"California is one of only a handful of states that requires a super-majority (2/3 vote) to pass its annual budget. This allows a minority of legislators (34%) to hold the majority hostage... The stalemate has to end, and the way to do it is with a simple majority rule, like we imagined a democracy would be. If the minority party wants to have a say, they've got to come to the table to work, not just be obstructionist babies."The budget stalemates, and resulting partial shut-downs, have cost our state billions in interest and other costs. These political theatrics don't just hurt state workers, but effects our entire state economy as it punishes small businesses who rely on state spending (such as food vendors to state prisons) when they aren't paid on time. I believe Prop 25 to be one of the most important reforms Californians could possibly pass, and I urge a strong "YES" vote.
I'm also voting a strong "YES" on Proposition 22, "Prohibits the State From Taking Funds Used for Transportation or Local Government Projects and Services," and I'm appalled at the Democratic Party and other "progressives" who are recommending a "no" vote. Yes, I'm fully aware of the state's budget problems and the tough choices to be made. But the state's habit of fixing its problems by raiding other funds has been a disaster for local services and needs to stop. Now. And while I'm shaming the Democratic Party, here's also a bit of scolding for the California Teachers Association, who rightly screamed bloody murder when the Governor raided education dollars, but now aren't willing to help the cities and counties in the same fight.
My strongest "NO" vote recommendation is on Proposition 23, "Suspends Air Pollution Control Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level." This has nothing to do with "saving jobs" ... at least, not California jobs. This is simply a couple of Texas oil companies who don't want to comply with our new pollution standards.
I will probably vote for Proposition 19, "Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to Be Regulated and Taxed," but it's largely symbolic as this does nothing to change Federal law. An interesting note is that some of the Medical Marijuana advocates are recommending "no" votes here, as current Medical Marijuana law allows for larger "private gardens" than does Prop 19.
On the two redistricting propositions, I'm torn. Proposition 20 adds Congressional districts to the responsibility of the State Commission on Redistricting, while Proposition 27 eliminates the Commission completely, and turns that power back to the State Legislature. The Democrats, who are in the majority, are for Prop 27 and against Prop 20. But I'm leaning toward Power to the People and going against the "official liberal" grain on this pair of conflicting propositions.
If you would like to see a great master list of who has endorsed "YES" or "NO" on each of the propositions (includes groups from all across the political spectrum), see the California Choices website (californiachoices.org). Meanwhile, here's a quick list with my choices (subject to change without notice):
19 - Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to Be Regulated and Taxed - soft "yes"
20 - Redistricting of Congressional Districts - "yes"
21 - Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State Parks and Wildlife Programs - "YES"
22 - Prohibits the State From Taking Funds Used for Transportation or Local Government Projects and Services - "YES!"
23 - Suspends Air Pollution Control Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level - "HELL NO!"
24 - Repeals Legislation That Allow Businesses to Lower Taxable Income - "yes"
25 - Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass a Budget From 2/3 to a Simple Majority - "PLEASE YES!!!"
26 - Requires Certain State and Local Fees to Be Approved by 2/3 Majority - "NO"
27 - Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority - "yes"