Recommendations: 2012 Propositions and Public Health
Oct 30, 2012
At PSR-LA, we combine our commitment to science, public health, advocacy and social justice to protect our environment and health. Voting on California’s ballot propositions is a critical way to participate in our state’s policy-making process. For more information, please contact Policy & Communications Director, Ana Mascareñas, firstname.lastname@example.org, (213) 689-9170.
Recommendations on California 2012 Propositions
Yes on Prop 30
Protects funding for schools and local public safety
This measure is a step towards a long-term budget solution to California’s structural deficit. It would raise about $6 billion a year between 2012 and 2017, and provide revenue for programs such as children’s education, CalWORKs, childcare, and other human services. It increases taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantees public safety realignment funding. Funds generated will preserve vital California natural resources and environmental programs, and prevent billions of dollars in additional cuts to our schools and tuition hikes for college students and their families.
Locks California into permanent underfunding of education, health, and other vital services
This measure establishes two-year state budget. It sets rules for offsetting new expenditures and executive budget cuts in fiscal emergencies. Propsition 31 decreases state sales tax revenues of $200 million annually, with corresponding increases of funding to local governments. It is a deeply flawed initiative that locks in expensive and conflicting provisions into the Constitution, threatening public health, the environment and preventing future increases in funding for schools.
Creates special exemptions for billionaires and Super PACs
This measure prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes and applies the same prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees and government contractor contributions to elected officers or their committees. Unfortunately, it exempts business Super PACs and thousands of big businesses from its provisions, at the same time applying restrictions on working people and their unions. The billionaire backers of this initiative have demonstrated a dual agenda to attack clean energy and environmental laws, and if Proposition 32 passes, will make it easier to do this.
This measure requires that food sold in California grocery stores be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. We already have food labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts that consumers want to know. This measure simply adds information telling us if food is modified in a laboratory by adding DNA from other plants, animals, bacteria, or viruses. It simply requires labeling of food produced using genetic engineering, so we can choose whether to buy those products or not. Independent research shows the measure would not affect food prices and the state official analyst has said any costs for enforcement would range from 1 to 3 cents per year for each Californian. We have a right to know.
Closes corporate tax loophole, invests in clean energy
Prop 39 closes a corporate tax loophole that costs Californians $1 billion each year. At the end of the 2009 state budget negotiations a tax loophole was created that rewards companies for creating jobs outside of California. Prop 39 closes this loophole, bringing back much needed revenue to reduce the budget deficit, help fund our schools, and invest in clean energy and energy efficiency projects.