is worth it.
Dino Cortopassi is very concerned about when the state runs out of cash. “The people will be cut first,” he said: “the aged, retirees, those who can’t take care of themselves, and have no political clout. Even recent retirees – they are powerless. And the state currently can’t pay its unfunded liabilities,” Cortopassi added.
“Gov. Jerry Brown is a political magician; what he and the spendthrift Legislators have done managerially with the state is horrid. And the short-sighted labor unions, the ‘porker consultants’ – a coterie very large – have debt addiction.” (YES)
Proposition 54 The Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote proposition.
Also long overdue! Quite simply, it prohibits the legislature from passing any bill unless and until it has been printed and published giving the public 72 hours notice before being voted on! It also requires the legislature to make audiovisual recordings of their proceedings and post them on the Internet.
If approved by voters, Proposition 54 would:
- Require that every bill is published in print and online at least 72 hours before each house of the legislature can vote on it
- Require that the legislature make audiovisual recordings of its public proceedings and publish the recordings online within 24 hours
- Allow any individual to record any open legislative proceedings either through audio or visual means and use these recordings for any legitimate purpose (YES)
Proposition 55: Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase.
Prop 55 is the result of yet another broken promise by Gov. Jerry Brown and California special interests groups as this initiative extends their so-called temporary tax another 12 years. Proposition 30 was an income tax hike and sales tax increase approved in 2012 with the promise it was temporary, and designed to be phased out starting in 2018.
Here’s the official title from the 2012 measure:
Prop 30: TEMPORARY taxes to fund education, guaranteed local public safety funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
TEMPORARY SHOULD MEAN TEMPORARY
Voters supported higher income and sales taxes in 2012 only because Governor Jerry Brown promised they would be temporary.
The Prop. 30 tax was presented as a tax on rich people but has had a severe impact on small business owners who get taxed on the gross income of their business. Extending it another 12 years is outrageous since state government has not implemented any reforms to curb pension debt and address infrastructure deficits. The more money taxpayers send to Sacramento, the more ways politicians and the governor manage to squander it since they are not being forced to tighten their belt. It’s time to cut off this gravy train. (NO)
Proposition 56: Tobacco Tax Increase
California already has a tobacco excise tax of $0.87 per pack of cigarettes, with the Prop. 56 campaign planning on increasing the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, bringing the total tobacco tax up to $2.87 per pack of cigarettes and other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.
Follow the money WITH PROP 56. IT’S is really a deceptive tax grab for the insurance companies and hospital corporations who are funding it. Proponents claim this is a “Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement.” But look at where the current funding from cigarette taxes go:
Revenue from the current state tax on tobacco goes to the General Fund, tobacco prevention, healthcare services for the poor, environmental causes, breast cancer research, and early childhood development programs.
But only 2 cents goes towards breast cancer screenings and research.
50 cents goes towards early childhood development programs
This is a scam – Proponents will use new revenue to replace old revenue lost due to lower tobacco consumption resulting from tobacco tax increase. Isn’t that what anti-tobacco groups wanted? Less smokers?
The California Hospitals Association Committee contributed $10 MILLION to the YES on Prop 56 campaign. The CA Medical and CA Dental Associations each kicked in $1 MILLION each. Guess why? It’s a cheap investment for the $1 billion return Prop. 56 is expected to raise each year.
Prop. 56 was creatively written to also circumvent the Prop. 98 minimum school funding mandate. That means at least $600 million each year that should go to improve our schools, won’t.
In 2014, Senate Bill 768 By state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, the bill would have placed a $2 a pack tax on cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products. And Proposition 29 was rejected by voters in June 2012. It would have increased taxes $1 a pack to fund cancer research, anti-smoking programs and law enforcement. (NO)
Proposition 57: California Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative
Prop 57 invites you to release another 25,000 felons from State prison before their sentence is up. This is Prop. 47 on steroids. Proponents claim this only applies to non-violent felons, but Sheriffs and District Attorneys of our State say otherwise. The 2014 initiative, Prop. 47 downgraded serious violent felonies to misdemeanor status, allowing rapists, human traffickers, and child molesters to get out of prison early. Coupled with Assembly Bill 109, Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison “realignment” scheme, the crime spike in California is attributable to these measures, and we don’t want more felons out of prison. (NO)
Proposition 58: California Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education Act
This effectively repeals Prop. 227 which rid our schools of bilingual education. Numerous studies and test results that compare the results of English immersion vs bilingual education points to the conclusion that our current policies of immersion work best for everyone involved! A “Yes” vote would effectively allow non-English languages to be used in public educational instruction. A “No” vote would prohibit non-English languages from being used in public schools. (NO)
Proposition 59: California Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question
Prop 59is a feel good advisory vote that serves to encourage a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court decision affecting campaign contributions. There is no doubt big money is used to influence the outcome of elections, however, both Republican and Democratic interests are equally guilty.
- The proposition is a non-binding advisory question, and therefore would clog the November ballot and act as a “feel-good” measure.
- The proposition would hurt small businesses and other entities that are incorporated as corporations.
- The proposition would be ineffective, because it fails to prohibit or limit corporate and union contributions to candidates, elected officials, and political parties.
- The proposition would allow California congress members to tinker with the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which contains important citizen rights that should not be changed lightly. (NO)
Proposition 60 Condoms in Pornographic Films Initiative
This says a lot about California politics and mores as it asks voters to requires porn stars to wear condoms. Who really cares, and why is this on the ballot? (NO)
Proposition 61 Drug Price Standards Initiative
Prop 61 is seriously flawed. It attempts to tie the cost of prescription drugs purchased with state dollars to the price that the Veteran’s administration pays for the same meds. It is opposed by Veteran’s groups, the California Medical Association and the California Taxpayers Association because the measure is virtually guaranteed to backfire on vets, patients and taxpayers! (NO)
Proposition 62 Repeal of the Death Penalty Initiative
This initiative repeals the death penalty, whereas, Proposition 66 mends it! Whereas, more people die on California’s death row from old age than by execution, we should be changing our laws to facilitate executions instead of eliminating the penalty altogether. (NO)
Proposition 63 Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban Initiative
This is the ballot initiative by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and is a superfluous gun control measure that has already been addressed by legislation already signed into law earlier this year. It accomplishes nothing constructive in stemming gun violence by gang bangers and terrorists who care not that killing people is already against the law.
Prop 63 is overwhelmingly opposed by the law enforcement community and civil rights groups because it will burden law abiding citizens without keeping violent criminals and terrorists from accessing firearms and ammunition.
The California State Sheriffs’ Association, Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County, California Correctional Peace Officers Association, California Fish & Game Wardens’ Association, California Reserve Peace Officers Association, and numerous other law enforcement and civic groups, representing tens of thousands of public safety professionals throughout California, are united in their opposition to this ineffective, burdensome, and costly proposal. (NO)
Proposition 64 California Marijuana Legalization Initiative or the ‘Dude, where’s my legal pot?’ Initiative
Prop 64 legalizes marijuana use while raising taxes on both cultivation and retail sales. This measure is dangerous to our society on a number of levels. Whereas, few oppose the use of marijuana for authentic medical purposes including treating cancer patients, it is another thing altogether to acquiesce to people getting high.
There are five huge flaws in Proposition 64 that directly affect you and the people you care about.
Flaw #1: Doubling of highway fatalities. The AAA Foundation for Highway Safety reports that deaths in marijuana-related car crashes have doubled since the State of Washington approved legalization. Yet, incredibly, Proposition 64’s proponents refused to include a DUI standard for marijuana, making it extremely difficult to keep impaired drivers off our highways.
Flaw #2: Allows marijuana growing near schools and parks. Prop 64 actually forbid’s local governments from banning indoor residential growing of marijuana — even next door to an elementary school — provided the crop is limited to six plants, (and that is a lot of marijuana). The California Police Chiefs Association adds that “by permitting indoor cultivation of marijuana literally next door to elementary schools and playgrounds, Proposition 64 is trampling local control.”
Driving under the influence fatalities have skyrocketed in the states (Colorado), which have approved similar measures. Second, there are serious long-term consequences to mental health from smoking marijuana including the onset of schizophrenia. Third, when something becomes legal for adults it sends a message to children that the activity must be okay meaning more kids who are more vulnerable to deleterious consequences will be encouraged to experiment. (NO)
Proposition 65 Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation Fund Initiative
redirects the state mandated fees on grocery carry out bags from the pockets of grocers and other retailers to the Wildlife Conservation Board. The $400 million per year generated by the bag fees can then be used to address drought conditions in our forests, increase clean drinking water supplies, beach cleanup, and other worthwhile endeavors. If voters don’t see fit to repeal bag fees altogether (see Prop 67) at least this measure makes better use of the money. (YES)
Proposition 66 Death Penalty Procedures Initiative
Proposition 66 and Proposition 62 are not compatible measures. Californians to Mend, Not End, the Death Penalty, also known as No on Prop 62, Yes on Prop 66, is leading the campaign in support of Proposition 66.
Therefore, if both are approved by a majority of voters, then the one with the most “yes” votes would supersede the other. Repeals death penalty. Keeps the death penalty in place.
A “yes” vote supports changing the procedures governing state court appeals and petitions that challenge death penalty convictions and sentences.
A “no” vote opposes changing the procedures governing state court appeals and petitions that challenge death penalty convictions and sentences, and would keep the current system for governing death penalty appeals and petitions. (NO on Prop 62, YES on Prop 66)
Proposition 67 California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum
DON’T BE FOOLED BY PROP 67. It is a $300 million per year HIDDEN TAX INCREASE on California consumers who will be forced to pay a minimum 10 cents for every paper and thick plastic grocery bag they are given at the checkout.
And not one penny goes to the environment.
Instead, the Legislature gave all $300 million in new tax revenue to grocers as extra profit.
Stop the sweetheart special interest deal… VOTE NO ON PROP 67. STOP THE BAG TAX
Prop 67 bans the use of plastic retail bags and REQUIRES grocers to charge and keep a minimum 10 cent tax on every paper or thicker plastic reusable bag provided at checkout.
Proposition 67 and Proposition 65 contain conflicting provisions regarding how revenue from the state-mandated sale of carryout bags would be distributed. Proposition 67 would allocate revenue from the sales to the stores themselves.
Proposition 67 will grow profits for grocery stores by up to $300 million a year.
Big grocery store chains get to keep all of the tax revenue.
Grocers will grow $300 million richer on the backs of consumers.
NOT ONE PENNY OF THE BAG TAX GOES TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT
The Legislature could have dedicated the new tax revenue to protect the environment, but it did not.
Should both propositions pass, but Proposition 67 by a larger margin, then revenue would go to stores. (NO)