EGP Ballot Recommendations – Nov. 8 General Election

By EGP News

There’s a lot at stake in the November General Election, from the election of a new U.S. President and U.S. Senator from California, U.S. House of Representatives and members of the State Assembly. There are also
17 State, two L.A. County, one Community College District and four City of Los Angeles measures on the ballot. It’s a lot to keep track of and it’s easy to understand how some voters could feel overwhelmed.

But if ever there was a time to not sit out an election, this is it. There are billions of dollars and major shifts in crime policy at stake, all with potential long-term impacts to our economy and way of life.

 

Clinton for President

EGP endorsed Hillary Clinton for President during the June Primary Election and our support of her candidacy is even stronger today.

In June, we noted that her credentials as a former U.S. Senator and former Secretary of State and even her role as the country’s First Lady have made her the most qualified in the race for this country’s highest office. That hasn’t changed.

The mean-spirited, hateful, misogynist bullying by her Republican challenger Donald Trump is of deep concern to us. We believe that he has repeatedly failed to demonstrate the type of self-control and temperament needed to gain cooperation by other elected officials here at home and on the world stage.

In our view, a vote for Trump could be a vote for further deterioration of our political process, killing any chance of his achieving any of the vague policies goals he claims to have.

We are impressed by Clinton’s agreeing to examine and fix areas of the Affordable Care Act that are not working well, and her understanding of the fragile state of international affairs.

 

Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senator

As we stated in our Primary Election endorsement of Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate, her years of experience in the House of Representatives make her the most qualified candidate to replace Barbara Boxer.

In the currently charged, politically polarizing environment, it is especially noteworthy that her colleagues in the Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, have during this election stood up to support her candidacy because of her hard work ethic, ability to work in a bi-partisan way to get things done, and her extensive knowledge in key areas like the Armed Services.

We said we were disappointed by the early anointing by state Democrats of her opponent State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, and that still stands.

We find statements that Latinos will get their chance when Sen. Feinstein retires unsettling. They remind us of all the times Latino candidates for office have been told to step back, “it’s not your turn yet.”

They’re wrong. It is time. Vote for Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate

 

Statewide Ballot Measures

Proposition 51 – Vote No

The School Bonds. Funding for K–12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute would authorize $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of K–12 public school facilities; charter schools and vocational education facilities; and California Community Colleges facilities.

It is EGP’s first inclination to say yes to any Proposition that provides funding for schools and colleges. But the fact is that the need to construct new K-12 schools is declining along with enrollment. What this measure really does is secure billions of dollars for developers and contractors at a cost of $17.6 billion to taxpayers: $9 billion for the principal and $8.6 billion on top of the $2.7 billions were already on the hook for bonds approved in the past.

The cost of new spending should be done at the local level to meet local needs. Cities can require developers to pick up the slack for school funding, something they have been spared from doing as long as state bond funds are available.

 

Proposition 52 – Vote Yes

The Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program Initiative permanantly extends the fee imposed on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal services. It’s true hospitals in California will get back the fees they paid, but the added matching funds from the federal government increases the funds available to provide patient care to Medi-Cal patients and the uninsured that would otherwise be lost.

The funding that hospitals are paid for the services in question are among the lowest in the nation and should probably be raised to insure adequate hospital services for all Californians.

Proposition 52 is a win for the State, and a hedge against the ever increasing cost of health care.

 

Proposition 53 – Vote No

The California Voter Approval Requirement for Revenue Bonds above $2 Billion Initiative is unnecessary as far as we are concerned. Voters expect their elected officials to decide what funds for local projects are needed and adding another constitutional amendment will only complicate matters for local jurisdictions.

The measure is poorly reasoned and written, and will add unnecessary delays to an already slow process.

 

Proposition 54 – Vote Yes

The last minute bargaining that goes on in the Legislature often winds up with the inclusion of untold numbers of items into legislation that the public has no time to vet.

In an effort to provide greater transparency, this proposition calls for the posting of any bill or changes to a bill on the Internet 72 hours prior to a final vote. It also authorizes use of recordings of all public meetings of the Legislature to be posted online for the public to review.

This proposition requires no new tax money, but it will certainly expand the public’s right to know what its elected officials are doing, and the ability to voice their opposition, or for that matter, their support, to legislative action.

Proposition 56 – Vote Yes

Increasing cigarette taxes by $2 per pack and taxing other tobacco related products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine, as this measure proposes, will help reduce the number of smokers in the state, and recoup some of the high cost of treating smoking-related illnesses.

We believe that increasing the cost of the new smoking sensation, electronic cigarettes, among our young people will cut their use.

Revenues raised will be used to increase service reimbursements to doctors, pay for smoking prevention programs and healthcare by the very people who need and use the services the most. California can no longer afford to pick up the tab for the damages caused to public health and our environment by smoking, let alone the cost of providing health services to those addicted to nicotine.

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October 13, 2016  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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