The OCBC Board of Directors took positions on the following 2016 Ballot Initiatives critical to business success across the state.
California Medi-Cal Hospital Reimbursement Initiative: If this initiative is approved by the state’s voters, it will add language to the California Constitution to require voter approval of changes to the hospital fee program to ensure that California uses these funds for the intended purpose of supporting hospital care to Medi-Cal patients and to help pay for healthcare for low-income children. The California Legislature would be permitted to amend the hospital fee program via a two-thirds vote, but only when the proposed changes “amend or add provisions that further the purposes of the Act.
Public Education Facilities Bond Initiative: This bond measure would issue $9 billion in bonds to fund improvement and construction of school facilities for K-12 schools and community colleges. Without this bond, developers and home buyers will bear the weight of exorbitant fees to offset inadequate school facilities funding, further hindering an already stressed housing market and putting the safety of California’s students at risk.
Drug Price Relief Initiative: This initiative was designed to restrict the amount that any state agency could pay for drugs, tying it to the price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, an organization that falls under certain state laws regarding drug price negotiations. The measure would apply in any case in which the state ultimately provides funding for the purchase of drugs, even if the drugs are not purchased directly by a government agency. It is an initiative that is hard to implement and would drive up drug prices overall, reduce the availability of some drugs, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in lawsuits triggered by the measure.
California Public Vote on Bonds Initiative: Also known as the “No Blank Check Initiative,” this requires voter approval before the state could issue more than $2 billion in public infrastructure bonds that would require an increase in taxes or fees for repayment. While some bonds do appear on California ballots for voter approval, those paid for out of state revenue are not required to be voter-approved as they are not repaid by taxpayers, but rather the users of the project. This measure would systematically stall or stop critically needed infrastructure projects across the state, including water reliability projects, road safety and bridge repairs, university and college buildings and more.
For more information, contact Bryan Starr, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, at email@example.com.