California Election Recommendations for May 19, 2009

The California legislature authorized this unnecessary special election in a special deal with Republicans in the state. All of the propositions are pernicious because they would negatively impact spending for human services in the state while not doing anything to cut spending in the areas where it makes sense.

Here are my recommendations:

1A: NO (this is the most important one to oppose because the spending cap would permanently hamper the ability to fund human services programs in California)

1B: Maybe (only goes into effect if 1A passes in which case it might help with preserving some education funding)

1C: No (promotes lottery gambling, which has a disproportionate negative impact on lower-income people, while providing more funding to lottery consultants and less funding to education programs)

1D: No (removes early childhood program funding)

1E: No (removes mental health program funding)

1F: No (constitutional limits to legislator pay increases do nothing to solve the budget crisis… we can always vote them out if they vote to increase their pay inappropriately)

Budget propositions I’d like to see on the ballot this fall that would actually help solve the budget crisis:

  • Reduce the percentage of votes required to pass a budget and/or raise taxes in the legislature from 2/3 to 55%.
  • Get rid of prop 13 property tax limits for corporate real estate
  • Limit 3 strikes to violent crimes
  • Legalize and tax marijuana
  • Single payer health care
  • Tax oil extraction (if the oil companies are permitted do it)
  • Corporate tax based on executive compensation and bonuses

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