The Lamorinda Democratic Club’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the Issues’ Committee recommendations that the club formally endorse these positions on these issues.  The club will vote on this recommendation at the September 16 meeting.

NO – Prop 20: Redistricting of Congressional Districts

Removes elected representatives from the process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to the recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission. Redistricting commission is comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four voters registered with neither party. Requires that any newly-proposed district lines be approved by nine commissioners including three Democrats, three Republicans, and three from neither party. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Probably no significant change in state redistricting costs.

YES – Prop 21: Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge

Establishes an $18 annual state vehicle license surcharge and grants free admission to all state parks to surcharged vehicles. Requires deposit of surcharge revenue in a new trust fund. Requires that trust funds be used solely to operate, maintain and repair the state park system, and to protect wildlife and natural resources. Exempts commercial vehicles, trailers and trailer coaches from the surcharge. Requires annual independent audit and review by citizen’s oversight committee. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state revenues of about $500 million annually from the imposition of a surcharge on the VLF to be used mainly to fund state parks and wildlife conservation programs. Potential state savings of up to approximately $200 million annually to the extent that the VLF surcharge revenues were used to reduce support from the General Fund and other special funds for parks and wildlife conservation programs. Reduction of about $50 million annually in state and local revenues from state park day-use fees.

NO – Prop 23: Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws.

Suspends State laws requiring reduced greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. Requires State to abandon implementation of comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries, until suspension is lifted. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential positive, short-term impacts on state and local government revenues from the suspension of regulatory activity, with uncertain longer-run impacts. Potential foregone state revenues from the auctioning of emission allowances by state government, by suspending the future implementation of cap-and-trade regulations.

YES – Prop 24: Tax Fairness Act

Proposition 24 would repeal the corporate tax cuts that were passed in closed-door budget deals of 2008-09. These tax breaks cost approximately $1.3 billion per year in revenue to the state and benefit only two percent of California’s businesses. There is no requirement that they actually result in the creation of private-sector jobs. Proposition 24 will make big multi-state corporations pay their fair share and put $1.3 billion back into the treasury to help our schools, health care, and other essential services that have suffered severe budget cuts in recent years.

YES – Prop 25: Simple Majority Vote for Budget

This measure would change the vote required for the Legislature to pass a budget from the current two-thirds to a simple majority. Majority rule is a fundamental part of democracy. The majority should set priorities for spending and take responsibility for them. This measure will change the negotiations over the budget and reduce the stranglehold the minority now exercises over the process. Under Proposition 25, legislators will forfeit salary if they fail to meet the deadline for passing a budget. Budgets that are late and full of gimmicks harm all Californians, damage our economy, and hurt the state’s credit rating.

NO – Prop 26: “Polluter Protection”

Proposition 26 would make new definitions of taxes and therefore require a two-thirds vote on many more government revenue decisions at both the state and local levels. Payments by those who cause harm to the environment or public health are currently defined as regulatory fees. Such fees would become much harder to enact, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill instead of those who pollute or create a public nuisance.