League of Women Voters makes recommendations on ballot measures

The League of Women Voters of the Claremont Area will present the pros and cons of the 11 state ballot measures in the meeting room of the Claremont Library on Wednesday, October 17 from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.

Speakers will present the basic content of the measures, as well as reasons to support or oppose the measures. There will be opportunity to ask questions.  

As part of the voter service work, the League will present about a dozen pros-and-cons sessions over the next few weeks to various groups in the area.

For voting information go to www.lavote.net or www.cavote.org .

The LWV-Claremont area has made recommendations on propositions (the COURIER only make endorsements for Claremont city elections), which are listed below.

 

YES Prop 30: Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act

Proposition 30 begins to move California toward financial stability and adequate funding for all the services we want from our government; we can’t continue to cut vital public services like schools and public safety. This measure will provide some much-needed income from a temporary increase in income tax rates for the wealthy and a modest temporary sales tax increase. The plan is part of a balanced approach to eliminating our deficit that includes $8 billion in cuts, $6 billion in new revenues and $2.5 billion in loans, deferrals, etc. this year. Proposition 30 also guarantees a stable source of funding for counties to pay for their new public safety responsibilities such as housing low-level prisoners and providing substance abuse treatment.

 

NO Prop 31: Government Performance and Accountability Act

Proposition 31 is based on good intentions and has some pieces that, taken alone, the League could support. However, Prop 31 has several significant flaws. There are questions about whether or not the provisions allow local governments to suspend state environmental requirements. What is clear is that there will be significant legal uncertainty, and years of litigation. In addition, the measure prescribes the specific manner of state and local government budgeting and puts this process into the state constitution. Prop 31 has other questionable provisions, such as establishing a significant shift of power over appropriations to the governor at times of fiscal emergency.

 

NO Prop 32: Special Exemptions Act

This measure is not the campaign finance reform measure its proponents say it is. Proposition 32 promises “political reform” but is really designed by special interests to help themselves and harm their opponents. It looks like a campaign finance reform measure but unfairly targets one set of large campaign donors while giving other donors unlimited power. Its ban on payroll deductions for political giving will affect unions but not corporations, and even the restriction it places on contributions to candidates by corporations is full of loophole exemptions. It does not fix the problem of money in politics; Super PACs and independent expenditure committees will continue to spend without limitation.

 

YES Prop 34: SAFE California Act

The SAFE California Act will replace the death penalty in California with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Convicted killers will stay in prison for the rest of their lives, eliminating the possibility of executing an innocent person in California. This will save over $100 million every year, because the court and incarceration costs are so much higher for prisoners at risk for a death penalty. The $100 million savings will be allocated over the next 4 years to pay for increased investigation of unsolved rape and murder cases. Convicted killers will be required to work and pay restitution into a victims’ compensation fund.

 

YES Prop 40: Referendum on Redistricting

We strongly urge a “YES” vote on this referendum on the state Senate maps drawn by the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The question on a referendum is not intuitive; it asks if you want to retain the new law or, in this case, the maps drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. So vote yes to affirm the maps drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Yes, in support of the Commission. Yes, to validate the open, transparent process. Yes to retain fair districts.

 

No Recommendation on the Other Measures on this Ballot

Adequate revenue to provide for the public good is critically needed. The League supports Prop 30 on this ballot as the best way to provide some relief from the endless cutting of vital government services. We see some merit in the following 2 measures, Props 38 and 39, but have taken a neutral position on them because of their earmarking of revenues.

—Submitted by the League of Women Voters, Claremont Area

 

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