Endorsements for California Propositions



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Prop. 32: No

The passage of this proposition would provide a $500 million bond issue as aid to California veterans, but does not provide clear definitions for who counts as a veteran. While aiding citizens who have served the United States in war is a good idea in premise, the issue of loans should not be automatic, but made available to low-income veterans, not just anyone who joined the state national guard to dodge fighting in Vietnam.

Prop. 33: No

This proposition would allow elected officials to cash in on public retirement funds. Elected officials already get enough perks with their jobs, such as salaries in excess of $99,000, free travel and other expenses. They do not need the money that was meant forpublic service workers in less glamorous jobs.

Prop. 34: No

While this proposition claims to clean up bad politics if approved by voters, it is opposed by campaign finance organizations for being special interest policy disguised as reform. The proposition boasts the ability to limit campaign spending, in addition to providing more public dislosure. But if passed, the measure would repeal stricter limits already approved by voters that have not been instituted yet due to a pending lawsuit. In short, Proposition 34 seeks to remove current campaign finance reform with vague political lingo.

Prop. 35: Yes

If approved, this measure would ammend the state constitution to eliminate restrictions on state and local contracting with private entities for engineering and architectural services. The selection process could involve competitve bidding, but bidding is not required.

Allowing the state to hire private contractors would cut the bureaucracy holding back public building projects, instead expediting them.

While opponents of this measure argue that its passage would only benefit special interests at the cost of the average taxpaying citizen, the proposition does not have to favor special interests, so long as all contracts are disclosed to the public. In fact, hiring private contractors would only facilitate the speedy completion of public projects.

Prop. 36: Yes

If approved by voters, Proposition 36 will completely overhaul

current state procedures for dealing with drug offenders. The measure would

require probation and counseling therapies to treat drug abusers as opposed

to incarcerating them.

The war on drugs has failed. Not only are drug abusers taking up

valuable space in jail cells that could be used to incarcerate violent

transgressors which taxpayers pay a fortune for, but these drug convicts

rarely overcome their addictions.

If instated the proposition will not be more lenient on drug

offenders but rather would channel punishments to more productive ends.

After treatment, charges against offenders will be fully dropped if they

are convicted of possession, transportation or use of drugs, but full

disclosure of the arrests will be made available to the public if the

convict ever runs for office or serves as a peace officer.

Expanded treatment of drug abusers will reduce crime, rehabilitate

drug abusers and save taxpayers millions of wasted dollars. The state

estimates a net annual savings of at least $100 million dollars to the state

and $40 million to local municipalities if this proposition goes into effect.

Prop. 37: No

This proposition will make it harder to impose fees on polluting corporations - money that is used to research and prevent societal, environmental and economic effects of pollution. If approved, a two-thirds vote of the state legislature and local electorate would be required to dock polluters this money and would make solving the problems they cause virtually impossible.

This flawed economic policy seeks to shift the brunt of expenses resulting from environmental damage to taxpayers, instead of the polluter.

The American Cancer Society, League of Women Voters, Sierra Club and California Tax Reform Association all oppose this measure.

Prop. 38: No

State-subsidized private school vouchers would put the final nail

in the coffin of public education in California. Approving vouchers to

"allow parents the choice" of where to send their child to learn would not

only abandon public schools, but strip local authority's ability to keep

private schools in check.

Proposition 38 is a top-down approach to fixing the education

crisis in California public schools. The measure has no guidelines to

ensure the even distribution of the billions of dollars at stake. In

addition the vouchers, $4,000 to pay tuition and private school fees, would

not even cover the costs of many private schools.

Voucher schools, newly freed from state and local control, would be

in danger of falling below current standards under the proposition as well.

Public education in California is a disgrace to the United States.

Money should be poured into the public schools, not into the hands of

parents eager to turn their back on local dilapidated schools.

Should voters pass this measure, they will set a precedent against

the ideals of public, democratic education inherent in our republic.

Prop. 39: Yes

Although this measure deviates from the 120-year precedent of requiring a two-thirds vote to approve fiscal measures, allowing school bonds to be authorized by a 55 percent local vote would empower communities to elevate the standards of schools in their districts. If approved, this proposition will apply only to bonds for the repair and construction of schools.

With California's public education in a state of disrepair, local empowerment may be one of the few things that can bring school districts back on par with how they were before the passage of Proposition 13, which froze property taxes in the 1970s, draining money from public schools.

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