California 2006 Propositions

We have thirteen issues on the ballot this time. There are a bunch of bond issues, some of them hugely expensive. There are also some propositions which are very misleading.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th. You can also vote before then at Early Voting locations. Check your sample ballot, or ask your county's Registrar of Voters to find out where. For instance, in Alameda County you can vote at the Registrar's office in downtown Oakland, among other places.

[1A] [1B] [1C] [1D] [1E] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [88] [89] [90]

Prop. 1A: Transportation funding protection.
This proposition is supposedly about closing a "loophole" in 2002's proposition 42. That one says that the sales tax on gasoline, which previously went into the state's general revenue fund, must be spent on transportation. That's in addition to the already-existing gas tax, which also goes to transportation. I think 42 was a bad idea, because it basically steals money from the state's general fund and gives it to the construction industry, but that battle is four years gone.

However, 42 did have a provision for suspending this raid on the general fund if 2/3rds of the legislature and the governor declare a fiscal emergency. The money that would have gone to transportation still has to be repaid later when the emergency is over. Proposition 1A removes this "loophole". The result will be less flexibility for California's budget process in lean years. I say no.

Prop. 1B: Highway safety, traffic reduction, air quality, and port security bond.
This is a huge $20 billion bond. More than half of it will go to highway construction. It's a lot of money, but I guess we need the roads. Although I keep hoping that someday people will realize that driving makes you CRAZY.

Prop. 1C: Housing and emergency shelter.
A $2.85 billion bond for low-income housing development. Sure.

Prop. 1D: Kindergarten-university public education facilities bond.
This is a $10.4 billion bond for school construction. This kind of thing is exactly what bond funding should be used for.

Prop. 1E: Disaster preparedness and flood prevention bond.
A $4.1 billion bond to improve levees in the delta and avoid flooding. We need to spend this money.

Prop. 83: Sex offenders.
There are a bunch of things in 83 but for me the key part is: permanent GPS monitoring of all sex offenders. Not just while they are on parole or probation, as is done now, but for the rest of their lives. That is wrong.

If you want more, take a look at the arguments in favor of and against 83 in your Voter Information Guide. Don't bother actually reading them, just look. The arguments in favor of 83 are full of ALL CAPITAL LETTERS trying to SCARE YOU. How rude.

Prop. 84: Water quality, flood control, park improvements bonds.
A $5.4 billion bond for mostly water projects. This is in addition to the $4.1 billion for levee improvement in proposition 1E. I'm less excited about this one just because it's much less specific about how the money will be spent. But I guess yes.

Prop. 85: Waiting period and parental notification before termination of minors pregnancy.
This is the same as proposition 73 from last year. That one was voted down 53% to 47%. Vote no again!

Prop. 86: Tax on cigarettes.
This triples the tax on cigarettes. That means fewer people smoking where I'm trying to breathe, so yes please.

There is a lot of money advocating No on this issue. In fact if you look at the Goodle ads at the top of this page you'll probably see an ads for "" and "" claiming that it's unfair or a money grab by hospitals. What a laugh. Of course it's the tobacco companies paying for those ads.

Prop. 87: Alternative energy incentives; tax on california oil producers.
This adds a tax on oil production in California. Other oil-producing states already have the same tax. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

I'm sure the oil companies will be spending a lot of money to defeat it!

Prop. 88: Education funding parcel tax.
A new state-wide $50/year tax on every property owner, to help fund K-12 education. I have two problems with this:
  1. It's not enough. We need a lot more money for schools than this will provide.
  2. Parcel taxes are regressive, hitting the poor harder than the rich.
However, neither of these is much of an argument against 88. Vote yes.

Prop. 89: Public financing of political campaigns.
I want to say yes on this one but there is a disturbing allegation in the Voter Information Guide: that the organization behind this proposition, the California Nurses Association, wrote themselves an exemption to the limits on contributions by labor organizations. So until I check that out I haven't decided yet.

Prop. 90: Limitations on eminent domain.
This one is extremely misleading. On the surface it sounds fine. It supposedly prevents governments from abusing their eminent domain power, taking private property not for public use but for another private owner. There was an infamous case like this in Connecticut that reached the Supreme Court last year and was upheld - governments do indeed have the right to use eminent domain to benefit private owners.

A lot of people were outraged by this, myself included, so it's not surprising to see something on the ballot to prohibit it. However, 90 does more than that.

It also requires governments to pay compensation for any actions that decrease someone's property value in any way. Any new environmental regulation, zoning changes etc. would run into this provision. It would be a huge disaster, as it has been in Oregon which passed a similar law in 2004. The results there show that rather than pay out thousands of claims, governments simple stop implementing any new land-use regulations.

Are you ready to permanently freeze land-use policy as it is right now? I'm not. Vote no.

Secretary of State's voter information page.
Another propositions rating page.
More political opinion at
My recommendations for the 2005 and 2004 propositions.
Back to Jef's page.