State Assembly (44th district): Brian Fuller
Information is taken directly from the Los Angeles county sample ballot as approved by the California secretary of state.
SAFE, RELIABLE HIGH–SPEED PASSENGER TRAIN BOND ACT. To provide Californians a safe, convenient, affordable, and reliable alternative to driving and high gas prices; to provide good–paying jobs and improve California’s economy while reducing air pollution, global warming greenhouse gases, and our dependence on foreign oil, shall $9.95 billion in bonds be issued to establish a clean, efficient high–speed train service linking Southern California, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area, with at least 90 percent of bond funds spent for specific projects, with private and public matching funds required, including, but not limited to, federal funds, funds from revenue bonds, and local funds, and all bond funds subject to independent audits? Fiscal Impact: State costs of $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay both principal and interest costs of the bonds. Payments would average about $647 million per year. When constructed, unknown operation and maintenance costs, probably over $1 billion annually; at least partially, and potentially fully, offset by passenger fares.
VOTE: NO. The state can not afford any bond measures at this time when there is already a structural deficit that our "leaders" in Sacramento have chosen to hand off until another time.
2) STANDARDS FOR CONFINING FARM ANIMALS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Requires that certain farm animals be allowed, for the majority of every day, to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up and turn around. Limited exceptions apply. Fiscal Impact: Potential unknown decrease in state and local tax revenues from farm businesses, possibly in the range of several million dollars annually. Potential minor local and state enforcement and prosecution costs, partly offset by increased fine revenue.
VOTE: NO RECOMMENDATION. Yes, I know it is a wussy way out, but I think that this can be something done possibly when the economy is in better shape. Also, as one who is for animal welfare, I know that the conditions are not what we mostly city people are used to, but it is the way that it is done. I leave to one's conscience.
3) CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL BOND ACT. GRANT PROGRAM. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Authorizes $980,000,000 in general obligation bonds for construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of eligible children’s hospitals. Fiscal Impact: State cost of about $2 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($980 million) and interest ($933 million) costs of the bonds. Payments of about $64 million per year.
VOTE: NO. Again, the state of California is essentially broke and if there is going to be a potentially worsening economy, there is no willingness of people to pony up the money to invest in these bonds.
4) WAITING PERIOD AND PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BEFORE TERMINATION OF MINOR’S PREGNANCY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes California Constitution, prohibiting abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent, legal guardian, or, in limited cases, substitute adult relative. Provides an exception for medical emergency or parental waiver. Fiscal Impact: Potential unknown net state costs of several million dollars annually for health and social services programs, court administration, and state health agency administration combined.
VOTE: YES. This is a rational way that parents of minors are involved in the process of a teenage girl who may get pregnant. There is a clear provision that protects teen girls in the event of a medical emergency or parental waiver.
5) NONVIOLENT DRUG OFFENSES. SENTENCING, PAROLE AND REHABILITATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Allocates $460,000,000 annually to improve and expand treatment programs. Limits court authority to incarcerate offenders who commit certain drug crimes, break drug treatment rules or violate parole. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs potentially exceeding $1 billion annually primarily for expansion of offender treatment programs. State savings potentially exceeding $1 billion annually on corrections operations. Net one–time state prison capital outlay savings potentially exceeding $2.5 billion.
VOTE NO. This another step towards legalizing illicit drugs and it is backed by George Soros.
6) POLICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNDING. CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND LAWS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Requires minimum of $965,000,000 of state funding each year for police and local law enforcement. Makes approximately 30 revisions to California criminal law. Fiscal Impact: Increased net state costs exceeding $500 million annually due to increasing spending on criminal justice programs to at least $965 million and for corrections operating costs. Potential one–time state prison capital outlay costs exceeding $500 million.
VOTE: NO. This is a tough one because I always back law and order type of initiatives. But, again, the state of California is broke.
7) RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Requires government–owned utilities to generate 20% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2010, a standard currently applicable to private electrical corporations. Raises requirement for all utilities to 40% by 2020 and 50% by 2025. Fiscal Impact: Increased state administrative costs up to $3.4 million annually, paid by fees. Unknown impact on state and local government costs and revenues due to the measure’s uncertain impact on retail electricity rates.
VOTE: NO. A really flawed scheme put forth by global warming fanatics. But, it actually will eliminate jobs and makes an unrealistic attempt to have 40% of all utilities to have renewable energy. Both the Democrat and Republican parties oppose this global warming nonsense.
8) ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME–SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same–sex couples to marry. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.
VOTE: YES. Intentionally poorly written title by the Democrat secretary of state. What it does is overturn the California state supreme court ruling forcing the state to recognize same-sex marriage. It will not take away any of the domestic partnership provisions and or benefits that have already been in place.
9) CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. VICTIMS’ RIGHTS. PAROLE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Requires notification to victim and opportunity for input during phases of criminal justice process, including bail, pleas, sentencing and parole. Establishes victim safety as consideration for bail or parole. Fiscal Impact: Potential loss of state savings on prison operations and increased county jail costs amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Potential net savings in the low tens of millions of dollars annually on parole procedures.
VOTE: YES. Because the state of California has a high preponderance of left-wing activist judges (some appointed by Republicans), this is very much needed to protect victims and to make sure that criminals are not set free on bail when they should be in jail awaiting trial.
10) ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES AND RENEWABLE ENERGY. BONDS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Authorizes $5 billion in bonds paid from state’s General Fund, to help consumers and others purchase certain vehicles, and to fund research in renewable energy and alternative fuel
vehicles. Fiscal Impact: State cost of about $10 billion over 30 years to repay bonds. Increased state and local revenues, potentially totaling several tens of millions of dollars through 2019. Potential state administrative costs up to about $10 million annually.
VOTE: NO. Once again, another bond measure when the state is broke. Not good during economic bad times.
11) REDISTRICTING. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Changes authority for establishing state office boundaries from elected representatives to commission. Establishes multilevel process to select commissioners from registered voter pool.
Commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and representatives of neither party. Fiscal Impact: Potential increase in state redistricting costs once every ten years due to two entities performing redistricting. Any increase in costs probably would not be significant.
VOTE: YES. It is about time that the people take the 10-year redistricting out of the hands of the legislature and to a commission that will be able to draw up fair, competitive districts so that the primary is not the real election.
12) VETERANS BOND ACT OF 2o08. This act provides for a bond issue of nine hundred million dollars ($900,000,000) to provide farm and home aid for California veterans. Fiscal Impact: Costs of about $1.8 billion to pay off both the principal ($900 million) and interest ($856 million) on the bonds; costs paid by participating veterans. Average payment for principal and interest of about $59 million per year for 30 years.
VOTE: NO. Again, as with proposition 6, I hate to ever vote against our veterans. But, again, the state is broke and there may be no incentive to invest in another bond measure when the economy is going south.
Just a little background about the initiative process here in California.
A lot of people think that it is crazy. But, it is the direct result of the Republican progressives that gave power to the people in the early part of the 20th century. It is how all amendments to the California constitution are done. And it is not all that easy. Because to get an initiative on the ballot, one must get 10% percent of the total statewide vote in the previous election to sign a petition to even get it on the ballot. And, just getting on the ballot does not guarantee it will be passed.
The initiative process led to the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 that saved many homeowners from bankruptcy due to the rapid increase in property taxes.
So, if you are here in California on Tuesday, and you are registered, get out and vote.
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