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Holtz's take on the California propositions

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Mark Holtz, Feb 21, 2004.

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  1. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    Here is my take on the California propositions that will be voted on in March.

    55 - NO While our schools are in need of repair, putting a bond issue on the ballot is a bad idea at this time. California's credit rating, which was one of the best a few short years ago, is now the worst in the nation, resulting in addition costs.

    56 - NO While this proposition has plenty of things to like (i.e. legislators not getting paid for not passing the budget on time), it also has the poison pill in reducing the number of votes to pass a budget from two-thirds to 55%. Under the current legislature, this will mean that the Democrats won't need Republican votes to pass the budget. No wonder it is supported by the public employee unions.

    57 - NO By consolidating the loans into one big bond measure, the legislators won't have to make the hard choices of cutting spending. When Davis was in office, the rate of spending increases was higher than the amount of revenue coming in.

    58 - YES While not perfect, it is a step in the right direction to clean up the budget mess. I like the fact that the state has to establish a rainy day fund.

    My absentee ballot has been mailed in.
     
  2. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    I think the best referendum that California could pass is one to outlaw referendums. :p During the governor fiasco it was pointed out that because of all the referendums, the governor only has discretion for about 10% of the budget of the state. The other 90% of the budget is "hardwired" by referendums and the governor nor the legislature can alter it. Much of the financial crisis of the state is directly because of those referendums and isn't the fault of the governor nor the legislature. Davis just happened to be the unlucky ******* in office when it all came crashing down. Arnie and the rabid Republicans who pushed him into office talked a lot, but now reveal they can do little about the problem.

    That's why our government was decided a long time ago to be a Republic and not a democracy. Mob rule never works.
     
  3. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    Mark, do you have a link where we could see the actual propositions? Your reasoning may be sound, but it's tough to judge if we don't know what you're reasoning about.:confused:

    And I must say I have a tendancy to agree with Happy here. If you're listing only propositions 55-58 here, how many propositions are there? It would appear this system has gotten out of hand. Even if a voter makes an effort to be well informed, it would seem difficult at best. And for those who don't seek to be informed, it's a crap shoot.

    A little education on how this works might help. We're talking a primary election, right? Do propositions pass on a simple majority of those who vote? Do they only need to pass once? If so, they may be passed, or be defeated, by a relatively small percentage of the population. Add to this that in any primary with an incumbent President, the majority of those voting will be of the opposite party, this year Democrats, in '96 for example, Republicans.

    I too have heard that much, the vast majority in fact, of the California budget is locked in by proposition. With more then fifty propositions on this ballot alone, it seems California has only two choices. Either make propositions harder to get on the ballot and/or harder to pass, or simply eliminate the governor and legislature and go to rule by proposition.:shrug:
     
  4. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    Certainly. The information can be found through the California Secretary of State's office. The Voter Guide is available, and you can even view the propositions.

    There are only 4 propositions (aka initiatives) on the ballot. It used to be that all the propositions began with a 1 on the ballot in every, but it was changed a few years ago so that every few years, the number is set back to 1. Thus, propositions 53 and 54 were on the October recall ballot.

    The propositions pass on a simply majority vote unless otherwise specified. To qualify a proposition (or recall), you have to collect a certain number of signatures based upon the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. This part is hazy at this point, as I don't know if it's based upon the November, 2002 election (which had a record low turnout) or the recall election in October, 2003. The method of qualification can be found here.

    The initiative process was part of a series of reforms put in by Governor Hiram Johnson and approved by the voters in October, 1911.

    Hope that helps. (Sorry about that).
     
  5. Charles Oliva

    Charles Oliva Godfather

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    Here's my take...even though I haven't lived in Cali since '85. :)

    Prop 55: NO. Eliminate the CSU and UC systems from funding by this propostion and I would be for it, despite the added debt.

    Prop 56: NO. Most of California's legislators have outside careers or sources of income, so the "No pay until a budget passes" is a non starter. The lower threshold for passing the budget also is worrysome even though the Governor in California has "line item veto" powers.

    Prop 57: YES. I do think that it is wise to refinace the states debt at much lower interest rates. While cutting spending is prudent, the way spending in California is legislated paying down the debt increamentally will ease the blow for the eventual cuts that must be made.

    Prop 58: NO. Even though Arnie advocates passing both, it's in his best interest that it's one or the other. If Prop 58 passes with Prop 57, nearly a half of California's budget will go to paying debt. The amount of cuts to other state services would be HUGE and may spur a new round of Prop 13 type initatives that may further harm and not help the state. "Rainy Day" funds simply don't work, they just become a new source of revenue for states to plunder or, even worst, borrow against.
     
  6. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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    I am sort of leaning in that same direction. Florida passed a couple of referendums a in the last election. One requires all class sizes to be cut to a certain size. The candidate running for governor on the Dem side was in favor of this and urged people to vote for it. The candidate on the Rep side was against it and urged people to vote against it. The result: referendum passes, Rep is elected governor. Now Governor Bush, along with all the various school districts have to find a way to fund this monstrosity. Second referendum: Ban smoking in all public buildings except bars that make less than 10% of their income on food. Passed by the people of Florida. Result: restaurant/bars are closing all over the state because of lack of business. http://www.tcpalm.com/tcp/pj_local_news/article/0,1651,TCP_1121_2673829,00.html I am a non smoker, but voted against this one.
     
  7. Timco

    Timco Woof! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Here is a paper that disagrees with your assumption:
    http://www.iandrinstitute.org/New%20IRI%20Website%20Info/I&R%20Research%20and%20History/I&R%20Studies/Matsusaka%20-%20CA%20Budget%20and%20Initiatives%20-%20IRI.pdf
     
  8. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Interesting. However, every other economist seems to be of the opinion that the Governor only has about 10% of the budget as discretionary, the remaining 90% is fixed by voter initiatives. Granted, statistics can be manipulated in many ways to say just about anything you want, but with the majority overwhelmingly using the 90/10 percentages, I would be more inclined to believe that.
     
  9. Timco

    Timco Woof! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I did a cursory look on the web for information that would support what you have heard and I couldn't find any. I not saying you are wrong, I just can't find any.
    I have a feeling that if the numbers were 90/10 there would be a lot more finger pointing and a lot more "My hands are tied" rhetoric.
     
  10. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    The propositions are a double-edged sword. How else are you going to get a law passed cutting off government benefits for illegal immigrants in a Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate?
     
  11. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Imagine if civil rights, women's suffrage, segregation, etc. had been left to voter referendum and not "activist judges". I have absolutely no doubt that here in Georgia, at least, women would not be voting and there would be seperate bathrooms for blacks and whites right this very minute.

    If the people continue to vote for the Democrat legislators, then isn't that the will of the people?
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    At Referendum: Proposition 99 - Be it proposed that, subsequent to approval by a simple majority of eligible voters, the State of California shall disburse to each resident of the State of California the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000). Said funds shall be disbursed in cash from the State Treasury no later than 180 days following certification. This Proposition shall have the effect of law and shall not be subject to revocation by any Legislative, Executive or Judicial action.
     
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