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California Propositions June 2010

by Tony Medley

Proposition 13, legislative Constitutional Amendment:

Explanation: Deletes two Constitutional exclusions from increasing property taxes for earthquake retrofits, which are limited and specific and expire 15 years after made. Replaces them with an all-inclusive exclusion for all earthquake retrofits with no time limit. In other words, the property taxes canít be increased by the amount of the retrofit until the property is sold.

Recommendation: Yes

Proposition 14, legislative Constitutional Amendment:

Explanation: Allows any voter to vote for any candidate in primary, regardless of party, resulting in the top two vote-getters to run off in the general election, again, regardless of party. Does not apply to presidential election primaries.

Recommendation: No. This allows candidates to conceal their party affiliation which would allow all sorts of chicanery. Gov. Schwarzenegger and the AARP support it.

Proposition 15:

Explanation: Repeals the ban on public funding of political campaigns and allows the state legislature (and some city, county, and local policy makers) to establish future public financing programs. As written, this measure applies only to the office of Secretary of State.

Recommendation: No. Regardless of how you feel about funding of political campaign, this is clearly an unconstitutional violation of the right of free speech. In addition, Iím against anything that gives state legislators and/or local politicians more power.

Proposition 16: Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Explanation: Requires 2/3 vote before a local government can arrange to provide electric service.

Recommendation: No. The last time California messed with electric service, in a law drafted by Democrat Steve Peace that no other legislator read or understood, it destroyed a system that had withstood the test of time for over a century and resulted in Enron and incredibly increased rates. We shouldnít mess with it again. This is just a power grab by PG&E.

Proposition 17:

Explanation: This allows an insurance company to offer a continuous coverage discount on auto policies.

Recommendation: No. This is sponsored by Mercury Insurance and could actually result in increasing premiums. Why should the auto insurance premium have anything to do with anything other than a driverís driving record?

Los Angeles Measure E:

Explanation: Levies a $100 per parcel tax for four years to give more money to schools.

Recommendation: No. Schools already get too much money for very little educational services. They donít need more money. They need better teachers, fewer administrators, and an end to union domination.