Ballots are in the mail. I’m voting yes.
by Brian Leubitz
In case you missed it, the election started a few days ago. Ballots went in the mail early this week, and by the end of this weekend, millions of votes will already have been cast.
So, how are you voting on those pesky ballot measures? NextTen has a helpful guide, California Choices, with information about the measures and who has taken a position on either side.
But here’s how I’m leaning as of right now. I probably won’t actually cast my ballot for another week or two, but this is my general inclination right now: Yes. On all of them. So, a quick rundown:
Prop 1: Water Bond: Yes
This is far from perfect. I’d prefer more money in conservation as opposed to storage projects, and there are a lot of implementation details still to be decided. However, with the current drought, I think it is pretty clear that we need to be spending money on water infrastructure. This gets us one step along the way.
Prop 2: Rainy Day Fund / Budget Stabilization: Yes
A little bit of smoothing in our boom and bust budget is probably a good thing. This law requires a reduction in reserves by school districts, which makes some education folks a bit nervous. But, in theory, the state won’t be making the massive cuts to education when the economy takes a bit of a hiccup. Again, some questions of how this will actually work are still to be ironed out, but this is generally worthy of a Yes vote.
Prop 45: Health Insurance Rates: Yes
Dave Jones is working hard to strengthen his office’s ability to review health insurance rates. The opponents argue that the review could delay plans making it to the health care exchange. I have been reassured by Insurance Commissioner Jones that this will not be an issue, timely review is indeed possible. If all works right with this measure, health insurance plans will just have to show that they are spending their money wisely and on medical care. I’m leaning towards Yes.
Prop 46: Medical safety: medical negligence limits and drug testing: YES
I’ve written about this measure several times. The caps on non-economic damages is unfair, provides cruel incentives, and doesn’t do what it purports to do (lower insurance costs). Privacy concerns about the drug testing are valid, but surely we can come up safeguards. This measure is long overdue in California. Please, Vote YES ON 46.
Prop 47: Criminal Sentencing: Yes
Sentencing reform championed by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. It will reduce non-violent offenders in our prisons, reduce the ridiculous amount of money we spend on our prisons while allowing us to increase money for treatment programs. All of this makes sense, I’m voting Yes.
Prop 48: Approve Tribal Gaming Compacts: Yes
A referendum that is more about the relationships between various tribes than anything else. Some current gaming tribes are less than pleased about a new casino being opened up within Central Valley city borders and off a reservation. I don’t love all the casinos opening up, but they are going to happen given the current state of the law. I can’t see any reason why this one is really any worse. I guess I’ll vote yes.