Message from the Chair – 10/4/18

The November General Election is right around the corner and many of you will be receiving your Vote-By-Mail ballots in the next few days. In preparation of the election the Libertarian Party of California discussed the 11 Ballot Initiatives at our last Executive Committee meeting and below is the Party’s recommendations on each of the Propositions:

Proposition 1: Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018 NO

Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs. Legislative Statute

Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond; authorizes $4 billion of state general obligations bond to fund existing housing programs.

The Libertarian Party of California recommends a “No” vote on Proposition 1.

Although they say this will provide affordable housing with no tax increase, it will cost the state $170 million per year over 35 years in annual interest payments which will need to come from somewhere. We are still paying for the 2006 ballot initiative, Proposition 1C, which said it would build affordable housing, yet housing is no more affordable today than it was 12 years ago. This initiative will be just another bond measure that will add to the state’s increasing and unsustainable, unfunded liabilities.

Proposition 2: No Place like Home Act of 2018- NO

Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Mental Illness. Legislative Statute

Use Millionaire’s Tax Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds; authorizes $2 billion in revenue bonds for homelessness prevention housing for persons in need of mental health services.

The Libertarian Party of California recommends a “No” vote on Proposition 2. Although it’s stated that there would be no fiscal impact as $120 million per year would be directed from the 1% millionaire’s tax, the end result would be that the Proposition 63 revenues that had been dedicated to county mental health services would be redirected to debt servicing of this bond. Further, although revenue from the Proposition 63 tax increase can currently pay for this liability, if the economy shifts then it will mean cutting these services and the $120 million a year will need to come out of the general fund.

Proposition 3: Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018- NO

Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Water Conveyance, and Groundwater Sustainability and Storage. Initiative Statute

California Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative; authorizes $8.877 billion in general obligation bonds for water infrastructure, groundwater supplies and storage, surface water storage and dam repairs, watershed and fisheries improvements, and habitat protection and restoration.

The Libertarian Party of California recommends a “No” vote on Proposition 3. Since 2006 there has been $20.478 billion in bonds approved for water infrastructure and according to the State Treasurer in August 2018 there are still $7.1 billion in bonds that haven’t been issued. There have been no notable improvements in that time period with money still available, and there is no reason that the State of California should be saddled with another $8.877 billion in unfunded liabilities. Further, although part of the funds from this bond will go toward groundwater storage and water recycling, about half the money is earmarked for low priority uses like watershed land improvements, fish and wildlife habitat and flood protection.

Proposition 4: Children’s Hospital Bond Act of 2018- NO

Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Health Care. Initiative Statute

Children’s Hospital Bond Act; authorizes $1.5 billion, to be repaid by the state’s General Funds, for the construction, renovation and equipping of children’s hospitals in California.

The Libertarian Party of California recommends a “No” vote on Proposition 4.

Although the operators of 13 pediatric hospitals in California contend they need infrastructure investment to keep up with the demand for specialized procedures they offer to children with life-threatening conditions, this measure will add another $1.5 billion to the state’s unstainable debt and would add an addition $80 million in interest to be paid over the next 35 years. In addition, although the children’s hospitals and medical facilities that would benefit from this money are non-profit of the combined net income of the 13 hospitals was $276 million with over $4.6 billion in net assets which could easily be used for the necessary improvements.

Proposition 5: People’s Initiative to Protect Proposition 13 Savings- YES

Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer their Property Tax Base to Replacement Property. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute

Property Tax Transfer Initiative; allows homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments, with a possible adjustment, from their prior home to their new home, no matter (a) the new home’s market value; (b) the new home’s location in the state; or (c) the buyer’s number of moves.

The Libertarian Party of California recommends a “Yes” vote on Proposition 5. Proposition 13 was originally passed so that homeowners that bought property at a lower price weren’t suddenly saddled with increased taxes as the property appreciated in value. Since then Proposition 60 was passed in 1986 which allows homeowners 55 and older to move to another property, as their needs change, at that same lower tax rates that Proposition 13 created, so long as the move is to a property of lesser or equal value, was in the same county and was limited to a one time more. Proposition 5 will expand the ability to people 55 or older or severely disabled to be able to take advantage of this benefit regardless of where they move within the state. This means many homeowners will finally be able to access the equity in their homes to purchase a replacement property, and maintain the low tax assessment they have enjoyed previously.

Proposition 6: Voter Approval for Increases in Gas and Car Tax-YES

Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding. Requires Certain Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by The Electorate. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative; repeals fuel tax increases and vehicle fees that were enacted in 2017.

The Libertarian Party of California recommends a “Yes” vote on Proposition 6.

Proposition 6 would repeal all gas and fuel taxes enacted by the California legislature since January 1, 2017, and would require voter approval for any fuel tax or vehicle fee increases in the future. California needs to learn to spend its money more wisely and if any future tax increases need to be approved by the voters they may find it easier to just tighten their fiscal belt.

Proposition 7: Daylight Savings Time Act-NO POSITION

Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period. Legislative Statute

Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure; allows the California State Legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) in California by a two-thirds vote if federal law is changed to allow for permanent DST.

The Libertarian Party of California voted to take no position on this matter leaving it up to each individual to decide for themselves.

The arguments in favor of approving this initiative are that although permanent Daylight Saving Time would desynchronize California from certain states, it would place it in sync with Arizona. In addition it’s argued that changing the time wastes energy and jeopardizes public health as research has shown an increase in strokes, heart attacks and accidents following the time changes.

The arguments in opposition of this initiative are that it would desynchronize California from certain states and mean that the time differences between different states would vary during the year. They also argue that Californians would wake up in the dark during the winter.

Proposition 8: Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act- NO

Regulates Amounts Outpatient Kidney Dialysis Clinics Charge for Dialysis Treatment. Initiative Statute

Limits on Dialysis Clinics’ Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative; supports requiring dialysis clinics to issue refunds to patients of patients’ payers for revenue above 115 percent of the costs of direct patient care and healthcare improvements.

The Libertarian Party of California recommend a “No” vote on Proposition 8. While seemingly good intentioned, price controls in Proposition 8 will cause many dialysis facilities to operate at a loss which will likely mean that clinics will close reducing access to dialysis care. In addition, if dialysis firms earn revenues exceeding 115 percent of qualifying costs in any year, it will be required to rebate the excess to private providers, not government programs. The high cost of health care is already due to government interventions and this proposition will ultimately lead to higher costs.

Proposition 10: Affordable Housing Act- NO

Expands Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property. Initiative Statute

Local Rent Control Initiative; Repeals state law that currently restricts the scope of rent-control policies that cities and other local jurisdictions may impose and allows policies that would limit rental rates that residential-property owners may charge new tenants, new construction and single-family homes.

The Libertarian Party of California recommends a “No” vote on Proposition 10. Rent Control deters the development of new rental units and instead incentivizes developers to build condos which are out of reach for most moderate to low income Californians.And although rent control offers savings to current renters, it also reduces landlords’ incentives to maintain their properties. In many areas with strict rent regulations, these restrictions can contribute to neighborhood decline.

Proposition 11: Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Act- NO

Requires Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain On-Call During Work Breaks. Eliminates Certain Employer Liability. Initiative Statute

Ambulance Employees Paid On-Call Breaks, Training, and Mental Health Services Initiative; Allows private ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during breaks, paid at their regular rate.

The Libertarian Party of California recommends a “No” vote on Proposition 11.

EMTs have traditionally been on-call during their breaks because it’s cost prohibitive to have another full ambulance crew come on duty to cover them during a break if an emergency call comes in. But in 2016 the California Supreme Court ruled that the state law intended to protect general workers break periods also applied to EMTs. The private ambulance industry can’t make this work without substantial cost increases which present problems for the emergency response systems. If this initiative had simply corrected the problem caused by the 2016 court ruling, that would have left this up to the free market, however rather than just fixing a problem it also includes requiring private companies to offer more benefits and training which imposes an unjust burden on private employers.

Proposition 12: Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act- no position

Establishes New Standards for Confinement of Specified Farm Animals; Bans Sale of Noncomplying Products. Initiative Statute.

Farm Animal Confinement Initiative; bans the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below a specific number of square feet.

The Libertarian Party of California voted to take no position on this matter leaving it up to each individual to decide for themselves.

The arguments in favor of approving this initiative argue that Proposition 2 which passed in 2008 was written to vaguely and didn’t specify the amount of room an animal requires to lie down and move, and that this vagueness has allowed farmed animal producers to cram animals into cruel spaces. They therefore believe that this proposition will remedy that by giving specific space requirements for certain farmed animals.

The arguments in opposition to this initiative claim that this is yet another poorly written law and only protects certain farmed animals (veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens). The opponents further argue that these regulations will cause many farmers to go out of business, possibly creating a shortage of chickens and eggs and raising prices.

Also, remember that we have several Libertarians on the upcoming ballot, so please be sure to vote for them if you are in their districts. Our endorsed candidates are:

Brandon Nelson, 4th Assembly District (Lake and Napa Counties, and portions of Yolo, Colusa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties)

Justin Quigley, 21st Assembly District (Merced County and portions of Stanislaus County)

Christopher Stare, 51st Assembly District (Los Angeles County; City Terrace, East Los Angeles and areas east of Downtown LA)

Autumn Browne, 69th Assembly District (Orange County; Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange and Santa Ana)

Honor “Mimi” Robson, 70th Assembly District (Los Angeles County; Long Beach, San Pedro and Catalina Island)

And we have many others running in local, non-partisan races. Here are a few, but be sure to check your ballots!

Jeff Hewitt, 5th District Riverside County Supervisor

Nickolas Wildstar, 3rd District Fullerton City Council

John Ink, Mountain View City Council

Yours in Liberty,

Mimi Robson

Chair, Libertarian Party of California