I don’t know if anyone particularly cares, but I’ll share this anyway.  This is how I’m voting on the California propositions.

Prop 1:  Water bond

This is a hard one for me.  We have a really difficult water situation here in California, made all the worse by the ongoing drought.  This seems like an awful lot of money to spend on a project that may not solve the water problems.

Apparently, I’m not alone.  The League of Women Voters of California didn’t take a position.  The Sierra Club of California didn’t take a position.  The California Council of Churches says “Yes,” as does the California League of Conservation Voters.  Though I can’t find it on their website, I’m told that Food and Water Watch say “No.”  I’m voting a very soft “No.”
Prop 2:  Rainy Day Fund

This is an easy “No” for me.  While I think it’s important to save for a rainy day, on most Sunny years the savings will be accomplished by failing to restore (or further cutting) programs supporting the most vulnerable in our society.  Budgeting by proposition is just bad policy.
Prop 45:  Healthcare Insurance

I’m voting “Yes,” though I don’t like legislating by proposition (we pay our legislature to do that).  This is really a case of “follow the money” for me.  If the big insurance companies are against it that means they think it will cost them money — and that’s a reason to be for it.  All this does it treat health insurance the way auto and homeowners/renter insurance is treated, giving the Commissioner of Insurance the same authority to approve rate increases for health insurance that the Commissioner has for auto/homeowner/renter insurance.
Prop 46:  Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors; Medical Negligence Lawsuits

I’m voting a strong “No” on this.  I don’t like the presumption of guilt that drug testing implies, nor do I like the waste of money it typically brings with it.  The “facts” claimed by the proposition’s sponsors (e.g., the numbers of preventable medical errors causing death per year) are suspect, as is the assumed link between substance use and medical errors.

I also don’t like the creation of a state-controled database of all pharmaceuticals any individual receives, period, full stop.  The fact that this database would be open to any medical practitioner, not just the medical practitioner serving you, makes is worse!

Yes, we should review caps on pain and suffering awards, but the legislature should do that, not one proposition that is either voted up or down.
Prop 47:  Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act

This gets a very strong “Yes” from me for one simple reason:  the best way to spend a dollar to prevent crime is to spend it on education.  Let’s face it:  our criminal justice system needs a major overhaul.  It is far too focused on punishment and far too lax on reforming criminals.  People spend far too long behind bars for nonviolent crimes and come out hardened, not reformed.  The California Council of Churches put it this way:  “This is perhaps the single biggest opportunity to end the ‘cradle to prison pipeline’ and the horrific increase in our prison population.”

This proposition ensures that prison spending is focused on violent and serious offenses and will maximize alternatives for non-serious, nonviolent offenses.  The savings generated will be invested in prevention and support of programs in K-12 schools, victim services, and mental health and drug treatment (and yes, that’s budgeting by proposition, but it’s essentially redirecting criminal justice money to programs that actually prevent crime).
Prop 48:  Indian Gaming Compacts

This gets a “No” vote from me.  My/our opposition is probably meaningless since the Bureau of Indian Affairs has already approved the project this proposition covers, I hope my “No” vote will make it clear that I oppose this plan.

This proposition is about allowing certain Native America (First Nations/Indigenous/Indian) tribes to run a casino not on tribal land.  It also exempts the casino from California Environmental Quality Act regulations.  While I support the rights of First Nations people to determine their own lives, I do not support them from being exempt from regulations that protect all of us (i.e., the environmental regulations they would be exempted from here).

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