Sunday, November 2, 2008

California State Propositions

Prop 1A-Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train
Prop. 1A asks voters to approve the issuance of $9.95 billion of general obligation bonds. This would partially fund a $40 billion, 800-mile high speed train under the supervision of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The train would run between San Francisco and Los Angeles, with Anaheim, California, designated as the southern terminus of the initial segment of the high-speed train system. Estimates are that the train system would be completed in 2030, and that it would take passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in about 2 hours and 40 minutes.

I'm voting NO. Our state government is already operating at a substantial deficit and to take on this substantial debt would be irresponsible considering that there is no guarantee the project will ever be completed, there is no current business plan, the actual cost likely to reach $81 billion, and the estimates that Prop 1A supporters have made as to how many riders the system would have are grossly overstated, so the system, if built, will have less revenue, and huge unpredicted cost overruns.

Prop 2-Standards for Confining Farm Animals
Prop 2 will create a new state statute that prohibits the confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.

NO to this one as well. If a person feels bad for the chicken, they can spend their money buying cage-free eggs. Since when did a chicken's right to stretch its wings become more important that an unborn child's right to life anyway?

Prop 3 -Children's Hospital Bond Act
Prop 3 authorizes $980,000,000 in bonds, to be repaid from state’s General Fund, to fund the construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of children’s hospitals.

NO. California passed Prop 61 in 2004, which authorized $750,000 for the same purpose. Half that money remains unspent, why do they need more already?

Prop 4 -Abortion Waiting Period and Parental Notification Initiative

Prop 4, aka Sarah's Law, would prohibit abortion for unemancipated minors until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent, legal guardian or, if parental abuse has been reported, an alternative adult family member.

YES, because if my fourteen year old daughter got pregnant and thought the only solution was to kill her unborn child, I'd want to know about it and present her with some options that Planned Parenthood might have skipped over.

Prop 5-Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act
Prop 5 requires California to expand and increase funding and oversight for individualized treatment and rehabilitation programs for nonviolent drug offenders and parolees. It reduces criminal consequences of nonviolent drug offenses by mandating three-tiered probation with treatment and by providing for case dismissal and/or sealing of records after probation. It limits court’s authority to incarcerate offenders who violate probation or parole, and shortens parole for most drug offenses, including sales, and for nonviolent property crimes. It creates numerous divisions, boards, commissions, and reporting requirements regarding drug treatment and rehabilitation and changes certain marijuana misdemeanors to infractions.
NO. Is there really such a thing as non-violent drug trafficking? Just say no to this "Drug Dealers’ Bill of Rights"

Prop 6-Safe Neighborhoods Act
Prop 6 targets youth for adult incarceration by deeming any youth 14 years or older who is convicted of a "gang-related" felony must be tried as an adult, targets poor people by requiring recipients of public housing subsidies to submit to annual criminal background checks and withdrawing the housing subsidies of people with recent criminal convictions, targets illegal aliens by denying bail to those that are charged with violent or gang-related crimes and requires local sheriffs to inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the arrests.

YES, because I got the above information off a website opposed to Prop 6. God forbid teenagers old enough to be in a gang and kill/rape/steal cars/*insert felony of your choice here* should be deemed old enough to be tried as an adult. This is not a case of an 8 year old getting ahold of Daddy's gun and accidentally shooting his little sister. And how dare we take away government subsidised housing from criminals, or report the crimes of illegal aliens to ICE! Geez louise!

Prop 7-Renewable Energy Initiative

Prop 7 would require California utilities to procure half of their power from renewable resources by 2025. California utilities will be required to increase their purchase of electricity generated from renewable resources by 2% annually to meet Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements of 40% in 2020 and 50% in 2025. Under current law, investor-owned utility companies must comply with an RPS of 20% by 2010

NO for the same reason as Prop 2. I'm a supporter of the free market when it comes to consumables like eggs and energy. Plus, it's not good for our economy at all. It will force small wind and solar companies out of the market by excluding renewable plants smaller than 30mw from counting towards the new requirements. Nearly 60% of contracts under California’s renewable requirements are with these small providers; forcing these companies out will eliminate a major source of clean power and thousands of jobs. It contains a provision that virtually guarantees that electricity consumers will pay 10% above market rates for renewable power forever - even when the costs of solar and wind sources become more competitive.

Prop 8-California Marriage Protection Act

Prop 8 will amend the state constitution to say "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California".

YES. It protects children from being taught things in public school that greatly differ from views held by some parents. If they can take Christmas out of schools because it offends some atheist parents, they should take homosexuality out because it offends some Christian parents. It also protects religious universities, adoption providers, psychologists, doctors, and photographers from prosecution for practicing their religious convictions.

Prop 9-Victims' Rights and Protection Act of 2008

Prop 9 amends the State Constitution and various state laws to expand the legal rights of crime victims and the payment of restitution by criminal offenders, restrict the early release of inmates, and change the procedures for granting and revoking parole.

YES. Crime victims should not be victimized a second time by the courts.

Prop 10-California Alternative Fuels Initiative

Prop 10 would set up a rebate program to give a rebate to people who purchase vehicles that are powered by fuel sources other than regular gasoline, as well as a rebate for people who buy fuel-saving vehicles (like the Toyota Prius). The state government would pay for the rebates, up to a total of $5 billion.

NO. Give yourself a big ol' green pat on the back if you buy a Prius, but don't expect me to slap a greenback in your hand if you do so.

Prop 11-Voters FIRST Act

Prop 11 would change the process that is undertaken once every ten years of setting (which sometimes means re-drawing) the geographic boundaries of the state's 120 legislative districts and four Board of Equalization districts. At present, the task of setting these boundaries falls to the state legislature itself. If Proposition 11 passes, that task would instead be given to a new, 14-member commission.

This one's tough... The ACLU supports it, Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi oppose it. Hmmm... I'm going to say YES. Because the Legislature draws their own districts and, essentially chooses their own voters, 99 % of incumbents are reelected to office. As a result, they have very little incentive to be responsive to constituent concerns or make tough policy decisions – and they remain beholden to special interests, rather than voters. Plus, I can't imagine ever agreeing with Barbara Boxer or Nancy Pelosi on anything.

Prop 12- Veteran's Bond Act of 2008

Prop 12 authorizes issuance of $900 million in bonds to create a fund that assists veterans who are purchasing farms, homes and mobile home properties.

YES, because I have a soft spot for vets that have served to protect our country. The loans provided are repaid by the loan holders at no expense to the taxpayers. There have never been any costs to the taxpayers under the previous authorizations. Plus, the program helps reinforce the housing market in California and Cal Vet loans generate thousands of housing industry-related jobs resulting in millions of dollars in annual payrolls.

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