Prop 1: The Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.
California’s economy depends on a reliable water supply. Proposition 1 secures California’s water future, keeps family farms and businesses productive, and puts Californians to work building the new facilities needed to store, deliver and treat water with a $7.5 billion bond.
Prop 2: State Budget. Budget Stabilization Account. Legislative Constitutional Amendment
Proposition 2 amends the State Constitution to strengthen the requirement for a budget reserve and to pay down budget-related debt. Proposition 2 would increase the size of the state’s “rainy day” reserve from $8 billion to $11 billion, and would require minimum annual contributions into that reserve of $800 million – and even more if capital gains revenues to the treasury are strong. The measure would also require that extra revenues be devoted in part to reducing budget-debt, repaying funds borrowed from local school districts, or used for investment in new infrastructure or reducing long-term pension liabilities. More info: www.yesonprops1and2.com
Prop 45: Healthcare Insurance. Rate Changes. Initiative Statute.
This measure requires the Insurance Commissioner (the Commissioner) to approve rates for all health insurance coverage before it can be sold to consumers.
Proposition 45 gives sweeping control over health care coverage rates to one elected politician—the Commissioner. The measure defines “rate” broadly, meaning the Commissioner would have authority to reject or modify more than just health care premium rates. It could also reject proposed co-payment amounts, deductibles, benefit offerings, and more. Some have argued this could undermine efforts by California’s health exchange, Covered California, to make sure health coverage offered to individuals and small businesses is a good value, not just inexpensive. The measure would also duplicate work already being done by Covered California and other state agencies, causing costly confusion and adding more red tape to the health care system. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office projects the measure could increase state administrative costs tens of millions of dollars per year — costs that ultimately will be paid by consumers. More info: www.stophighercosts.org
Prop 46: Drug and Alcohol Testing Of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits. Initiative Statute.
Sponsored by trial lawyers, the measure seeks to increase the cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice lawsuits. Proponents sweetened the measure by also proposing new random drug testing requirements on physicians and requiring health care providers consult an electronic database regarding patient prescriptions before issuing any new prescriptions.
Reasons for Position
California’s liability limits for medical malpractice awards for noneconomic damages (“pain and suffering”) have been in effect since 1975 when the Legislature responded to a crisis of availability and affordability of malpractice insurance. Californians have benefited from these limits in better access to health care since doctors can afford malpractice insurance. In addition, lower cost of malpractice is one area where California health care costs are lower than the rest of the nation.
Proposition 46 would quadruple the limit on medical malpractice awards in California which will cost consumers and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year in higher health care costs, and cause many doctors and other medical care professionals to quit their practice or move to other states with lower medical malpractice insurance premiums . If medical malpractice awards go up, health insurance companies will raise their rates to cover their increased costs. Far outweighing any benefits are the consequences of Proposition 46: higher costs of health care, higher taxes, lost access to doctors, loss of privacy, and risk that personal prescription drug history will be compromised. More info: www.NoOn46.com
Prop 47: Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 47 reduces penalties for certain offenders convicted of non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes. The measure also allows certain offenders who previously have been convicted of such crimes to apply for reduced sentences.
Reasons for Position
The Santa Clara Chamber is joining the CalChamber, the California Police Chiefs Association and the California District Attorneys Association in opposition to Proposition 47. Proponents say that Proposition 47 will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in savings annually for the criminal justice system though the incarceration of fewer non-violent offenders. In reality, however, Proposition 47 is a dangerous and radical package of ill-conceived policies wrapped in a poorly drafted initiative, which will endanger Californians.
California has plenty of laws and programs that allow judges and prosecutors to keep first-time, low-level offenders out of jail if it is appropriate. Proposition 47 would strip judges and prosecutors of that discretion. Removing this discretion is especially dangerous for California businesses because shoplifting, theft, forgery and fraud — where the value of the stolen goods or forged documents is less than $950 — would be misdemeanors. The language of the measure suggests that even if a person forges multiple documents whose total value exceeds $950, the person could be charged only with a misdemeanor. As a result, reducing penalties for theft, receiving stolen property and forgery could cost businesses and consumers millions of dollars.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe put it succinctly when he told the San Jose Mercury-News, “Someone can commit petty theft 10,000 times and we’d still have to always charge it as a misdemeanor.” More info: www.californiapolicechiefs.org/proposition-47
Prop 48: Indian Gaming Compacts. Referendum.