Special Election Picks

Since today is the last day to register to vote in the upcoming special election on November 8th, I thought I would contribute my opinion about the measures that voters will be considering.

First, a word to the wise; anything that you read about the wonders and perils of any ballot measure should be viewed skeptically. The opinions expressed are not legally binding to either side. If the claim is not found in the text of the initiative or can be reasonable inferred by the implementation of the initiative then it is likely to be false.

If you like an idea and it passes, then chances are that the ACLU or some other group of self appointed guardians of the constitution will have it blocked in court before the vote is certified.

If something does become law, it still must get past the Legislature whose failure to act responsibly is why it went to the voters in the first place and the bureaucrats that write the regulations that give the measure the force of law.

You can worry about all this legal “sausage” and how it gets made after the election.

My recommendations are as follows with reasons listed below:

YESProposition 73 Waiting Period And Parental Notification Before Termination Of Minor’s Pregnancy
As a parent, you must give your daughter permission to take an aspirin at school, get her ears or body pierced or go on a field trip to the zoo but under current law she can get an abortion without your knowledge or permission. Not only that, if the procedure goes wrong mom and dad are responsible for all ensuing medical bills. This measure tries to correct an obvious inequity of state law. Look for it to be overwhelmingly approved and go just as swiftly to court.

YESProposition 74 Public School Teachers. Waiting Period For Permanent Status.
This measure is a modest attempt to try for some teacher accountability before the union can fully shield a teacher from job performance.

YESProposition 75 Public Employee Union Dues. Restrictions On Political Contributions. Employee Consent Requirement.
This is a measure that allows union members to keep their money and not have it go to political actions that are contrary to the beliefs or members. Currently, union members must forfeit other benefits such as disability insurance and legal representation to opt out of dues for political purposes.

YESProposition 76 State Spending And School Funding Limits.
Allows Governor to take state spending off of autopilot. This would not be necessary if legislature would do their job.

YESProposition 77 Redistricting
Allows for possibility of more competitive legislative districts instead of safe seats for every elected legislator in the state. New district would be in effect for 2006 primary. This measure is main reason why the special election is being held now instead of waiting for June 2006.

NOProposition 78 Discounts On Prescription Drugs

NOProposition 79 Prescription Drug Discounts. State-Negotiated Rebates
These measures are intended to cancel each other out. Worse case would be both passing and letting a judge cherry pick which parts of each that voters will have imposed on them. There is no legitimate reason why government should be buying and selling drugs. They screw-up medical decisions and healthcare enough without these programs.

NOProposition 80 Electric Service Providers. Regulation
Having an interest group make such a unilateral proposal will not benefit consumers and enhance competition. This is the worst idea floated since Gray Davis threatened to seize all privately owned power generating facilities in the State and wondered why no one wanted to invest in our utility infrastructure.

The Secretary of State Summaries appear below.

PROPOSITION 73
WAITING PERIOD AND PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BEFORE TERMINATION OF MINOR’S PREGNANCY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
Amends California Constitution, prohibiting abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent/legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver.
Defines abortion as causing “death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born.”
Permits minor to obtain court order waiving notice based on clear, convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or best interests.
Mandates various reporting requirements.
Authorizes monetary damages against physicians for violation.
Requires minor’s consent to abortion, with certain exceptions.
Permits judicial relief if minor’s consent coerced.

PROPOSITION 74
PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS. WAITING PERIOD FOR PERMANENT STATUS. DISMISSAL. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Increases length of time required before a teacher may become a permanent employee from two complete consecutive school years to five complete consecutive school years.
Measure applies to teachers whose probationary period commenced during or after the 2003-2004 fiscal year.
Modifies the process by which school boards can dismiss a permanent teaching employee who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations.
SUMMARY OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYST’S ESTIMATE OF NET STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL IMPACT:
Unknown net effect on school districts’ costs for teacher compensation, performance evaluations, and other activities. The impact would vary significantly by district and depend largely on future personnel actions by individual school districts.

PROPOSITION 75
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNION DUES. RESTRICTIONS ON POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. EMPLOYEE CONSENT REQUIREMENT. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Prohibits the use by public employee labor organizations of public employee dues or fees for political contributions except with the prior consent of individual public employees each year on a specified written form.
Restriction does not apply to dues or fees collected for charitable organizations, health care insurance, or other purposes directly benefitting the public employee.
Requires public employee labor organizations to maintain and submit records to Fair Political Practices Commission concerning individual public employees and organizations political contributions.
These records are not subject to public disclosure.
SUMMARY OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYST’S ESTIMATE OF NET STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL IMPACT:
Probably minor state and local government implementation costs, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines and/or fees.

PROPOSITION 76
STATE SPENDING AND SCHOOL FUNDING LIMITS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
Limits state spending to prior years level plus three previous years average revenue growth.
Changes state minimum school funding requirements (Proposition 98); eliminates repayment requirement when minimum funding suspended.
Excludes appropriations above the minimum from schools funding base.
Directs excess General Fund revenues, currently directed to schools/tax relief, to budget reserve, specified construction, debt repayment.
Permits Governor, under specified circumstances, to reduce appropriations of Governors choosing, including employee compensation/state contracts.
Continues prior year appropriations if state budget delayed.
Prohibits state special funds borrowing.
Requires payment of local government mandates.
SUMMARY OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYST’S ESTIMATE OF NET STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL IMPACT:
The provisions creating an additional state spending limit and granting the Governor new power to reduce spending in most program areas would likely reduce expenditures relative to current law.
These reductions also could apply to schools and shift costs to other local governments.
The new spending limit could result in a smoother pattern of state expenditures over time, especially to the extent that reserves are set aside in good times and available in bad times.
The provisions changing school funding formulas would make school and community college funding more subject to annual decisions of state policymakers and less affected by a constitutional funding guarantee.
Relative to current law, the measure could result in a change in the mix of state spending that is, some programs could receive a larger share and others a smaller share of the total budget.

PROPOSITION 77
REDISTRICTING. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
Amends process for redistricting California’s Senate, Assembly, Congressional and Board of Equalization districts.
Requires panel of three retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt new redistricting plan if measure passes and after each national census.
Panel must consider legislative, public comments/hold public hearings.
Redistricting plan effective when adopted by panel and filed with Secretary of State; governs next statewide primary/general elections even if voters reject plan.
If voters reject redistricting plan, process repeats, but officials elected under rejected plan serve full terms.
Allows 45 days to seek judicial review of adopted redistricting plan.
SUMMARY OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYST’S ESTIMATE OF NET STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL IMPACT:
One-time costs for a redistricting plan. State costs totaling no more than $1.5 million and county costs in the range of $1 million.
Potential reduction in costs for each redistricting effort after 2010, but net impact would depend on decisions by voters.

PROPOSITION 78
DISCOUNTS ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Establishes discount prescription drug program, overseen by California Department of Health Services.
Enables certain low- and moderate-income California residents to purchase prescription drugs at reduced prices.
Authorizes Department: to contract with participating pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at agreed-upon discounts negotiated in advance; to negotiate rebate agreements with participating drug manufacturers.
Imposes $15 annual application fee.
Creates state fund for deposit of drug manufacturers rebate payments.
Requires Departments prompt determination of residents eligibility, based on listed qualifications.
Permits outreach programs to increase public awareness.
Allows program to be terminated under specified conditions.
SUMMARY OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYST’S ESTIMATE OF NET STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL IMPACT:
One-time and ongoing state costs, potentially in the millions to low tens of millions of dollars annually, for administration and outreach activities for a new drug discount program. A significant share of these costs would probably be borne by the state General Fund.
State costs, potentially in the low tens of millions of dollars, to cover the funding gap between when drug rebates are collected by the state and when the state pays funds to pharmacies for drug discounts provided to consumers. Any such costs not covered through advance rebate payments from drug makers would be borne by the state General Fund.
Unknown potentially significant savings for state and county health programs due to the availability of drug discounts.
Potential unknown effects on state revenues and expenditures from changes in prices and quantities of drugs sold in California.

PROPOSITION 79
PRESCRIPTION DRUG DISCOUNTS. STATE-NEGOTIATED REBATES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Provides for prescription drug discounts to Californians who qualify based on income-related standards, to be funded through rebates from participating drug manufacturers negotiated by California Department of Health Services.
Prohibits new Medi-Cal contracts with manufacturers not providing the Medicaid best price to this program, except for drugs without therapeutic equivalent.
Rebates must be deposited in State Treasury fund, used only to reimburse pharmacies for
discounts and to offset costs of administration.
At least 95% of rebates must go to fund discounts.
Establishes oversight board. Makes prescription drug profiteering, as described, unlawful.
SUMMARY OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYST’S ESTIMATE OF NET STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL IMPACT:
One-time and ongoing state costs, potentially in the low tens of millions of dollars annually, for administration and outreach activities for a new drug discount program. A significant share of these costs would probably be borne by the state General Fund.
State costs, potentially in the low tens of millions of dollars, to cover the funding gap between when drug rebates are collected by the state and when the state pays funds to pharmacies for drug discounts provided to consumers. Any such costs not covered through advance rebate payments from drug makers would be borne by the state General Fund.
Unknown potentially significant net costs or savings as a result of provisions linking state Medi-Cal rebate contracts and the new drug discount program.
Unknown potentially significant savings for state and county health programs due to the availability of drug discounts.
Unknown costs and revenues from the provisions regarding lawsuits over profiteering on drug sales.
Potential unknown effects on state revenues and expenditures from changes in prices and quantities of drugs sold in California.

PROPOSITION 80
ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS. REGULATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Subjects electric service providers, as defined, to control and regulation by California Public Utilities Commission.
Imposes restrictions on electricity customers ability to switch from private utilities to other electric providers.
Provides that registration by electric service providers with Commission constitutes providers consent to regulation.
Requires all retail electric sellers, instead of just private utilities, to increase renewable energy resource procurement by at least 1% each year, with 20% of retail sales procured from renewable energy by 2010, instead of current requirement of 2017.
Imposes duties on Commission, Legislature and electrical providers.
SUMMARY OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYST’S ESTIMATE OF NET STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL IMPACT:
Potential annual state administrative costs ranging from negligible up to around $4 million for regulatory activities of the California Public Utilities Commission, paid for by fee revenues.
Unknown net impact on state and local government costs and revenues due to the measures uncertain impact on retail electricity rates.

 

 

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William

Dedicated Christian that has experienced many facets of Christendom thru the years. Father of three and husband of but one wife. Education: Nuclear Reactor Operator while serving in US Navy, Masters in Business Administration, Bachelor's Degree in Government, Microsoft Certified System's Engineer, CompTIA Network Plus and A Plus certifications, and various accounting classes.

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