Official Voting Guide of Me Part 2

Click here for part 1


Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding
Should the California Constitution be amended to (a) temporarily increase sales and personal income tax rates; (b) guarantee certain revenue transfers to local governments; and (c) eliminate state funding of certain mandates to local governments?

Prop 30 and Prop 38 are both trying to achieve the same goal: more money for education. I like prop 30 because it means no tax obligation for me, except for a .25% increase in sales tax. The burden of a 1-3% tax increase will instead fall on those making $250,000/year or higher. The tax increase is temporary, lasting for seven years.

The prop 30 people are saying that the money can’t be touched for any non-school reason, but the prop 38 people say that while that particular money can’t be touched, other funding can be reduced on the basis of this specific income. Prop 30 people come back saying that if Prop 30 doesn’t pass, schools will lose funding anyway. It all seems extremely complicated and has to do with an intricate level of state and school finance that I have absolutely no ability to learn in one afternoon.

If both 30 and 38 pass, the one with the most votes will be enacted.

VOTE: Yes. In light of the extremely complicated language on both sides, I’m voting for both 30 an 38 because I agree that our schools need some level of funding from somewhere, and I don’t really care where. I’d rather 38, but I won’t risk neither passing just to get my druthers.

Proposition 31 State Budget. State and Local Government
Should the state constitution and law be amended to require government performance reviews and two-year budget cycles, to prohibit the Legislature from creating certain expenditures unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified, and to make changes in certain responsibilities of local government, the Legislature and the Governor?

Oh Jesus, this law is so dense, and I have so much don’t care inside of me. Also, the neighbors just got in a physical altercation, and the girl is now standing below my window and crying to her friend on the phone, and I just want to listen to that and not read about local verses state financial structures regarding property taxes. Oh wait, she’s gone. Apparently the guy let her dog out and so she hit him. Or something. Back to the exciting world of Prop. 31.

Here are the bullet points:

  • Establishes two-year state budget cycle.
  • Prohibits Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified.
  • Permits Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act.
  • Requires performance reviews of all state programs.
  • Requires performance goals in state and local budgets.
  • Requires publication of bills at least three days prior to legislative vote.
  • Allows local governments to alter how laws governing state-funded programs apply to them, unless Legislature or state agency vetoes change within 60 days.

Wait, Ben said he talked to the neighbors, and it wasn’t a fight between them, it was a fight with them and a random guy who broke into their house, let their dog out, and attacked the dude. What the ever-loving fuck? How soon is too soon to go over and ask what the they did in order to make that possible. Their lock isn’t broken, did they just not lock the door? Are we going to have to move? Ah Jeeze.

Ok, I just went outside and heard them talking to the cops. Here’s what really happened: The guy got pissed that the girl’s dog isn’t house-trained, so he let it out, and now it’s presumed missing. The girl called her boyfriend, who came over and attacked the guy, who then called the cops. As shitty as our neighborhood is, I was pretty certain we don’t have random attacks happening at 10 am on Monday in broad daylight. And if you’re wondering why I’m at home on a Monday, it’s because the fumigation guys are coming today. Oh, and can I just say that the police response was really quick? I appreciate that, Hawthorne P.D.

VOTE: No. I like the idea of state finance reform, but I am really not okay with the provision that Local governments (including school districts) can just decide how state money is spent, up to and including whatever they fucking want. We don’t need it to be easier for another City of Bell to happen.

Proposition 32 Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates
Should unions, corporations, government contractors and state and local government employers be prohibited from using payroll-deducted funds, or in some instances their own funds, for political expenditures?

Ostensibly, this is supposed to stop the hemorrhage of money from special interest groups like corporations and unions into the campaigns of their pet politicians. Except it won’t do that at all. There’s a lot of fancy language in here and if I wasn’t a unionist, I probably would only vote against it because the teachers, firefighters, and police are against it, and because it seems a little fishy that big business would back a law meant to curtail the power of big business.

But since I am a unionist, I can say is that this law won’t affect corporations at all, in fact, their preferred methods of campaign finance bloat, like Super PACs and expenditure committees are protected by the constitution and can’t be affected by this law. All Prop. 32 does is make it harder for unions to collect the dues they rely on to function. And by function I mean negotiate contracts, mediate employment disputes, and protect workers. This is union busting pure and simple.

VOTE: No. Workers need unions more than ever.

Proposition 33 Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage
Should automobile insurance companies be permitted to offer a discount to drivers who have continuously maintained their insurance coverage, even if they change their insurance company?

I’m suspicious of this law right off the bat. Didn’t we already do this dance two years ago? Yes, yes we did.

Vote: No. Let’s just say I strongly doubt that the insurance companies are spending millions to fund the Yes on 33 campaign out of their good natured wish that we could get discounts. Even if I’d been born yesterday, I wasn’t born with brain damage.

Proposition 34 Death Penalty
Should the death penalty be repealed and replaced with life imprisonment without possibility of parole when someone is convicted of murder with specified special circumstances?

I’ve always been against the death penalty, so you know I’m voting yes on this one. I like that it gives $100 million to law enforcement for investigating rape and murder, and that it stipulates that the convicted work in prison in order to pay whatever financial restitution is due their victims families or the state. The no on 34 camp says that housing the inmates will cost the state $50,000 a year per inmate while the yes on 34 people say it could save the state as much as $100 million a year in court costs. It bothers me that the No on 34 argument is mostly emotional, which is a really easy way to get me to stop paying attention. Yes murder is bad, and yes murders are bad, but we have to think of this with our brains and not with our guts.

VOTE: Yes.

Click here for part 3
Click here for part 4