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NO on Proposition 1: The Water Bond
Proposition 1 will not give us the water we need. It will put us, our children, and our grandchildren deeper into debt. With interest (tax-free to the wealthy bond investors), the $7.5 billion bond will cost us $360 million each year for 40 years. 36% of the bond money is devoted to the construction of dams and pipelines that will send Sacramento River water to big agricultural companies in the Central Valley. Only 6.9% is earmarked for safe and clean drinking water, some of which will benefit low-income communities. There is no guaranteed funding for much needed projects to replace crumbling infrastructure (like sewer systems) in urban areas.Proposition 1 will not make rain fall from the sky. But it will take our money and use it for the benefit of big agricultural corporations,while building dams will impact the few natural resources we have left.
NO on Proposition 2: Restrictive “Rainy Day Fund”
This is a major revision of a state government "rainy day fund" that voters approved in 2004. Its net effect is to make the state'sbudgetary straightjacket even tighter than it already is. A rainy day fund might be useful as a way to soften the periodic blows of thedepressions and recessions that are built in to capitalist economies. But only if it is funded from steeply progressive taxes on the rich and their corporations that generate budget surpluses when the economy is growing and government is doing its job. With our currenttax structure and meager state budgets, everything that goes into these reserve accounts is being taken away from desperately needed services and infrastructure projects. We urge a No vote on Proposition 2.
YES on Proposition 45: Brake on Health Insurance Rate Increases
There is no "independent commission" which can regulate excessive health insurance rate hikes. Rates have gone up 185% in the last decade. Right now, no one in California has the authority to regulate excessive health insurance rate hikes. We need Prop 45 to fix that hole in healthcare reform.
Proposition 45 would simply impose the same health insurance rate regulation system that Prop. 103 (1988) imposed on automobileand homeowner's insurance. The Peace and Freedom Party supports a single payer model as a step toward a National Healthcare System. In the meantime, we must give the Insurance Commissioner the same advance approval authority over health insurance ratesthat 35 states and the District of Columbia already have. Proposition 45 is a modest step toward reform of a dysfunctional system that, for the present, includes private healthcare insurers.
NO on Proposition 46: More Mandatory Drug Testing
Proposition 46 increases the cap on medical malpractice awards and imposes mandatory drug testing of doctors. In addition to requiring all doctors to submit to drug testing, it requires all medical personnel to report any doctor they suspect of taking any drug to the authorities. The writers of this initiative included the drug testing provision to get people to vote for it. We think the expansion ofthe police powers of the state tells us to just say “No.”
YES on Proposition 47: Decrease Criminal Penalties
Proposition 47 is a step towards making the California criminal justice system less unjust. This proposition would reduce theclassification of certain non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. It also calls for theconsideration of re-sentencing those currently incarcerated for the offenses changed to misdemeanors. However, if the defendant hasprior convictions for murder or rape, or is a registered sex offender, that person is not eligible for reduced classification of the newlesser crime. The Peace and Freedom Party is committed to the end of the prison-industrial complex, and civil rights and humanetreatment for all human beings. We support Proposition 47 as a step in the right direction, but we are concerned that ruling outindividuals with certain prior convictions, without consideration of the circumstances of the crime, is fundamentally unjust andunnecessarily draconian.
YES on Proposition 48: Uphold Negotiated Compact
A coalition of rival gambling interests and people who oppose expanding Native American reservation land are trying to overturn thecompact negotiated in good faith by the Wiyot and North Fork Mono. This would be unfair, and a violation of Native Americansovereignty. We urge a "yes" vote to uphold the properly-negotiated compact, which is supported by the unions representing casino and construction workers.