California Voting Summary Posted by: Dale Franks
on Saturday, February 02, 2008
Once again, it's time to look over the California voting guide and see what's what. A number of propositions are on the ballot, so let's take a look at them.
Proposition 91: Transportation Funds Vote: No Summary: The purpose of this proposition is to prevent the state from using money from the gas tax for bein g used in the general fund. As it happens, this proposition was actually promulgated a while back, and just now made it onto the ballot. In the interim, the Governor and the legislature put in a legislative proposition 1A on the ballot which did essentially the same thing. That proposition passed by a 77% approval. So, even the original proponents are urging people to vote no, since this has already been accomplished.
Proposition 92: Community College Funding, Governance, & Fees Vote: No Summary: This proposition would provide a separate funding line for community colleges in the education budget, reduce fees from $20 to $15 per credit hour. Ultimately, this would impose an additional mandate of $300 million per year to K-12 education, while, at the same time, reducing fee revenues from community colleges by about $70 million. It also expands the governing board. Oh, basically it does a whole bunch of crap that either a) doesn't need to be done, or b) spends money that doesn't need to be spent.
Proposition 93: Legislative Term Limits Vote: No Summary: Ostensibly, this law will reduce the total amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years, and allow a person to serve a total of 12 years either in the Assembly, the Senate, or a combination of both. That would be a reduction from the current 14-year limit. However...it contains a "transition period" for current politicians, allowing them to serve for another 12 years after passage. Basically, it's a scam for current politicians to avoid being term-limited out. Most of the newspapers in California have called the proposition a fraud. It would also actually lengthen terms, since you can serve 12 years in a single house, instead of the current 6-year limitation for the Assembly and 8-year limitation in the Senate.
Propositions 94, 95, 06, and 97: Indian Gaming Vote: Yes Summary: These four propositions are actually a bloc of propositions, which would allow an expansion of casino gaming—about 3,000 slot machines apiece, specifically, for four different tribes. Let the tribes have casinos. Oh, there's the usual wingeing from the California Teacher's Association, like "Why do they promise more education revenues when NOT ONE PENNY OF IT IS GUARANTEED TO OUR SCHOOLS?" We're forgetting The Children, don't you know. Unions are against it. So are tree-huggers. "Oh, it's unfair! It doesn't make the tribes pay enough money to the state! Waaaah!" Cry me a river.
So, not a lot of really important stuff on the ballot, but, I couldn't let the election go past without running through the propositions.
Loved your line "Oh, basically it does a whole bunch of crap that either a) doesn’t need to be done, or b) spends money that doesn’t need to be spent." Which, from my experience living in CA means, it absolutely, positively, will pass.
This non Californian is curious how the community college proposition would turn out to be an unfunded mandate for K-12? Is that simply because it takes away money from K-12, or something deeper?
Also, how do you think the proposition votes will play into the presidential primaries. Florida’s Amendment 1—which was a tax cutting proposal opposed by a slew of government employee unions and municipal governments [and it’s so complicated it might end up not being a tax cutting measure at all]—was passed by a supermajority ( a requirement since the last set of elections). Gov. Crist was the main person campaigning for Amendment 1—so its passage is a big personal win for him; and it’s quite possible that without it, turnout would have been much less, and neither Clinton nor McCain would have emerged as victors in Florida.