IRVINE, CA — The California election is right around the corner on November 2. Make your voice, your vote count. OCBC has studied the issues and urges your vote on the following propositions:
Proposition 19: Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010—OPPOSE
Although still an illegal substance at the federal level, this measure would permit local governments to regulate marijuana and, in theory, tax its commercial production and sale. OCBC views this as a business issue because the measure threatens state and federal contracts and grants as businesses could no longer effectively enforce the drug-free work place requirements outlined by the federal government.
Proposition 20: Redistricting of Congressional Districts—SUPPORT
Removes elected representatives from the process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to the recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission. OCBC supports this measure as it is an additional component in the reform process needed to help elect more moderate politicians and reduce the extreme partisanship that causes legislative gridlock, which is detrimental to a positive and successful business environment.
Proposition 21: Vehicle License Fee for Parks Act—OPPOSE
Establishes an $18 surcharge on the annual vehicle license fee to help fund State parks. It would grant free admission to all state parks to surcharged vehicles. Aside from there being no clear nexus between the VLF and State Parks, in this challenging economy, the priority should be on financing infrastructure projects or other measures that will generate jobs and help revive the economy. If the state has acquired too much land to efficiently maintain within its means, it should consider public-private partnerships or other solutions.
Proposition 22: Ban on State Borrowing from Local Governments—SUPPORT
This measure would prohibit the State, even in periods of fiscal hardship, from borrowing local funds used for transportation, redevelopment, or local government projects and services. The Business Council is supportive of efforts that keep more of our tax dollars local where there’s more accountability and a proven history of efficient use. To reduce to the simplest level, gas taxes need to be used for roads and transit—not to balance the state budget.
Proposition 23: California Jobs Initiative—SUPPORT
The measure would suspend State laws requiring reduced greenhouse gas emissions that purportedly cause global warming, until the unemployment rate drops to 5.5% or less for four consecutive quarters. OCBC contends that greenhouse gas policies should be addressed at the national level and that California alone cannot solve global issues on the backs of its business community.
Proposition 24: Repeal of Corporate Tax Breaks—OPPOSE
Repeals legislation passed in 2009-10 that would allow businesses to lower their tax liabilities. The legislation was designed specifically to stimulate business investment in the state, including elective single sales factor, R&D unitary credit-sharing, and net operating loss carry-back/carry-forward. OCBC opposes this measure as it would significantly impact California’s efforts to rebound from the recession and further devastate California’s already lagging business climate. As has been noted, it is impossible to be “for jobs” while also acting against business. Prop 24 is decidedly an anti-business measure.
Proposition 25: Majority Vote Budget Initiative—OPPOSE
The measure would change the legislative vote requirement necessary to pass the state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. Proposition 25 also probably would allow budget-related tax increases to pass with a bare majority and it 25 may allow extraneous matters to be included in the budget in order to protect them from being challenged by referendum. OCBC would like to see changes in the legislative process to reduce the gridlock that hinders operations of the State but this measure threatens the 2/3rds vote to approve new taxes—an important restraint on a tax-friendly legislature.
Proposition 26: Supermajority Vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees Act—SUPPORT
Under California’s Constitution, the state Legislature can pass or increase taxes with a two-thirds vote, but “fees” only require a bare majority to pass. This measure would increase the legislative vote requirement to two-thirds for state fees, levies charges, and tax revenue allocations. The Business Council is not blanket-opposed to legitimate taxes or fees, however the business community has been too long on the receiving end of “taxes” masquerading as “fees” that have done little but drive up the cost of doing business in California.
Proposition 27: Elimination of the Citizen Redistricting Commission—OPPOSE
The measure would repeal Prop 11 by eliminating the Citizens Redistricting Commission, and returns the process of setting Assembly, Senate and Board of Equalization district boundaries to the State Legislature. OCBC opposes this measure as it undoes the reform approved last year by voters under Prop 11, an effort to take redistricting power from the politicians, presumably creating more competitive districts. California’s citizens deserve elected officials who are more interested in public service then a protected seat or a partisan power hold.