Sunday, September 23, 2018

CFRW Official 2018 General Election Proposition Positions

Prop 1: Housing and Veteran's Housing Bond
CFRW Position: NO

Official Summary: Authorizes $4 billion of state general obligation bonds to fund existing housing programs. Includes $1.5 billion for Multifamily Housing Program for low-income residents, $1 billion for loans to help veterans purchase farms and homes, $450 million for infill and transit- oriented housing projects, $300 million for farmworker housing program, and $300 million for manufactured and mobile homes. Provides housing assistance for buyers, infrastructure financing, and matching grants to expand affordable housing stock. Increased state costs to repay bonds averaging about $170 million annually over the next 35 years

Our Rationale: This will be billed as a Vet Housing bond... it is only in part. 1/4 of the bond funds are dedicated to veterans' housing. The rest is doled out to programs that won't do much, if anything, to address our housing crisis. The legislature could have truly made this a bond for veterans' housing... but they didn't. Instead the taxpayer will be on the hook for $7 billion dollars.

Prop 2: Millionaire's Tax Reallocation to Homeless Housing
CFRW Position: NO

Official Summary: Ratifies existing law establishing the No Place Like Home Program, which finances permanent housing for individuals with mental illness who are homeless or at risk for chronic homelessness, as being consistent with the Mental Health Services Act approved by the electorate. Ratifies issuance of up to $2 billion in previously authorized bonds to finance the No Place Like Home Program. Amends the Mental Health Services Act to authorize transfers of up to $140 million annually from the existing Mental Health Services Fund to the No Place Like Home Program, with no increase in taxes.

Our Rationale: It is easy to see both sides of this reallocation of Prop 63 (2004) monies. Right now, the 1% tax on millionaire income is just sitting in a "mental health fund" and has contributed nothing in a decade to improving lives. The legislature virtually unanimously approved the No Place Like Home Act which would use the $2 billion sitting in the mental health fund to build temporary housing for the homeless who suffer from mental illness or those who are at risk of being homeless because of mental health issues. It's a tough call and truly an ideological one, but ultimately the CFRW Voting Body decided to oppose the measure, citing that the fund should be used for mental health programs, not homeless housing.

Prop 3: $8.9 Water Bond
CFRW Position: NO

Official Summary: Authorizes $8.877 billion in state general obligation bonds for various infrastructure projects: $3.03 billion for safe drinking water and water quality, $2.895 billion for watershed and fisheries improvements, $940 million for habitat protection, $855 million for improved water conveyance, $685 million for groundwater sustainability/ storage, and $472 million for surface water storage/dam repairs. Requires certain projects to provide matching funds from non-state sources; gives priority to disadvantaged communities. State costs of $17.3 billion to pay off principal ($8.9 billion) and interest ($8.4 billion) on bonds over a 40-year period. Annual payments would average $433 million.

Our Rationale: Again, another tough call. It is hard to justify another water bond, especially one with this price tag (total cost to taxpayers will be $17 billion). There is some to like in this bond- Oroville Dam repairs, groundwater infrastructure repairs and canal repairs for our Central Valley farmers... but there is more to dislike. The lion’s share of the bond monies would be for conservancy grants, regional and state parks, and what the state calls “disadvantaged
communities”. Very little is allocated to water storage or infrastructure.
The California Republican Party took a Neutral position. The CFRW Voting Body decided enough was enough, with $83 billion in outstanding bond debt and not a whole lot to show for it.

Prop 4: Children's Hospital Bond
CFRW Position: NO

Official Summary: Authorizes $1.5 billion in bonds, to be repaid from state’s General Fund, to fund grants for construction, expansion, renovation, and equipping of qualifying children’s hospitals. Designates 72 percent of funds to qualifying private nonprofit hospitals providing comprehensive services to high volumes of children eligible for governmental programs and children with special health needs eligible for the California Children’s Services program, 18 percent of funds to University of California general acute care children’s hospitals, and 10 percent of funds to public and private nonprofit hospitals providing services to children eligible for the California Children’s Services program. State costs of $2.9 billion to pay off principal ($1.5 billion) and interest ($1.4 billion) on bonds over a 35-year period. Annual payments would average $84 million.

Our Rationale: Children's hospitals have no problems fundraising privately. I suspect this is a money grab for several UC hospitals disguised as a Children's hospitals bond.

Prop 5: Senior Property Tax Transfer
CFRW Position: YES

Official Summary: Removes the following current requirements for homeowners who are over 55 years old or severely disabled to transfer their property tax base to a replacement residence: that replacement property be of equal or lesser value, replacement residence be in specific county, and the transfer occur only once. Removes similar replacement-value and location requirements on transfers for contaminated or disaster-destroyed property. Requires adjustments to the replacement property’s tax base, based on the new property’s value.

Our Rationale: This will strengthen Prop 13 protections for those over 55 buying homes. Their property tax value on their previous home will be transferred to their new home purchase, regardless of how many homes they own or how many times they've moved. In an era where Democrats are trying to chip away at Prop 13, this is one good way to protect it and encourage seniors to move so that their homes can be made available for young families.

Prop 6: Gas Tax Repeal
CFRW Position: YES

Official Summary: Repeals a 2017 transportation law’s tax and fee provisions that pay for repairs and improvements to local roads, state highways, and public transportation. Requires the Legislature to submit any measure enacting specified taxes or fees on gas or diesel fuel, or on the privilege to operate a vehicle on public highways, to the electorate for approval.

Our Rationale: The importance of this prop cannot be overstated. This single proposition could help us win other races across the state, even secure the House for Republicans. It is crucial we get the word out and support Prop 6! The fact of the matter is, the state has enough money in the General Fund to repair our roads and ease traffic through infrastructure, but the Democrats have siphoned off money for roads for three decades. SB 1 should have never been passed without voter approval first!

Prop 7: Permanent Daylight Savings
CFRW Position: NO

Official Summary: Establishes the time zone designated by federal law as “Pacific standard time” as the standard time within California. Provides that California daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November, consistent with current federal law. Permits the Legislature by two-thirds vote to make future changes to California’s daylight saving time period, including for its year-round application, if changes are consistent with federal law.

Our Rationale: There are many more important measures on the ballot. We have a system that works and much more pressing matters affecting our state. This is not the proposition you want to spend any time educating on. Even if it’s passed, the legislature and the Federal Government would have to approve it. It's not worth our time (pun intended!).

Prop 8: Dialysis Clinic Revenue
CFRW Position: NO

Official Summary: Limits the charges to 115 percent of the costs for direct patient care and quality improvement costs, including training, patient education, and technology support. Requires rebates and penalties if charges exceed the limit. Requires annual reporting to the state regarding clinic costs, patient charges, and revenue. Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on the source of payment for care

Our Rationale:
This proposition is one of the most important ones but may get lost in the shuffle if we aren't careful. This is a thinly veiled power grab by the SEUI and UHW to unionize dialysis clinics. Voters won't understand the importance of this ballot box power play... so we must educate them. Prop 8 would mandate that if dialysis clinics make more than 115% of their costs, they must "payback" their patients’ payers. Consumers won't see any of the revenue, and this may make it more difficult for patients to receive care if clinics are forced to shut down. It is despicable. The ballot box is not the place to unionize.

(Prop 9 was taken off the ballot by the CA Supreme Court, so we skip to 10)

Prop 10: Local Rent Control
CFRW Position: NO

Official Summary: Repeals state law that currently restricts the scope of rent-control policies that cities and other local jurisdictions may impose. Allows policies that would limit the rental rates that residential-property owners may charge for new tenants, new construction, and single- family homes. In accordance with California law, provides that rent-control policies may not violate landlords’ right to a fair financial return on their rental property.

Our Rationale: Local, unelected "rent control boards" would wreak havoc on our local economies and would do nothing but make our housing crisis worse. This would shrink supply and repealing Costa-Hawkins would create a superficial bubble. It also does not allow landlords to bring a rental back to market value if it is vacated. The CRP said no to Prop 10 as well.

Prop 11: Ambulance Employee Paid Breaks
CFRW Position: YES

Official Summary: Makes labor law entitling hourly employees to take work breaks for meals and rest, without being on-call, inapplicable to private-sector emergency ambulance employees. Regulates timing of meal breaks for these employees. Eliminates employers’ liability—in actions pending on or after October 25, 2017—for violations of existing law regarding work breaks. Requires employers to provide training regarding certain emergency incidents, violence prevention, and mental health and wellness. Requires employers to provide employees certain mental-health services.

Our Rationale: This is good for the consumer and good for taxpayers by circumventing frivolous lawsuits. Prop 11 allows ambulatory companies to pay their employees for "on-call" breaks, instead of the mandated, unpaid hour-long breaks before and after their shifts that the unions love.

Prop 12: Space Requirements for Consumable Farm Animals
CFRW Position: NO

Official Summary: Establishes new minimum space requirements for confining veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens. Requires egg-laying hens be raised in cage-free environment after December 31, 2021. Prohibits certain commercial sales of specified meat and egg products derived from animals confined in noncomplying manner. Defines sales violations as unfair competition. Creates good faith defense for sellers relying upon written certification by suppliers that meat and egg products comply with new confinement standards. Requires State of California to issue implementing regulations

Our Rationale: You may be thinking... didn't we already vote on chicken coop space? Why yes, yes we did. Back in 2008. But the Humane Society is coming back for more, just as all the farmers and ranchers complied with the original law. If they don't comply in time with Prop 12, they are banned from selling their meat or eggs. The Human Society sees dollar signs while the burden will be passed onto consumers. This may create shortages, frivolous lawsuits, and is unnecessarily burdensome on our farmers and ranchers who have already complied with the 2008 law.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Capitol Update Friday, September 21, 2018: CFRW Ballot Measure Recommendations

Bill Movement

Governor Brown still has 9 days to act on 600 bills outstanding on his desk. With the bills the CFRW has been tracking, there has been some movement. Some good, some bad. First, it should be mentioned that Governor Brown has become much more progressive in his last and final term. Suggesting a $400 million satellite to monitor climate change is enough evidence of that. So, his actions on many of these bills may not come as a surprise. Governor Brown signed AB 1884 (Calderon, D) and SB 1192 (Monning, D) into law earlier this week. As you will recall, AB 1884 is a ban on plastic straws being offered at restaurants, subjecting restaurants to fines if they are offered or given with drinks. SB 1192 is another burdensome regulation on our restaurant industry, which prohibits fast food restaurants from offering juice, soda, or flavored milk with children’s meals. The good news is that Governor Brown vetoed SB 1424 (Pan, D), which would have created a “social media advisory board” through our Attorney General’s office that would have sought to curb “fake news” proliferation on social media platforms. Luckily the Governor thought the creation of such a board would be superfluous. The legislative season is ending and the election looms near. It is time for Republican Women to shift their focus to voter education.

CFRW Ballot Measure Recommendations

The General Election is only 7 weeks away, and while that may seem like a long time (and to low-information voters, it is), the CFRW and our members must work to educate voters across our state. With 11 measures on the ballot, voter education is key. Below is a list of our ballot measure recommendations, but for many voters, that is not enough. ◼ CLICK HERE for ballot measures’ summaries, CFRW recommendations, and our rationale. Last week we went in-depth with Prop 1.... Each week leading up to the election we will highlight a proposition or two with in-depth analysis and reasoning for our recommendations. It is not enough to educate ourselves anymore, we must help Californians wake up to the corruption of Sacramento and their manipulation at the ballot box!

General Election Ballot Measures

Prop 1: Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs- NO

Prop 2: Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Mental Illness- NO

Prop 3: Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Water Conveyance, and Groundwater Sustainability and Storage- NO

Prop 4: Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children's Healthcare- NO

Prop 5: Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer Their Property Tax Base to Replacement Property- YES

Prop 6: Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding, Requires Certain Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by The Electorate- YES

Prop 7: Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law, Allows the Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period- NO

Prop 8: Regulates Amount Kidney Dialysis Clinics Charge for Dialysis Treatment- NO

(From here we skip from Prop 8 to Prop 10. Prop 9 was removed from the ballot by the California Supreme Court)

Prop 10: Expands Local Governments' Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property- NO

Prop 11: Require Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain On-Call During Work Breaks, Eliminates Certain Employer Liability- YES

Prop 12: Establishes New Standards for Confinement of Specified Farm Animals, Bans Sale of Non-Complying Product- NO

Prop Spotlight: Proposition 2

The official ballot summary of Proposition 2 is as follows: Ratifies existing law establishing the No Place Like Home Program, which finances permanent housing for individuals with mental illness who are homeless or at risk for chronic homelessness, as being consistent with the Mental Health Services Act approved by the electorate. Ratifies issuance of up to $2 billion in previously authorized bonds to finance the No Place Like Home Program. Amends the Mental Health Services Act to authorize transfers of up to $140 million annually from the existing Mental Health Services Fund to the No Place Like Home Program, with no increase in taxes.

Prop 2 takes some background explanation. The legislature passed a bill in 2016, the No Place Like Home Act, to spend revenue from Proposition 63 (2004) on revenue bonds for homelessness prevention housing. The legislation, however, could not go into effect for two reasons: 1). Because of pending litigation over whether revenue from the millionaire's tax could be spent on homelessness prevention housing and 2). Because Prop 2 would reallocate revenue from a previously passed ballot initiative. Unlike general obligation bonds, revenue bonds do not require a public vote in California, but because this is a change to a passed ballot initiative, it must go before the voters. In 2004, voters approved Proposition 63- a one percent income tax on those making over a million dollars a year to fund mental health programs. Over a decade later, much of that money remains unspent for a wide variety of reasons. Therefore, two years ago the Legislature approved the No Place Like Home program to spend the unused revenue. This program authorizes the $2 billion general obligation bond to pay for housing for those with mental illness who are homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless. The bond would be paid off with up to $140 million of existing Proposition 63 monies annually, for 30-35 years. Both chambers of the state legislature approved AB 1827 (now, Prop 2) on June 25, 2018. The vote in the state Senate was 35-0, with four members not voting, while the state Assembly vote was 72-1. If passed, the bond would allow for the distribution of $2 billion among counties as deferred payment loans to finance capitol costs of approximately 10,000 permanent supportive housing for persons eligible for services under Prop 63 and are homeless, chronically homeless, or at risk of chronic homelessness due to mental health. The California Republican Party has no position on Prop 2 because this was placed on the ballot after the Party’s convention last May, where positions on ballot measures were made by the CRP Initiatives Committee. The California Federation of Republican Women have recommended voting NO on Prop 2. Our Voting Body believes that the original Prop 63 Mental Health funding should be used for mental health programs, not for housing. We acknowledge that our cities have a homelessness crisis, but we believe that throwing money at the problem in the form of housing is not the answer. Catching the signs of mental illness earlier, giving schools and families the tools to help their loved ones with a mental illness, and more education on mental illnesses should be addressed, but Prop 2 does nothing for that. Join us in voting NO on Prop 2.

CFRW Fall Conference

It's September and our CFRW Fall Conference is next weekend! Join us from September 28-30 in Bakersfield for our Fall Harvest! We will be hearing from John Sullivan, producer of films such as Gosnell, America, and 2016 in conjunction with Dinesh D'Souza. Our banquet speaker is Ben Bergquam from Frontline America and he is on the frontlines battling SB 54 and the Sanctuary State in California. We will be preparing for the election and getting out the vote with a Yes on Prop 6 rally and so much information on the ballot. CLICK HERE for the full conference packet and registration (deadline extended to TODAY!)

Disclaimer: The Capitol Update is an activity of the CFRW Advocate's Office. The update is for information only. CFRW official positions on legislation are stated immediately preceding the stated legislation or immediately following the stated legislation in this report.

California Federation of Republican Women Advocacy Office
770 L Street, Suite 950, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone 916-442-4084