2014 California Ballot Propositions
Thanks to the Progressive movement at the turn of the last century, California, like several other states, has ballot propositions that the voters can approve or disapprove to get around the corrupt pols in the state capital. Here are the propositions on tap for tomorrow.
Proposition 1: Water Bond. Funding for Water Quality, Supply, Treatment, and Storage Projects.
Authorizes $7.545 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration, and drinking water protection.
First, we don’t have a lot of space to borrow, especially with a $40 billion train line to build. Actually, we don’t have the money to pay for the $40 billion—some say $63 billion—train. So, let’s find the money in the annual budget for this. I’m sure there’s some spare change lying around with a $108 billion dollar budget in 2014, which is, by the way, $7 billion more than the 2013 budget.
Proposition 2: State Budget. Budget Stabilization Account. Legislative Constitutional Amendment.
Requires annual transfer of state general fund revenues to budget stabilization account.
This seems like a minimal nod to fiscal responsibility. I’ll buy it.
Proposition 45: Healthcare Insurance. Rate Changes. Initiative Statute.
Requires Insurance Commissioner’s approval before health insurer can change its rates or anything else affecting the charges associated with health insurance.
First of all, we already intentionally cut the insurance commissioner out of this loop by creating an independent commission to review rate changes. We did that because the insurance commissioner is an elected political hack who already has too much scope for hackery. If this passes, then health insurers will be prevented from raising rates by whatever San Francisco hippie gets elected insurance commissioner. Which sounds nice until you realize that insurers will lose money and simply leave the state.
Proposition 46: Drug and Alcohol Testing Of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits. Initiative Statute.
Requires drug testing of doctors. Requires review of statewide prescription database before prescribing controlled substances. Increases $250,000 pain/suffering cap in medical negligence lawsuits for inflation.
Nobody wants to be treated by a crack-addled doctor, right? So, who could be against this? Well…me. Here’s the thing: This has very little to do with ensuring doctors aren’t drug addicts, and everything to do with trial lawyers looking for big malpractice paydays, by increasing payouts for malpractice lawsuits. That means malpractice insurance premiums will skyrocket, and doctors will leave the field…or the state. The doctor drug testing is eyewash to hide a trial lawyer money-grab. Screw those guys.
Proposition 47: Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute.
Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for certain drug and property offenses. Inapplicable to persons with prior conviction for serious or violent crime and registered sex offenders.
Right now, we have mandatory sentences for non-violent drug offenders. So we have to make room for them in prison. We don’t have that room, so we let robbers, muggers, and rapist, et al., go free instead. If you commit a non-violent offense, you simply shouldn’t go to jail, period. We need to keep people who hurt people in jail. If your crime is having a gram of coke or 2 ounces of weed, I can’t even count the number of shits I don’t give about imprisoning you.
Proposition 48: Indian Gaming Compacts. Referendum.
A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, tribal gaming compacts between the state and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe.
Do you know what I care less about than imprisoning non-violent criminals? Whether or not Indians can have casinos, and whether they can have them outside their tribal lands. Besides, I really like the buffets.
So, there you have it: All of the propositions on the ballot. I wouldn’t dream of telling you how to vote, but I am telling you how I am going to vote. With that in mind…you know what to do.