Recommendations: 2010 Propositions and Public Health
Oct 13, 2010
PSR-LA is pleased to present a recommendation guide for several of the ballot propositions placed before voters this Fall. These measures directly affect the prioritization of public health with state funds, and directly affect our state’s ability to provide critical health services and preventive measures in California.
PSR-LA is led by our mission of reducing threats to public health related to nuclear weapons and environmental toxins. We combine our commitment to science, public health, advocacy and social justice to accomplish this.
Our endorsement of these select measures reflects our commitment to promote solutions that improve the health and environment for all Californians.
If you’d like to volunteer your time on these propositions, please contact Ana Mascareñas, firstname.lastname@example.org, (213) 689-9170 to learn about opportunities!
Recommendations on California 2010 Propositions
VOTE NO on 23
Suspends Global Warming Law Based on Unemployment Rate
Suspends AB 32 until unemployment is below 5.5% for a full year. This measure stops the progress of California’s efforts to address climate change — while some provisions of AB 32 need to be re-addressed, such as the proposed “cap-and-trade” system for carbon emitters, this proposition would limit California’s green energy sector growth and result in more air pollution and harm public health. The current rate of unemployment is 15.3% and many economists think it may be many years before it drops to 5.5%.
Creates Simple Majority Vote to Pass State Budget Instead of 2/3 Vote
Amends the constitution to reduce the vote requirement to pass the budget from 2/3 to a simple majority — this would place California alongside 47 other states that pass a budget through a majority vote. Our state has not passed a budget on-time in the past 23 years, and often, vital social services, education, healthcare, and environment-related programs are used as bargaining chips in the drawn out negotiation process.
Creates 2/3 Vote to Raise Taxes and Fees, Protects Polluters
Amends the state constitution and requires a 2/3 vote to enact or increase certain fees. This measure would fundamentally shift our existing structure of “polluter pay,” by reversing the Sinclair decision. Currently, our state can “impose fees on industries whose activities result in health, environmental, or social burdens on society.” For example, when children are lead poisoned, a fund exists to provide developmental and health care services the child needs as a result of the exposure — the lead polluter pays into this fund as the responsible party. Proposition 26 is a direct attack on this kind of program. By transferring the financial burden of environmental hazards from industry to the state, it would be nearly impossible to raise revenue to ensure Californians are protected from the damage caused by pollution, hazardous waste and other toxins.
May a 501(c)(3) nonprofit work for or against a Ballot Measure?
Yes. Nonprofits are free to work for or against ballot questions up to normal lobbying limits. For example, a nonprofit may choose to engage in any number of activities in support of or opposed to any ballot measure – nonprofits can make an endorsement and can communicate their position to their constituents and the general public, they can organize volunteers to work on a ballot measure, or they can host a forum or event.