Saturday, October 4, 2014

CFRW Ballot Recommendations

CFRW Ballot Recommendations

Below are the official CFRW Ballot Recommendations. Once again, it should be noted that our recommendations are just that- recommendations. It is the hope of the CFRW Voting Body that our Republican Women heed our recommendations but ultimately research these propositions on their own as well so that they can better educate other California voters. Every election is just as important as the last!

Prop 1 Water Bond. 
Funding for Water Quality, Supply, Treatment, and Storage Projects: 
Summary: Authorizes $7.12 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, such as surface and groundwater storage; ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration; drinking water protection; water supply management; water recycling and advanced water treatment technology; and flood control. Reallocates $425 million of unused bond authority from prior water bond acts, for same purposes. Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds. Requires certain projects to provide matching funds from non-state sources in order to receive bond funds

Fiscal Impact: Increased state bond repayment costs averaging $360 million annually over the next 40 years. Savings to local governments related to water projects, likely averaging a couple hundred million dollars annually over the next few decades.

Talking Points:

- Republicans in the legislature fought hard to bring down the cost of this bond while increasing the amount of money allocated for surface storage projects to $2.7 billion.

- The bond is not perfect, and in fact still has a good amount of money allocated for some environmental “pet projects.” But Republicans must continue to fight for surface storage projects to be completed with this new bond. Living in a Democrat super majority state, we aren't going to have the "perfect water bond" come out of Sacramento. But this bond is a step in the right direction. If this bond does not pass and legislators must go back to the drawing board, we fear a worse bond will be brought back to the people of California, without the critical water storage the Republicans fought so hard to have included in this bond.

- Language for dam removal projects were removed from this bond and instead money will be allocated to fund two dam and reservoir projects, one in Colusa County and one in Fresno County. The Fresno County site, Temperance Flats, is especially important because our Central Valley Farmers have been relying so heavily on wells and groundwater that now that infrastructure is unstable. Our farmers need more surface storage to keep California growing.

- Again, it is important to note that this bond is not perfect and Republicans cannot rest on their laurels once it is passed. But we believe this is why it is so important to work hard to get Republicans elected to the legislature this cycle. The more Republicans we have protecting our interests in the Capitol, the better!

Prop 2 State Budget. Budget Stabilization Account. 
Legislative Constitutional Amendment: 
Summary: Requires annual transfer of 1.5% of general fund revenues to state budget stabilization account. Requires additional transfer of personal capital gains tax revenues exceeding 8% of general fund revenues to budget stabilization account and, under certain conditions, a dedicated K–14 school reserve fund. Requires that half the budget stabilization account revenues be used to repay state debts and unfunded liabilities. Allows limited use of funds in case of emergency or if there is a state budget deficit. Caps budget stabilization account at 10% of general fund revenues, directs remainder to infrastructure

Fiscal Impact: Some existing state debts would be paid down faster, resulting in long-term savings for the state. Changes in the level of state budget reserves, which would depend on the economy and future decisions by the Governor and the Legislature. Reserves kept by some school districts would be smaller

Talking Points:

- Another measure that Republicans worked hard to get to the ballot. Republicans have been working towards a rainy day fund for years. Every single Republican legislator in both the Senate and the Assembly voted in support of this proposition.

- Sets aside state revenues in a fund that cannot be used to further state spending in times of excess.

- Finally works to pay down state debt payments.

- Another caveat though, this bill must have Republican oversight once passed to make sure the fund is safe from greedy Democrat spending even after it is passed.

Prop 45 Approval of Healthcare 
Insurance Rate Changes. Initiative Statute: 
Summary: Requires health insurance rate changes to be approved by Insurance Commissioner before taking effect. Requires sworn statement by health insurer as to accuracy of information submitted to Insurance Commissioner to justify rate changes. Provides for public notice, disclosure and hearing on health insurance rate changes, and subsequent judicial review. Does not apply to employer large group health plans. Prohibits health, auto and homeowners insurers from determining policy eligibility or rates based on lack of prior coverage or credit history.

Fiscal Impact: Increased state administrative costs ranging in the low millions to low tens of millions of dollars annually to regulate health insurance rates, funded with revenues collected from filing fees paid by health insurance companies.

Talking Points:

- A very dangerous measure that would place all insurance rate power in the hands of one politician, who would also have the decision making ability for your treatment options.

- Would create yet another costly state bureaucracy that would be funded by your higher healthcare costs.

- Sponsored by special interest lawyers who included a hidden provision allowing them to charge up to $675/hour and make tens of millions in fees off costly health care lawsuits.

Prop 46 Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. 
Medical Negligence Lawsuits. Initiative Statute: 
Summary: Requires drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive test to the California Medical Board. Requires Board to suspend doctor pending investigation of positive test and take disciplinary action if doctor was impaired while on duty. Requires doctors to report any other doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence. Requires health care practitioners to consult state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances. Increases $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in medical negligence lawsuits to account for inflation.

Fiscal Impact: Increased state and local government health care costs from raising the cap on medical malpractice damages, likely ranging from the tens of millions of dollars to several hundred million dollars annually.

Talking Points:

- It is no secret this measure was drafted by trial lawyers who stand to make millions with an increase on the “emotional pain and suffering” cap for medical negligence lawsuits

- This measure forces doctors and pharmacists to use a massive statewide database filled with Californians’ personal medical prescription information. A mandate government will find impossible to implement, and a database with no increased security standards to protect your personal prescription information from hacking and theft – none.

- If California’s medical liability cap goes up, you could also lose your trusted doctor. It’s true. Many doctors will be forced to leave California to practice in states where medical liability insurance is more affordable.

- A recent study found that this initiative will increase health care costs by $9.9 billion annually – or more than $1,000/year in higher health costs for a family of four

- It is deceptive. The drug testing of doctors portion of this measure was only added as an illusion to the real goal of this prop- to raise the cap on emotional pain and suffering

Prop 47 Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. 
Initiative Statute: 
Summary: Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for petty theft, receiving stolen property, and forging/writing bad checks when value or amount involved is $950 or less. Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for certain drug possession offenses. Allows felony sentence for these offenses if person has previous conviction for crimes such as rape, murder or child molestation or is a registered sex offender. Requires resentencing for persons serving felony sentences for these offenses unless court finds unreasonable public safety risk. Applies savings to mental health and drug treatment programs, K-12 schools, and crime victims.

Fiscal Impact: Unknown. Potential savings to criminal justice system. But also potential costs associated to recidivism rates.

Talking Points:

- Felons with prior convictions for armed robbery, kidnapping, car jacking, child abuse, residential burglary, arson, assault with a deadly weapon, and many other serious crimes are still eligible for early release under this prop.

- Judges must rule on a criminal’s early release based only on the most recent felony. Prior felony convictions will not affect a judge’s ruling except in extraordinary circumstances. This means that serious, violent felons will be released and there is little a judge can do about it.

- Under current law, stealing a gun is a felony, period. Prop 47 would redefine grand theft in such a way that theft of a firearm could only be considered a felony if the value of the gun is greater than $950. Almost all handguns (which are the most stolen kind of firearm) retail for well below $950. People don’t steal guns just so they can add to their gun collection. They steal guns to commit another crime. People stealing guns are protected under Proposition 47.

- Proposition 47 will reduce the penalty for possession of drugs used to facilitate date-rape to a simple misdemeanor. No matter how many times the suspected sexual predator has been charged with possession of date-rape drugs, it will only be a misdemeanor, and the judge will be forced to sentence them as if it were their very first time in court.
Prop 48 Referendum to Overturn Indian Gaming Compacts: Neutral or No Position
Summary: If the measure is approved by the state's voters, it will ratify AB 277 (Ch. 51, Stats. 2013), ratify two gaming compacts between California and, respectively, the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, and the Wiyot Tribe, and exempt execution of the compacts, certain projects, and intergovernmental agreements from the California Environmental Quality Act. This measure is a veto referendum; this means that a "yes" vote is a vote to uphold or ratify the contested legislation (AB 277) that was enacted by the California State Legislature while a "no" vote is a vote to overturn AB 277.

Fiscal Impact: One-time payments between $16 million and $35 million from the North Fork tribe to local governments in the Madera County area to address costs related to the operation of a new casino.Annual payments over a 20-year period averaging around $10 million from the North Fork tribe to the state and local governments in the Madera County area to address costs related to the operation of a new casino. Increased revenue from economic growth in the Madera County area generally offset by revenue losses from decreased economic activity in surrounding areas

Talking Points:

- There are pros and cons to this proposition. That’s why the CFRW has taken a neutral position. It is our hope that the Republican Women research this prop and decide how this will effect them and the future of California.

- It will create thousands of jobs in a depressed economic area. Madera County is in desperate need of jobs.

- But it creates a precedence whereby Indians can game outside of their tribal land. This is currently unprecedented. The current Indian Gaming Pact with our state allows tribes to only game on their tribal land. This referendum would allow tribes to petition to the government to game (build casinos) outside of their tribal land.