Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 

HBR Guide to the November 8, 2005 California Special Election

Here's our voting guide:

YES - Proposition 73: Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy. Waiting Period and Parental Notification. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Amends California Constitution to bar abortion on unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent/legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver. Permits judicial waiver of notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or minor’s best interests. Physician must report abortions performed on minors and State shall compile statistics. Authorizes monetary damages for violation. Minor must consent to abortion unless mentally incapable or in medical emergency. Permits judicial relief if minor’s consent to abortion is coerced.

Simple description of Prop 73: Parents receive notification if a minor decides to terminate a pregnancy.

YES - 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. Authorizes school boards to dismiss a permanent teaching employee who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations.

Simple description of Prop 74: Teachers who are not performing will be fired, and a new, better teacher will be hired in their place.

YES -
Proposition 75: Public Employee Union Dues. Required Employee Consent for Political Contributions. Initiative Statute.

Prohibits public employee labor organizations from using dues or fees for political contributions unless the employee provides prior consent each year on a specified written form. Prohibition does not apply to dues or fees collected for charitable organizations, health care insurance, or other purposes directly benefiting the public employee. Requires labor organizations to maintain and submit to the Fair Political Practices Commission records concerning individual employees’ and organizations’ political contributions; those records are not subject to public disclosure.

Simple desciption of Prop 75: Public employee unions take member dues to support political campaigns without the approval of the member. As it stands right now, for a member to opt-out, it is extremely difficult and takes more time than people are willing to put in. This would prevent them from spending millions of members dues on campaigns they do not agree with without asking their permission first.

YES - Proposition 76: School Funding. State Spending. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Changes state minimum school funding requirements (Proposition 98), permitting suspension of minimum funding, but terminating repayment requirement, and eliminating authority to reduce funding when state revenues decrease. Excludes above-minimum appropriations from schools’ funding base. Limits state spending to prior year total plus revenue growth. Shifts excess revenues from schools/tax relief to budget reserve, specified construction, debt repayment. Requires Governor to reduce state appropriations, under specified circumstances, including employee compensation, state contracts. Continues prior year appropriations if new state budget delayed. Prohibits state special funds borrowing. Requires payment of local government mandates.

Simple description of Prop 76: Despite the confusing wording of the proposition, this makes sure schools are funded with at least as much money as they received the previous year, with the addition of whatever revenue growth is accured.

YES - Proposition 77: Reapportionment. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Amends state Constitution’s process for redistricting California’s Senate, Assembly, Congressional and Board of Equalization districts. Requires three-member panel of retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt new redistricting plan if measure passes and again after each national census. Panel must consider legislative, public proposals/comments and hold public hearings. Redistricting plan becomes effective immediately when adopted by judges’ panel and filed with Secretary of State. If voters subsequently reject redistricting plan, process repeats. Specifies time for judicial review of adopted redistricting plan; if plan fails to conform to requirements, court may order new plan.

Simple description of Prop 77: A panel of judges will re-map the state voting districts so new representatives can be voted into office.

NO - Proposition 78: Prescription Drugs. Discounts. Initiative Statute.

Establishes discount prescription drug program, overseen by the Department of Health Services. Enables certain low- and moderate- income California residents to purchase prescription drugs at reduced prices. Imposes $15 application fee, renewable annually. Requires Department’s prompt determination of residents’ eligibility, based on listed qualifications. Authorizes Department to contract with pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at agreed-upon discounts negotiated in advance, and to negotiate rebate agreements with drug manufacturers. Permits outreach programs to increase public awareness. Creates state fund for deposit of rebate payments from drug manufacturers. Allows program to be terminated under specified conditions.

Simple description of Prop 78: Creates a big-government prescription drug program.

NO -
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. Rebates must be deposited in State Treasury fund, used only to reimburse pharmacies for discounts and to offset administration costs. At least 95% of rebates must go to fund discounts. Prohibits new Medi-Cal contracts with manufacturers not providing the Medicaid best price to this program, except for drugs without therapeutic equivalent. Establishes oversight board. Makes prescription drug profiteering, as defined, unlawful.

Simple description of Prop 79: Coupled with Prop 78, this also creates a big-government prescription drug program.

NO - 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 estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Annual state costs of up to $4 million for regulatory activities of the California Public Utilities Commission. These costs would be fully offset by fee revenues. Unknown impact on state and local costs and revenues, as the measure’s impact on retail electricity rates is uncertain.


Simple description of Prop 80: This creates a system similar to the one that was created under Grey Davis, in which the public utilities of the state are regulated through a big-government commission. This would mean less control and input by consumers, resulting in higher prices and less competition.

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