California Ballot Propositions

My goal for this blog is to focus mostly on writing. That said, I spent a few hours going over the ballot initiatives and thought I’d post my thoughts to help those of you trying to decide. Remember, if you don’t like my views, these are just my opinions.

Prop 51 School Bond – Tending No

It’s hard to tell whether these expenses are needed. I read Jerry Brown opposes this. Since he’s been pretty good on budget issues, I’ll probably go with his recommendation.

Prop 52 Medi-Cal Fee – No

This would make hospitals paying a fee to Medi-Cal permanent.  There’s an issue of fairness. Should everybody who uses a hospital have to pay a portion of their already huge bills to Medi-Cal? Maybe but I think the legislature should evaluate this on a year-to-year basis.

Prop 53 Revenue Bonds – No

Would require voter approval of revenue bonds for projects costing more than $2B. I’m voting no because I think voter approvals make getting any budget issues passed almost impossible.

Prop 54 Legislature Proceedings – Tending Yes

This would require all bills to be posted to the Internet 72 hours before they can be voted into law. Although I worry this will add roadblocks that make amending bills almost impossible, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters support it. I’m tending yes on their recommendation.

Prop 55 Tax Extension – Tending Yes

This would extend a “temporary” income tax increase of 1% to 3% on people earning over $250k per year. Although I wonder about the fairness of this, I’m tending yes.

Prop 56 Cigarette Tax – Yes

Although I have reservations about the fairness of raising the cost of a pack of cigarettes from $6 to $8, I think this will discourage smoking and reimburse CA for for the medical expenses smokers incur.

Prop 57 Criminal Sentencing Reform – Yes

America has too many people in jail. Some of them definitely need to be there but this will help restore the proper balance.

Prop 58 Multilingual Education – Yes

Makes bilingual education available. Throwing kids who can’t speak English into English-only classes doesn’t make sense to me.

Prop 59 Overturn Citizens United – Yes

This is advisory only. Although I’m a rabid supporter of free speech (including speech I don’t like), I think our government has become a government of the rich for the rich.

Prop 60 Condoms in Adult Films – No

Although I’m generally in favor of worker protection, the provision allowing anyone to sue adult film producers seems unworkable. I can see the fundamentalists going crazy.

Prop 61 State Rx Drug Prices – No

Though well meaning I think this is unworkable. Maybe the state does pay too much for prescription drugs but I don’t see how we can mandate it paying no more than the least the VA pays. Drug companies would probably stop selling their some products in state.

Prop 62 Death Penalty Repeal – Yes

I believe the death penalty is immoral.  It doesn’t deter crime and locking killers up for life is enough to keep the public safe.

Prop 63 Ammunition Sales – No

I think this is unworkable and makes it impossible for law-abiding gun owners to go to the shooting range. California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.

Prop 64 Marijuana Legalization – Yes

Stop the charade. Americans have been smoking marijuana for decades. Keeping it illegal just weakens respect for the law.

Prop 65 Carryout Bags – No

I’m not convinced the bag ban will help the environment. It seems like a feel-good measure with no result except inconvenience.

Prop 66 Make Death Penalty Easier – No

Even if I did believe in the death penalty, I would want to  make sure we were executing the right person. Taking away legal appeals is the wrong way to go about this.

Prop 67 Ban on Plastic Bags – No

As I said, I suspect this is feel-good legislation that would not really help the environment.

Presidential Candidates’ Charities

Before I give to a charity, I check it out with either the Better Business Bureau or the Charity Navigator website. Since the two  major presidential candidates have charities, the Donald J. Trump Foundation in Woodbury NY and the Clinton Foundation in New York City, I thought I’d see how these websites evaluate them.

Charity Navigator

Donald J. Trump Foundation

Not listed because it’s a private charity.

Clinton Foundation

Four Stars, 94.74/100 Rating

Better Business Bureau

Donald J. Trump Foundation

Not listed

Clinton Foundation

BBB standards for board compensation, effectiveness policy, and effectiveness reporting not met.