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Fall 2010 Election – Initiatives

I do not like the initiative process, particularly for “initiative statutes”. It is a horrible way to govern, and is symptomatic of the deep structural governance problems we have in California. Those with passion for a particular issue should funnel their funds, passion and drive into the standard process, and work to make the legislature compliant rather than going around them and leaving the real problem in place.

My default vote on ANY initiative statute is NO, and the hurdle to get me to vote YES is pretty high. I am more willing to approve an initiative that amends the constitution in a way with which I agree.

Note: my votes for the offices can be found here.

Prop 19 – NO – Legalize Marijuana in CA

I support the legalization of recreational drugs, but we don’t need this right now. There will be orders of magnitude more trouble with this than with the medical marijuana experiment. I also think this is one of those things that should be left with the legislature.

Prop 20 – YES – Redistricting Reform

OTOH, this is EXACTLY the kind of thing appropriate for an amendment to the constitution. It simply can’t be done legislatively, for obvious reasons. And it is pretty clear that the legislature should not be setting up their own districts.

Prop 21 – NO – $18 Car Tax Increase .. free State Park Admission
Prop 22 – NO – Prevent State from taking funds once they are designated local

Micro-management of the budget should absolutely NOT be done through initiatives. Fire the legislators who do the budget badly.

Prop 23 – UNDECIDED – Suspend AB 32 (Greenhouse Gas Regulation) until Unemployment Falls

I despise AB 32 .. it is a heavy yoke placed on business, and will result in businesses and jobs fleeing the state in ways not seen before. But I also despise initiative statutes. The “correct” outcome is for the law to do it’s thing and the legislature to figure out they screwed up and repeal it.  The problem is that I struggle to see it getting repealed legislatively. Additionally, this unemployment trigger is also nonsense, saying essentially that we want to do it but can’t afford to now.  I want AB32 repealed completely, although delaying implementation of bad law is a small good.

Prop 24 – NO – Repeal Tax Law changes around loss carry-forward

This is an easy one. We shouldn’t micro-manage the budget and taxation through initiatives, although big things (i.e. Prop 13) are good initiative subjects. And, this change is bad policy .. it repeals a tax reduction to businesses made by extending the ways that companies can carry-forward or carry-back losses. The last thing we need in the current economic climate is to increase taxes on businesses.

Prop 25 – NO – Drop Budget Passage Requirement to simple majority.

NO, NO, a thousand times NO.  This is an absolutely idiotic idea. The budget is bloated enough.

I WOULD support an amendment that allows the passage of a BALANCED budget with a simple majority. I WOULD support allowing a simple majority if the actual dollars spent were reduced from the previous year.

Prop 26 – YES – 2/3 Majority Legislative Approval Requirement for certain state fees and local taxes and fees.

Prop 26 expands the existing constitutional provision mandating 2/3 majority for tax increases to include other revenue sources, and forces it down to the local level. I love the idea! And this is absolutely a

Prop 27 – NO – Confirm Legislative control of Redistricting

This is the opposite of Prop 20. Enough said.

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  1. Fall 2010 Election – Offices – Tom's Tribulations linked to this post on October 17, 2010

    [...] Note: My votes for the ballot initiatives can be found here. [...]



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