California Watch reports on some eventful proceedings surrounding Proposition 15, which would “assess fees on registered lobbyists in California and use the additional revenue to provide some funding for political campaigns for those running for the Office of the Secretary of State of California,” according to Ballotpedia. One sponsor of the initiative is Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and opponents of the measure recently pointed out that Hancock held a political fundraiser and invited lobbyists and other guests that are supposed to be less influential if the initiative is passed. Hancock insisted it was not hypocritical to follow the current rules while she was working to change them. Richard Wiebe, a spokesman for StopProp15.com, said the following of the fundraiser:
“Even by Sacramento standards, the hypocrisy is astonishing. She's taking full advantage of the system she characterizes as the root of all that is evil in the Capitol.”
There has also been plenty of activity in the courts. Read more here.
Shopping at the grocery store might get slightly more expensive in Santa Barbara if residents would be open to imposing a tax on customers who don’t bring their own re-usable bag when they shop. In order to see if residents would be in favor of such a measure, Santa Barbara’s city council will consider conducting a survey of residents to determine not only if they would approve a tax but also how much the tax should be, according to Noozhawk. The council will delegate the survey to a private company, and it is thought that Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates will receive the contract. Before the council meets on the matter, a rally has already been scheduled to support the use of reusable bags. Scott Walker, the rally’s organizer, said the following of the green initiative:
“More than 10 organizations in Santa Barbara are dedicated to increase awareness about the environmental dangers of single-use bags. The process could be moved along much faster if all council members simply vote to place the measure on the November ballot. A strong turnout of residents at the rally could force that kind of unanimous consent.”
Many environmental activists contend that such taxes are the only way to change behavior for the sake of the environment. If the results of the possible survey are positive, then voters in Santa Barbara will likely see the topic on the November ballot.
(Cross-posted at California City News)
Tough parole revocations that voters approved through Proposition 9 two years ago have been reinstated by a federal appellate panel. A Sacramento judge had ruled against the proposition, and now the decision has been overturned, despite objections from critics who contend, according to the Bee, that it “eliminate[s] nearly all due process rights of parolees and directly conflicts with the protections put in place by the injunction and established constitutional law."
You can read more about the ruling here.
Since the CA Forward campaign failed to qualify initiatives that would reform the way California passes its budgets, Democratic leaders in the Legislature adopted the campaign’s plan with a few minor changes. But Dan Walters at the Bee argues that the plan is a “nonstarter.” He writes, “On its merits, moreover, it's a mishmash. On one hand, it would make budgetary decision-making easier by eliminating the two-thirds vote requirement. But on the other, it would impose a series of new thresholds and limits, such as requiring windfall revenues to be spent on something other than permanent program increases.”
He concludes that enacting such budget reforms are not the solution; instead, the focus should be on electing responsible leaders.
You can read more here.
While news broke last week that California would officially vote on an initiative to legalize and tax marijuana, since then debate, analysis and reactions to the news have been widespread. Here are some highlights:
--Kevin Drum from Mother Jones provides a rundown of all that you need to know about what the initiative will do if it is passed and asks if it is ultimately a good idea. He addresses fears about corporate takeover. Read more here.
--If you were hoping that statewide candidates this election season would be supporting the initiative, then you’re going to be disappointed. Mercury News reports that Jerry Brown, Meg Whitman, Tom Campbell, Carly Fiorina and Steve Poizner all indicated they would not support the ballot. Read more here.
--Robert Cruickshank at Calitics uses the positions on marijuana of the above mentioned candidates as a way to criticize how out of touch they are with Californians due to polls that indicate a majority wants legalization. He writes, “It also suggests a certain lack of seriousness about exploring all reasonable options to deal with the state's budget deficit. Jerry Brown is particularly disappointing on this, even if his stance isn't at all surprising.” Read more here.
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