Friday, October 29, 2004

Assemblywoman Loni Hancock's Proposition Recommendations

Proposition 1A - NO
Proposition 59 - YES
Proposition 60 - YES
Proposition 60A - YES
Proposition 61 - YES
Proposition 62 - NO
Proposition 63 - YES
Proposition 64 - NO
Proposition 65 - NO
Proposition 66 - YES
Proposition 67 - YES
Proposition 68 - NO
Proposition 69 - NO
Proposition 70 - NO
Proposition 71 - YES
Proposition 72 - YES

Below is some background on each ballot measure:

Proposition 1A - Protection of Local Government Revenues
Recommendation: NO
Proposition 1A locks into the state Constitution an outmoded funding formula, that has encouraged local government to "chase sales tax" instead of building needed infill and mixed-use housing. Proposition 1A will also dramatically reduce the ability to balance the needs of all Californians. Proposition 1A will leave education, health care and human service programs
unprotected in difficult budget years. Rather then carve up the existing revenue pot, we need to increase the size of the pot.

Proposition 59 - Public Records, Open Meetings
Recommendation: YES
While it does not add any additional access to public records or meetings, Proposition 59 creates a constitutional right for the public to access government information. It is supported by the League of Women Voters, the California First Amendment Coalition and the California Newspaper
Publishers Association.

Proposition 60 - Election Rights of Political Parties
Recommendation: YES
Proposition 62 guarantees that any party that qualifies to have a candidate on the ballot in primaries can have have a candidate on the ballot in the November General elections. In a district like the 14th Assembly District, Proposition 60 will give Democrats a choice by allowing Republicans, Greens, Libertarians and other third parties to have a candidate (other than Democrat) in the General Election. This measure is supported by Democrats, Republicans and Greens.

Proposition 60A - Surplus Property
Recommendation: YES
Proposition 60A requires proceeds from the sale of surplus property go toward paying off the Economic Recovery Bonds approved by voters in March. The state has been relying on bonds to pay for on going programs and has built up a giant bonded indebtedness. The sooner we pay this debt off the better.

Proposition 61 - Children's Hospital Bonds
Recommendation: YES
This measure authorizes $750 million in bonds for the construction of desperately need children's hospital facilities.

Proposition 62 - Elections
Recommendation: NO
This measure requires that the top two vote-getting candidates in a primary, regardless of party affiliation, face a runoff in November. In some districts, Prop. 62 means that in November no Democrat, no Peace and Freedom candidate, and no Green Party representative could even be on the ballot if two Republicans came in first and second in the vote count. This measure destroys third parties, and reduces choice for those not in the majority in a district.

Proposition 63 - Mental Health Services Expansion
Recommendation: YES
Proposition 63 establishes a 1 percent state income tax surcharge on taxpayers with an annual taxable income over $1 million. Funds would go to expand desperately needed county mental health programs. Proposition 63 is supported by doctors, nurses, teachers and law enforcement.

Proposition 64 - Limits on Private Enforcement of Unfair Business
Competition Laws
Recommendation: NO
This measure would limit the rights of Californians to enforce environmental, public health, privacy and consumer protection laws. It would significantly limit an individual's right to sue corporate wrongdoers. These laws have been used successfully to sue companies that knowingly
sell tainted meat, and pollute our air and water. Though the ads say it protects small businesses from nuisance lawsuits, in practice it will prevent environmental groups from suing to protect beaches, forests, rivers, the very air we breathe, and the water we drink. Don't be fooled, vote a
very, very big NO!

Proposition 65 - Local Government Funds
Recommendation: NO
Proposition 65 was placed on the ballot by local government organizations who later cut a deal with Governor Schwarzenegger to put Proposition 1A on the ballot.

Proposition 66 - Limitation on "Three Strikes" Law
Recommendation: YES
Proposition 66 amends the states' "Three Strikes" law to require that only convictions for violent or serious felonies be counted as a strike. It will save taxpayers million of dollars a year and restore the original intent of the "Three Strikes" Law.

Proposition 67 - Emergency Medical Services
Recommendation: YES
Proposition 67 will cost residential telephone users 50 cents a month to generate $500 million a year to maintain emergency medical services. In just 10 years, California has lost 64 emergency rooms and trauma centers. It is supported by the California Medical Association.

Proposition 68 - Non-Tribal Commercial Gambling Expansion
Recommendation: NO
Proposition 68 will expand slot machine casinos into urban areas by allowing card clubs and racetracks to operate slot machines unless Indian tribe give the state 25% of their slot machine proceeds. Gambling is not a predictable or responsible way to fund state government.

Proposition 69 - DNA Samples
Recommendation: NO
Proposition 69 would allow the government to collect the DNA of any person arrested for a felony. Not charged or convicted - simply arrested. DNA samples are already kept on convicted felons - this measure goes to far.

Proposition 70 - Tribal Gambling Compacts
Recommendation: NO
Proposition 70 will increase the number of Indian Casinos while giving the state less money from each gambling compact.

Proposition 71 - Stem Cell Research
Recommendation: YES
Proposition 71 authorizes up to $3 billion in bond money for stem cell research. Projects must be approved through a competitive grant program by a Citizen Oversight Committee that is made up of medical and financial experts. This measure can help make California a leader in this emerging field create new research production jobs.

Proposition 72 - Health Care Coverage Requirements
Recommendation: YES
Proposition 72 is an effort by big businesses to overturn a law passed by the Legislature last year that requires them to provide health insurance for their employees or pay a fee to the medical insurance board that will purchase private health insurance for those employees. While Proposition 72 is not universal health care, it is a step in the right direction.

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