Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, February 04, 2008

Those Pesky Propositions

Californians have 7 propositions to consider this time. (See original voter information guide, and supplemental guide.) Here's how I am voting, and why. My general theme: stop monkeying around.

91: NO.
Official summary: "Prohibits certain motor vehicle fuel taxes from being retained in General Fund and delays repayment of such taxes previously retained. Changes how and when General Fund borrowing of certain transportation funds is allowed."
My reasoning: Another lame proposition pushed by special interests to restrict how Sacramento can spend money. It is exactly this kind of (sometimes well-intentioned) monkeying around that has helped create state budgetary impasses and chaos. Just say no.

92: NO.
Official summary: "Establishes in state constitution a system of independent public community college districts and Board of Governors. Generally, requires minimum levels of state funding for school districts and community college districts to be calculated separately, using different criteria and separately appropriated. Allocates 10.46 percent of current Proposition 98 school funding maintenance factor to community colleges. Sets community college fees at $15/unit per semester; limits future fee increases. Provides formula for allocation by Legislature to community college districts that would not otherwise receive general fund revenues through community college apportionment."
My reasoning: (see previous proposition)

93: YES.

Official summary: "Reduces the total amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years. Allows a person to serve a total of 12 years either in the Assembly, the Senate, or a combination of both. Provides a transition period to allow current members to serve a total of 12 consecutive years in the house in which they are currently serving, regardless of any prior service in another house."
My reasoning: Though this is far from ideal, it at least loosens the current term limits for most members. To my mind, it undoes some of the monkeying around of 1990s term limit initiatives. But this is not a strong vote for me.

94-97: YES.
Official summaries: "Ratifies amendment to existing gaming compact between the state and [Pechanga/ Morongo/ Sycuan/ Agua Caliente]; amendment would permit tribe to operate [5,500/ 5,500/ 3,000/ 3,000] additional slot machines. Omits certain projects from scope of California Environmental Quality Act; amendment provides for Tribal Environmental Impact Report and intergovernmental procedure to address environmental impact. Revenue paid by tribe to be deposited into General Fund; tribe would make [$42,500,000/ $36,700,000/ $20,000,000/ $23,400,000] annual payment and pay percentage of revenue generated from the additional slot machines to the state."
My reasoning: We never should have been asked to vote on these in the first place. The Governor and legislature negotiated and ratified these four compacts already. Outside interests have spent millions hijacking the initiative process to force referenda on all four compacts--and you can be sure this is for their financial protection, not ours. Say no to monkeying around and just let the original agreements stand. That's how the process was supposed to work.

I welcome comments! I am curious to know what the other California Citizens think, especially if they have seen information or analysis I have not.


Dr. Strangelove said...

FYI, I just noticed the LA Times has recommended exactly the same votes I did on the propositions.

The Law Talking Guy said...

My votes are the same, but different reasons on 94-97. I'm sure they are bad deals. Nunez and Schwarzenegger have taken millions from the tribes, and are giving them a sweetheart deal. I'm sure the bargaining was like the negotiation between hunger and dinner. But it's free money, and we need it.

Dr. Strangelove said...

It's not entirely free money: there is an opportunity cost. As you know, almost everyone who gambles at these casinos is a Californian who otherwise would probably have spent the money somewhere in California and therefore paid California's sales tax. Or they would perhaps have played one of the official state lotteries.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Well, they might have spent it on the internet (untaxed). I get the argument, but it's a bit of a stretch. Is it true that demand for gambling is totally elastic, such that each additional slot machine in an existing casino means more people gamble?

Raised By Republicans said...

Or they might have gone to Vegas.

uswest said...

I voted no on the gaming initiative because the voter guide said that there would be no independent financial or environmental audits of these casinos. It struck me as odd and I don't trust that.

On propositions, I tend to vote a blanket "no" because most are traps, and we should not be voting on these things, as Dr. S pointed out. Also, voting yes gets you nowhere. When things pass, they are challenged and usually never come into effect.

I will vote yes on anything that will give me a high speed train, though.

The Law Talking Guy said...

USWest- AMEN to that last statement!

USWest proves, btw, that she is the classic Californian proposition voter: when in doubt, vote no. Remember the headline of the LA Times the day after election day, 2005? "No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No!" (reflecting the 8 defeated ballot initiatives Arnie proposed).

USWest said...

LTG really appreciated my comment. He responded 3 times! :-)

Of course I am classic California. I am a California girl- Ok, so I'm brunette. But still . . .

Dr. Strangelove said...

(I just removed the duplicative comments USWest mentioned.)

The Law Talking Guy said...

My computer does that sometimes, for some reason. Thanks for catching it.