California Ballot Propositions for 2010
Once again, it’s time to review the ballot propositions for the upcoming election in California. While this may seem like an item of limited interest to many of you, you should remember that these propositions, in the fullness of time, often appear in other states once California has passed them.
Proposition 19: YES
A YES vote on this measure means: Individuals age 21 or older could, under state law, possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. In addition, the state and local governments could authorize, regulate, and tax commercial marijuana-related activities under certain conditions. These activities would remain illegal under federal law.
Drug prohibition has failed. Although, I guess that really depends on your definition of failed. If you’re the head of drug cartel that’s made billions of dollars by supplying prohibited drugs at prices inflated artificially by government action, then I guess it’s been a rousing success. All depends on your point of view, I suppose.
In any event, marijuana, despite being a Schedule I drug according to the Feds, is probably the least likely candidate for continued prohibition. Perhaps there’ll be horrific outbreaks of Reefer Madness if this passes, but, you know, I’m willing to risk it. Besides, as of last week, you can’t even get arrested for it any more in California, as possession of less 1 oz is now an infraction that’ll get you a $100 ticket. Not even a court appearance. So, it’s pretty clear that, in the big picture scheme of things, marijuana is pretty small potatoes.
Besides, it’ll set up a really nasty legal and political struggle between California and the Feds, which I think would be fun and instructive to watch.
Proposition 20: YES
Removes elected representatives from process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and representatives of neither party. A YES vote on this measure means: The responsibility to determine the boundaries of California’s districts in the U.S. House of Representatives would be moved to the Citizens Redistricting Commission, a commission established by Proposition 11 in 2008. (Proposition 27 on this ballot also concerns redistricting issues. If both Proposition 20 and Proposition 27 are approved by voters, the proposition receiving the greater number of “yes” votes would be the only one to go into effect.)
California’s redistricting plans have traditionally been made with a keen eye to preserving safe districts for the aging hippies that run the place. With Prop 11 in 2008, and this proposition, elected politicians will be essentially removed from the redistricting process. One hopes this will result in more bipartisan redistricting that results in more competitive districts. If not, it can’t be worse than what we’ve already got.
Proposition 21: NO
A YES vote on this measure means: An $18 annual surcharge would be added to the amount paid when a person registers a motor vehicle. The surcharge revenues would be used to provide funding for state park and wildlife conservation programs. Vehicles subject to the surcharge would have free admission and parking at all state parks.
A new tax–excuse me, “surcharge”–on one of the most highly taxed population in the country? Uh…no. Raising taxes is always the politicians’ answer to fiscal problems. Instead, let’s force them to cut spending–especially the unsustainable pension agreements for public workers, some of whom can retire at 50 with 85% of their salaries. The state of California is already taking a huge chunk of money from the taxpayers, and their cry is always for more. It’s past time for our cry to be , “Enough.”
Proposition 22: YES
A YES vote on this measure prohibits the state from borrowing or taking funds used for transportation, redevelopment, or local government projects and services. The state’s authority to use or redirect state fuel tax and local property tax revenues would be significantly restricted.
California’s General Fund tramples on every type of revenue in the state. Local property taxes? Right into the General Fund’s maw. Fuel taxes to pay for transportation and infrastructure? Right into the General Fund. That has to stop. I note that the teachers and firefighters unions, etc., are against it, so I assume it must be a good thing.
Proposition 23: YES
A YES vote on this measure means: Certain existing and proposed regulations authorized under state law (“Assembly Bill 32″) to address global warming would be suspended. These regulations would remain suspended until the state unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or lower for one year.
This proposition would, in effect, completely gut the global warming bill’s provisions. Requiring an unemployment rate in California to remain at 5.5% for one year means that the bill will, as a practical matter, never be implemented. So, the billions in costs for CO2 reduction, etc., will never be imposed.
Proposition 24: NO
A YES vote on this measure means: Three business tax provisions will return to what they were before 2008 and 2009 law changes. As a result: (1) a business will be less able to deduct losses in one year against income in other years, (2) a multistate business will have its California income determined by a calculation using three factors, and (3) a business will not be able to share tax credits with related businesses.
Another tax hike. Go screw.
Proposition 25: NO
A YES vote on this measure means: The Legislature’s vote requirement to send the annual budget bill to the Governor would be lowered from two-thirds to a majority of each house of the Legislature.
I’m happy forcing a 2/3 majority for the budget, especially since California is a one-party state. It’s really the only way to force bipartisanship on the legislature, and it gives the minority party a chance to do something besides getting run over roughshod.
Proposition 26: YES
A YES vote on this measure means: The definition of taxes would be broadened to include many payments currently considered to be fees or charges. As a result, more state and local proposals to increase revenues would require approval by two-thirds of each house of the Legislature or by local voters.
This makes it harder to raise fees or surcharges without explicit voter approval, or a supermajority in the legislature. I have to live within a budget, let them try it for a while, instead of simply using my wallet to fill up the holes they create with overspending.
Proposition 27: NO
A YES vote on this measure means: The responsibility to determine the boundaries of State Legislature and Board of Equalization districts would be returned to the Legislature. The Citizens Redistricting Commission, established by Proposition 11 in 2008 to perform this function, would be eliminated. (Proposition 20 on this ballot also concerns redistricting issues. If both Proposition 27 and Proposition 20 are approved by voters, the proposition receiving the greater number of “yes” votes would be the only one to go into effect.)
Nope. We already decided that we didn’t want politicians to create safe districts. Let’s keep this as a technical, bipartisan process.