This Week, Continued: CA Propositions

Aside from the marijuana and cap and trade initiatives (19 and 23), all of the other seven propositions really deal with the central problem facing California (except the deep recession): Our completely paralyzed, totally dysfunctional legislature. 

The other seven props deal with two ways to try to do this:  (1) Change the legislators’ incentives, or the legislators themselves; or (2) change the rules they have to follow.  Prop. 20 and 27 aim at the former by trying, respectively, to make elections more or less competitive (i.e., reduce versus increase district gerrymandering).  Prop. 20 is VERY important to the whole country, since it would have an independent commission draw California’s national House districts.  This would probably give more seats to the GOP in the House and affect all our citizens a lot.

Props. 25 and 26 change the process by changing the CA budget rules and/or the rules for raising taxes.   The final three propositions are simpler. Props. 21 and 24 just raise taxes directly top close the enormous budget hole, while prop. 22 redistributes existing taxes by prohibiting the state government from raiding certain existing local tax revenues.

Conceptually simple, huh?  One social issue.  One environmental issue.  Two on gerrymandering.  Two on budget rules.  Three on specific taxes.  Too bad they number propositions in the order in which they qualify, not by topic.  I’ll go in this order at our meeting and see if that works. 

Tomorrow I’ll post substantively on either 20/27 or 25/26.

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