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      Proposition Recommendations

      vote

      Vote Nov. 8, 2005 !

      California Special Election!


      Nationally recognized Citizens For A Better America®
      announces it’s Proposition Recommendations, for the
      Nov. 8, 2005 California Special Election!.

      Nov. 8, 2005 General and California Special Elections - "Good Guys List"™!
      Nov. 8, 2005 General Election - Candidate Rankings and Answers

      NO.CA STATEWIDE PROPOSITIONSVOTE
      73 Parental Notification before a minor can have
      an abortion.
      YES
      74 Public School Teachers Tenure. YES
      75 Public Union Dues Require Employee
      Consent for Political Contributions.
      YES
      76 School Funding / State Spending. YES
      77 Reapportionment. YES
      78 Prescription Drugs - Discounts. NO
      79 Prescription Drug State - Rebates. NO
      80 Electric Service Providers. Regulation. NO

      PLEASE NOTE: This page is time sensitive election material.
      As a result, some information may no longer be
      current or available after this election.

      Watch the election or get results. "State Election Sites"


      *******************************************************************

      By Bob Pegram*

      My analysis consisted of downloading 11 pdf files from the Secretary of State's website. Contained within these pdf documents were a total of 285 pages. Documents can be viewed at:

      (http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_j.htm#2005Special)


      Where the proposition's characteristics were clear, the summary, pro and con arguments, and rebuttals were reviewed. In addition, the text of each proposition was scanned. On the more complex propositions, the actual text of the each measure was reviewed in detail to clearly define the true intent and likely results, if passed. Sometimes the stated intent of a proposition and the likely results can vary significantly.

      *******************************************************************

      Initiatives Qualified for the November 8, 2005
      Special Statewide Election Ballot

      Summary Descriptions are taken directly from the California Secretary of State's website


      *******************************************************************

      Initiative Constitutional Amendment Proposition 73

      Termination of Minor's Pregnancy. Waiting Period and Parental Notification. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. 1067. (SA2004RF0030, Amdt. #1-S) [REVISED].

      Proponents: Paul E. Laubacher and Barbara R. Laubacher (916) 381-5222

      Amends California Constitution to bar abortion on unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor's parent/legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver.

      Permits judicial waiver of notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor's maturity or minor's best interests. Physician must report abortions performed on minors and State shall compile statistics. Authorizes monetary damages for violation. Minor must consent to abortion unless mentally incapable or in medical emergency. Permits judicial relief if minor's consent to abortion is coerced.

      Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

      The net costs of this measure to Medi-Cal and other programs are unknown, but are probably not significant in the context of the total expenditures for these programs.

      Analysis:

      Parents are in charge of the medical care of their minor children. Parental consent is even required for ear piercing. It only makes sense that parents be notified before a minor gets an abortion. There are still exceptions made for medical emergency, or a waiver by a judge based on a minor's maturity or best interests. This appears to be a major flaw in this proposed law. Any pro-abortion judge could consistently rule that a minor is mature and/or that it is in the minor's best interest to have the abortion.

      Physicians would be required to report any abortions performed on minors and the State would be required to compile statistics on the abortions. This is a minor help because it would show which doctors do a large number of abortions on minors.

      There are apparently no criminal penalties for violating this law, if passed by voters. There are only monetary damages for violation of the parental consent. This another flaw in this law.

      The minor is required to consent to the abortion unless she is mentally incapable or in a medical emergency. How a medical emergency could require an abortion is beyond this writer. Too often a physician could say that the abortion is required for mental health reasons because the pregnancy and birth would be stressful to the minor mother. ALL pregnancies are stressful to some degree! That is their nature. This is another major flaw in this proposition.

      Judicial relief is also permitted if the minor's consent to abortion is coerced (forced). This is the only part of the proposed law that would protect the unborn baby. Parents more concerned with social acceptability and convenience sometimes force their minor daughter to have an abortion. The law would stop that practice when the girl knows that judicial intervention is available.

      The projected costs are unknown, but doing what is moral by protecting life is more important than any costs. It is the job of government to protect innocent life. In this case, the costs would be relatively minor anyway.

      Recommended Vote: YES on 73 (even with the flaws)

      *******************************************************************

      Initiative Statute Proposition 74

      Public School Teachers. Waiting Period for Permanent Status.
      Dismissal. Initiative Statute.
      1088. (SA2005RF0019).

      Proponent: Bonnie Garcia (760) 202-7714

      Increases length of time required before a teacher may become a permanent employee from two complete consecutive school years to five complete consecutive school years; measure applies to teachers whose probationary period commenced during or after the 2003-2004 fiscal year.

      Authorizes school boards to dismiss a permanent teaching employee who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations.

      Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

      Unknown impact on school district teacher salary costs as a result of changes in teacher tenure and dismissal practices. Fiscal impacts could vary significantly district by district.

      Analysis:

      What other job gives a worker semi-permanent (read: almost impossible to fire) status after only 2 years on the job? What other jobs give a worker this status after any amount of time on the job?!

      At least the length of time before this status is granted increases to 5 years if this proposition passes. If a teacher has two unsatisfactory performance evaluations he/she can be fired. That is certainly reasonable. There is no need for an additional 90 days. Children deserve the best teachers available. Keeping an unsatisfactory teacher when others who are more capable want to teach is unfair to the children - and unfair to parents who expect their children to be properly equipped academically.

      From the arguments in favor of Proposition 74:

      There was a case several years ago where a teacher "called her students derogatory names, swore at them, showed R-rated movies, and even sent a 4th grade student to her car to retrieve a butcher knife." The district had to spend over $100,000 and pay the teacher $25,000 to quit. "Another district spent eight years and more than $300,000 to dismiss an unfit teacher."

      Recommended Vote: YES on 74

      *******************************************************************

      Initiative Statute Proposition 75

      Public Employee Union Dues. Required Employee Consent for
      Political Contributions. Initiative Statute.
      1084. (SA2005RF0009).

      Proponent: Lewis K. Uhler (916) 786-9400

      Prohibits public employee labor organizations from using dues or fees for political contributions unless the employee provides prior consent each year on a specified written form. Prohibition does not apply to dues or fees collected for charitable organizations, health care insurance, or other purposes directly benefiting the public employee.

      Requires labor organizations to maintain and submit to the Fair Political Practices Commission records concerning individual employees' and organizations' political contributions; those records are not subject to public disclosure.

      Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

      Probably minor state and local government implementation costs, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines and/or fees.

      Analysis:

      Currently unions can (and do) use a portion of each member's dues for political purposes. The political contributions the union makes are often for candidates, propositions, and legislation many individual union members do not agree with. This proposition would require state employee unions to get written permission from each union member every year before being able to make these contributions. There would a standard form.

      This is certainly a reasonable change to the law. No worker should be required to pay money that will be used in a way the worker disagrees with. You can be sure that the public employee unions are already spending union dues to defeat this very proposition - spending that will be a violation of the proposition when/if it passes. Much money is already being spent to defeat this proposition and keep union members from having control of their own political contributions.

      For example (from the arguments against proposition 75): Despite opposition from more than 4,000 prison guards, their union increased dues by $18 million [$18,000,000] over two years to pay for political campaigns and to give to politicians." "WITHOUT A VOTE OF THE MEMBERSHIP, the teachers union recently increased dues by $50 million [$50,000,000] over three years in order to fund political campaigns."

      This isn't right.

      Recommended Vote: YES on 75


      *******************************************************************

      Initiative Constitutional Amendment Proposition 76

      School Funding. State Spending. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
      1131. (SA2005RF0067, Amdt.#1-NS).

      Proponents: William Hauck and Allan Zaremberg (916) 444-6670

      Changes state minimum school funding requirements (Proposition 98), permitting suspension of minimum funding, but terminating repayment requirement, and eliminating authority to reduce funding when state revenues decrease.

      Excludes above-minimum appropriations from schools' funding base. Limits state spending to prior year total plus revenue growth. Shifts excess revenues from schools/tax relief to budget reserve, specified construction, debt repayment. Requires Governor to reduce state appropriations, under specified circumstances, including employee compensation, state contracts. Continues prior year appropriations if new state budget delayed. Prohibits state special funds borrowing. Requires payment of local government mandates.

      Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of
      Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

      Spending limit could constrain state expenditures over time. Other provisions would have major impacts on state budget decision making, which could lead to varying outcomes regarding the level of state spending and on the composition of that spending among education, transportation, and other state programs. Provisions allowing Governor to reduce appropriations could result in lower state spending in certain years when the state was facing unresolved budget shortfalls.

      Analysis:

      The purpose of this proposition is to stabilize spending in general, to prohibit transferring of special funds to the state general fund, and to protect school districts, cities, counties, etc. from manipulation of their funding by the state. It also gives the governor some power to keep spending increases from bankrupting California.

      This proposition makes a large number of changes in funding rules in many areas of the state budget. For example it prohibits loaning of transportation funds [road construction] to the general fund. This would result in more stable funding for transportation.

      *It would prohibit borrowing from any special fund to the general fund, resulting in the special fund revenues being spent on what they were designated for, whether roads, schools, or other purposes. It would result in more stable funding for schools, for example.

      * Currently kindergarten to junior college funding is almost 45 percent of the entire state general fund spending! Smoothing out the spending would make balancing the budget a more attainable goal for the state and make budgeting by each district more effective, since the funding couldn't be reduced by the state after the fact. A change in the state funding after preparation of the school district budget makes the budget much less useful, if not worthless. The proposition helps stabilize school funding.

      This proposition also requires the state to repay counties, cities, and special districts for new/expanded programs imposed on these various governments by the state. There is currently no required repayment deadline or schedule for repayment to education agencies and a fifteen year time limit for repayment to non-education agencies. This proposition would shorten the fifteen year requirement to five years for the non-education agencies and sets a fifteen year time limit for repayment to education [schools]. Five years or less across the board would be better. The schools seem to be getting less than equal treatment, unfortunately. But this is step in the right direction.

      This proposition also limits state spending on education to the prior year total spending plus the average revenue growth over the last three years. Prior year appropriations are continued if/when the new state budget delayed.

      From the Analysis By The Legislative Analyst:

      "...As a result, the new spending limit ... would grow more slowly than actual reserves when the economy is accelerating, and grow faster than actual revenues when the economy is in recession."

      "If it [the state] were able to set aside sufficient funds, the main impact of the spending limit would be to smooth out spending over time..." "However, if the state were not able to accumulate large reserves, the limit would likely result in less spending over time."

      *In other words, when spending has been out of control, this proposition automatically forces a reduction in spending - something we would want anyway.

      * "... year-to-year changes in the minimum guarantee would be less volatile than in the past - absent a suspension or a reduction by the Governor."

      Recommended Vote: YES on 76

      Additional Information:

      Although this proposition affects many more areas than just education, the article below uses education funding by the state to typify that of many state agencies, districts, departments, etc. It is a lesson in how rhetoric can mask the actual adequacy of funding.

      Tom McClintock, somebody people from the entire political spectrum agree is an expert on the state budget, analyzed the current school funding and what it could do if spent more carefully. Read the article at his website at:

      http://republican.sen.ca.gov/web/mcclintock/article_detail.asp?PID=292


      *******************************************************************

      Initiative Constitutional Amendment Proposition 77

      Reapportionment. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
      1072. (SA2004RF0037, Amdt. #1-NS).

      Proponents: Edward J. (Ted) Costa, Dr. Arthur Laffer, Major General Sidney S. Novaresi (USAF) Ret., Jimmie Johnson (916) 482-6175

      Amends state Constitution's process for redistricting California's Senate, Assembly, Congressional and Board of Equalization districts. Requires three-member panel of retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt new redistricting plan if measure passes and again after each national census. Panel must consider legislative, public proposals/comments and hold public hearings. Redistricting plan becomes effective immediately when adopted by judges' panel and filed with Secretary of State. If voters subsequently reject redistricting plan, process repeats. Specifies time for judicial review of adopted redistricting plan; if plan fails to conform to requirements, court may order new plan.

      Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

      This measure would have the following major fiscal impact: One-time state redistricting costs, probably totaling a few million dollars. Comparable savings for each redistricting effort after 2010 (once every ten years).

      Analysis:

      Currently, every ten years, after each U.S. Census, the California state legislature redraws the boundaries of both state and federal legislative districts (House of Representatives, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization). This process was intended to even out the population in each district so that some semblance of equality in size and shape of each district is maintained. In other words, each House of Representatives district should have at approximately the same number of residents, each State Senate district should have approximately the same population, and each State Assembly district should have approximately the same population, etc.

      (The fact that illegal immigrants and other legal non-citizens are included in the count and used to draw districts makes the vote of each citizen in those districts with more non-citizens more valuable. The total population in a district with many non-citizens may be equal, but there are fewer voters - making each vote count more than a vote in a district with few non-citizens. This proposition does not address this inequality, but it is something to consider in the future.)

      Unfortunately, the state legislature has used its power to redraw districts as an opportunity to draw them in such a way that not one incumbent state legislator from either party lost his/her seat in the last election (November 2004). The Democrats and Republicans made back-room deals that made every seat "safe." The districts were drawn so that there were a majority of Democrats in the districts already represented by Democrats and majority of Republicans in the district already represented by Republicans. Not one challenger won the election in any state district and "not one district, including House of Representatives, changed parties." This eliminates any reason for legislators to answer to the voters since they will get re-elected whether they do what is best for voters or not.

      "The legislators have made some districts very oddly shaped", rather than being drawn approximately square, round or following natural geographical boundaries. "Why should a district be two separate areas with only a small strip of land connecting them?" A district shouldn't be shaped like a barbell! All parts of any district, instead, should be in close proximity to the rest of the district unless geographic features dictate otherwise.

      This proposition sets up a 3 judge panel to do this re-districting process (re-drawing the legislative boundaries), rather than having the legislature do it. Unfortunately, these judges are appointed by the same legislators who caused the problem in the first place. Still, it is a small step in the direction of preventing the fox (the legislature) from continuing to be the guard of the hen-house (our votes). Since the judges are not elected by voters, they have less motivation to manipulate the shape of the districts to help themselves stay in power. "In addition, the voters must approve the redistricting plan in an election before its takes effect."

      This proposition requires that:

      * population differences between districts can not be more than 1 percent,

      * Senate districts must be made up of two adjacent Assembly districts, and

      * Board of Equalization districts must be made up of 10 adjacent Senate districts.

      * Redistricting plans may be submitted to the 3 judge panel by any member of the public or Legislator. All plans must be challengeable. Judges are required to restrict any ex parte (unchallengeable/ private) communications.

      * All meetings of the panel must be public.

      * The 3 judge panel is prohibited from considering political affiliation of voters as well.

      * Judges must be former federal or state judges.

      * Judges must not have ever held elected partisan public office or political party office. This prevents former legislators from being appointed.

      * Judges must not have received income from any of the following during the last year: the legislature or committee thereof, U.S. Congress or committee thereof, a political party, a partisan candidate or committee controlled by such a candidate.

      * No more than 12 of the 24 total judges nominated to be on the committee may be of one party and both major parties must be equally represented among the nominees.

      * A judge on the committee must pledge in writing that he/she will not run for election to State Senate, State Assembly, House of Representatives, or Board of Equalization within 5 years from the date of appointment [this should be 5 years from serving on the committee, not from appointment], nor will he/she accept state public employment, public office, with the exception of judicial employment, judicial office, or a teaching position.

      * The judges shall be nominated by the Judicial Council, the Speaker of the Assembly, the Minority Leader of the Assembly, the President pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the Senate. Each nominates 3 judges who must not be of the same political party as the legislator making the nomination.

      * Each legislator who nominates may also exercise a single peremptory challenge.

      * The Clerk of the Assembly draws, by lot, the names of 3 nominees. One of the three must be from each of the two largest political parties. If this requirement isn't met, the drawing is repeated. The wording doesn't make it clear if there are drawings for all 3 again, or just for the last one. It appears to be all 3.

      Recommended Vote: YES on 77


      *******************************************************************

      Initiative Statute Proposition 78

      Prescription Drugs. Discounts. Initiative Statute.1129. (SA2005RF0065).

      Proponent: Ashlee N. Brown (916) 442-7757

      Establishes discount prescription drug program, overseen by the Department of Health Services.

      Enables certain low - and moderate - income California residents to purchase prescription drugs at reduced prices. Imposes $15 application fee, renewable annually. Requires Department's prompt determination of residents' eligibility, based on listed qualifications. Authorizes Department to contract with pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at agreed-upon discounts negotiated in advance, and to negotiate rebate agreements with drug manufacturers.

      Permits outreach programs to increase public awareness. Creates state fund for deposit of rebate payments from drug manufacturers. Allows program to be terminated under specified conditions.

      Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

      One-time and ongoing state costs, potentially in the millions to low tens of millions of dollars annually, for administration and outreach activities to implement the new drug discount program.

      A significant share of these costs would probably be borne by the state General Fund. A largely one-time state cost, potentially in the low tens of millions of dollars, to cover the funding gap between the time when drug rebates are collected by the state and when the state pays funds to pharmacies for drug discounts provided to consumers. Any such costs not covered through advance rebate payments from drug manufacturers would be borne by the state General Fund.

      Unknown savings on state and county health program costs due to the availability of drug discounts.

      Analysis:

      The last paragraph of this proposition has a time bomb. Unlike other propositions, it specifically allows the terms of the proposition to be changed by a 2/3 vote of the state legislature!

      In other words, the drug companies could pay enough contributions to the political campaigns of legislators to get whatever changes they want in this law!

      Several years ago this writer became ill and had to visit a doctor. Because I paid cash, the charge was half of what the doctor usually charged for the same procedures. Why? Because there was no insurance paperwork for the doctor's staff to deal with, no phone calls to and from an insurance company, no delay in payment, no disagreement with any insurance company on whether the procedure was necessary, etc., etc., etc. PAPERWORK AND RED TAPE MAKES MEDICAL CARE AND MEDICINES (PHARMACEUTICALS) MORE EXPENSIVE!

      This proposition, if passed would create more red tape, paperwork, etc. Since some people would be paying less, who would make up the difference? The rest of us!

      Who pushed for this proposition?

      The big drug companies. Why would they push for this law (paid $50 million - $50,000,000) unless they benefit?!

      If insurance company paperwork is bad, government paperwork is worse. When there is a disagreement with an insurance company, there are legal procedures that, while cumbersome, at least give the patient, doctor, pharmacist, legal recourse. Have you ever tried to fight the government?

      A bureaucrat has almost no reason to cooperate when there is a disagreement or mis-processed paperwork. There is less likely to be any practical legal recourse.

      This proposition starts a discount prescription drug program run by the state Department of Health Services. How many people will try to understate their income so they can purchase prescription drugs at reduced prices. With the required prompt decision on a patient's eligibility, how many investigators will have to be hired by the state and paid for by taxpayers to investigate fraud after the fact?

      When the state contracts with pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at agreed-upon discounts that means more paperwork. Negotiating rebate agreements with drug manufacturers sounds good until the cost of bureaucracy that will be created is considered. The summary above describes. "...the funding gap between the time when drug rebates are collected by the state and when the state pays funds to pharmacies for drug discounts provided to consumers." I thought the discounts were supposed to be negotiated ahead of time! This says the state will pay the drug companies to provide the discounts, further increasing state costs. Do you think Drug companies have enough political clout (contributions to candidates, etc.) to prevent any reduction in their profits? This voter does.

      To repeat: The big drug companies pushed for this proposition!

      Why would they push for this law (paid $50 million - $50,000,000) unless they benefit?!

      Outreach programs (to increase public awareness) would further increase tax monies spent on this program. Remember, California's fiscal condition is already shaky. We shouldn't be adding ANY more programs until the State of California budget is balanced and we pay off our state debts.

      This would create a state fund for deposit of rebate payments from drug manufacturers. What do you think the likelihood is that this money will be used to offset the costs of the program? More likely, it will go into the general fund and be spent on still more programs passed by the legislature. This misdirection of funds could possibly be prevented if proposition 76 is passed. However, this proposition 78 is still a financial disaster.

      Costs are estimated by the Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance to be "potentially in the millions to low tens of millions of dollars annually. Any such costs not covered through advance rebate payments from drug manufacturers would be borne by the state General Fund." Do you really think that government programs cost as little as they were estimated to cost when proposed? This figure is probably grossly low - and the general fund will be raided for more money.

      There is disagreement about whether the proposition allows the program to be terminated under specified conditions, specifically too few participating drug manufacturers. Since drug companies are not required to provide discounts, why set up another bureaucracy with no guarantees of any benefit to the taxpayer?

      If the program can not be terminated, a bureaucracy would be set up and then do nothing if the drug companies won't voluntarily participate. If the program can be terminated, the drug companies are still not required to participate. Neither option is a good choice. Voting NO is a good choice.

      The last paragraph of this proposition has a time bomb. Unlike other propositions, it specifically allows the terms of the proposition to be changed by a 2/3 vote of the state legislature!

      In other words, the drug companies could pay enough contributions to the political campaigns of legislators to get whatever changes they want in this law!

      Recommended Vote: NO! on 78


      *******************************************************************

      Initiative Statute Proposition 79

      Prescription Drug Discounts. State-Negotiated Rebates. Initiative Statute. 1106. (SA2005RF0037).

      Proponent: Anthony Wright (916) 442-2308

      Provides for prescription drug discounts to Californians who qualify based on income-related standards, to be funded through rebates from participating drug manufacturers negotiated by California Department of Health Services.

      Rebates must be deposited in State Treasury fund, used only to reimburse pharmacies for discounts and to offset administration costs. At least 95% of rebates must go to fund discounts. Prohibits new Medi-Cal contracts with manufacturers not providing the Medicaid best price to this program, except for drugs without therapeutic equivalent. Establishes oversight board. Makes prescription drug profiteering, as defined, unlawful.

      Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

      One-time and ongoing state costs, potentially in the millions to low tens of millions of dollars annually, for administration and outreach activities for a new drug discount program.

      A significant share of these costs would probably be borne by the state General Fund. A largely one-time state cost, potentially in the low tens of millions of dollars, to cover the funding gap between the time when drug rebates are collected by the state and when the state pays funds to pharmacies for drug discounts provided to consumers.

      Any such costs not covered through advance rebate payments from drug makers would be borne by the state General Fund. Unknown costs and savings as a result of provisions linking drug prices for the new drug discount program to Medi-Cal prices, including the potential effect on the state's receipt of supplemental rebates; unknown savings on state and county health program costs due to the availability of drug discounts; and unknown costs and offsetting revenues from the anti-profiteering provisions.

      Analysis:

      Like proposition 78, drug company participation in the program, if passed, would be voluntary. Also like, proposition 78, there are maximum income levels above which a taxpayer would not be eligible to get the discounts.

      To encourage drug companies to participate, recipients are restricted from using products from non-participating drug companies. That means a participant can not get products preferred by his/her physician even if no comparable products are available. This would make the proposition, if passed, vulnerable to court challenges. It would also require prior federal approval of these restrictions.

      The income maximum would make an estimated half or more of the California population eligible for this program. The federal government has never approved any such program with a maximum income above twice the federal poverty line.

      This proposition would also prohibit the state from entering into any new contracts with non-participating drug companies. With the participating drug companies losing substantial profits under this measure, they could then proportionately increase their prices to their best customers. This would greatly reduce Medicaid rebates from the federal government.

      There would be a large state government overhead (taxpayer expense) in administering this program. There would be continued contact with small businesses and unions. There are over 1 million small businesses in California and well as many unions. There would be a nine-member Prescription Advisory Board. There would be endless investigations of profit levels of drug companies. All of this is in addition to the likely lawsuits due to restriction of companies a recipient can use.

      The definition is excessive profits by drug companies is an "unconscionable price" or demanding ³price or terms that lead to any unjust or unreasonable profit.: How vague is that! It could mean anything any bureaucrat or judge decides at any time after the fact. That is an engraved invitation to endless lawsuits by lawyers claiming excessive profits.

      The prices paid by non-participants would be likely to increase to partially offset the deep discounts and reduction in money available for research.

      Many of the comments in the analysis of proposition 78 apply here too:

      Several years ago this writer became ill and had to visit a doctor. Because I paid cash, the charge was half of what the doctor usually charged for the same procedures. Why? Because there was no insurance paperwork for the doctor's staff to deal with, no phone calls to and from an insurance company, no delay in payment, no disagreement with any insurance company on whether the procedure was necessary, etc., etc., etc. PAPERWORK AND RED TAPE MAKES MEDICAL CARE AND MEDICINES (PHARMACEUTICALS) MORE EXPENSIVE!

      This proposition, if passed would create more red tape, paperwork, etc. Not only would there be insurance company paperwork, but, if this passes, there will also be government paperwork. As bad as insurance red tape is, government red tape is much worse. When there is a disagreement with an insurance company, there are legal procedures that, while cumbersome, at least give the patient, doctor, pharmacist, legal recourse. Have you ever tried to fight the government? A bureaucrat has almost no reason to cooperate when there is a disagreement or mis-processed paperwork. There is less likely to be any practical legal recourse.

      This proposition starts a discount prescription drug program run by the state. How many people will try to understate their income so they can purchase prescription drugs at reduced prices. How many investigators will have to be hired by the state and paid for by taxpayers to investigate fraud after the fact? Fraud could be attempted by both recipients and drug companies.

      When the state contracts with pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at agreed-upon discounts that means more paperwork. Negotiating rebate agreements with drug manufacturers sounds good until the cost of the bureaucracy that will be created is considered. There is a funding gap between the time when the state pays funds to pharmacies for drug discounts provided to consumers and when drug rebates are collected by the state. This will be more money out of taxpayers' pockets. The state will pay the pharmacists to provide the discounts, further increasing state costs. Do you think drug companies have enough political clout (contributions to candidates, etc.) to prevent any reduction in their profits? This voter does.

      Costs are estimated by the Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance to be "in the low tens of millions of dollars annually. A significant share of these costs would probably be borne by the state General Fund."

      Do you really think that government programs cost as little as they were estimated to cost when proposed? This figure is probably grossly low - and the general fund will be raided for more money.

      Remember, California's fiscal condition is already shaky. We shouldn't be adding ANY more programs until the State of California budget is balanced and we pay off our state debts. This type of program failed in Maine due to a large number of lawsuits.

      Recommended Vote: NO! on 79

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      Initiative Statute Proposition 80

      Electric Service Providers. Regulation. Initiative Statute. 1114. (SA2005RF0053 Amdt. #1-NS).

      Proponents: Robert Finkelstein and Michel Peter Florio (415) 929-8876

      Subjects electric service providers, as defined, to control and regulation by California Public Utilities Commission.

      Imposes restrictions on electricity customers' ability to switch from private utilities to other electric providers. Provides that registration by electric service providers with Commission constitutes providers' consent to regulation.

      Requires all retail electric sellers, instead of just private utilities, to increase renewable energy resource procurement by at least 1% each year, with 20% of retail sales procured from renewable energy by 2010, instead of current requirement of 2017.

      Imposes duties on Commission, Legislature and electrical providers.

      Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments:

      Annual state costs of up to $4 million for regulatory activities of the California Public Utilities Commission. These costs would be fully offset by fee revenues. Unknown impact on state and local costs and revenues, as the measure's impact on retail electricity rates is uncertain.

      Analysis:

      Proposition 80 is an extremely complex measure with a number of adverse effects.

      First, it limits consumer choice - both for individuals and for institutions such as hospitals, community colleges, the University of California and California State University systems, local school districts, and city and county governments. All of these institutions currently contract with energy providers who give them the best price. They would be prevented from doing so if this proposition passes. The same would be true for individuals and businesses.

      Secondly, because initiatives (propositions) can not be changed by the legislature, this energy policy would be set in stone if it passes. This would prevent the legislature or the Public Utilities Commission from making necessary changes to energy policy when market conditions change.

      We saw the results of poor government policy when we had the energy crisis in California. The supporters of this measure will try to convince you that the energy crisis was due to energy deregulation. In truth, the exact opposite is true. Utility companies were not allowed by government to sign long term energy contracts which would have guaranteed stable energy prices through any market fluctuations. Instead, when the price of energy went sky high, the utility companies had to pay the higher prices, but couldn't adequately increase costs to consumers to pay these extra costs. They nearly went bankrupt - all due to poor energy policy (the so-called energy de-regulation bill) which wasn't changed in time to prevent the fiasco.

      This measure, if passed, would make changing energy policy not just difficult, but impossible - a condition even worse than that during the energy crisis. Initiatives can be changed only by another vote of the people at the next election - something that can not occur quickly.

      The proper way to address energy concerns and policy is through public hearings. The Public Utilities Commission is set up for this exact purpose. The legislature should stay out of the way and measures such as this proposition should be defeated.

      Recommended Vote: NO! on 80

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      (*) Citizens For A Better America ® with the acronym and website of CFABA.ORG appreciates the work done on the analysis and recommendations of the California ballot measures for the November 8, 2005 election by Bob Pegram.

      Bob was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and was endorsed by CFABA.ORG for the March 2, 2000 primary election. While he did not make it past the primary he continues to be a great activist. We met during that election and he has been a faithful member of CFABA.ORG with a minimum commitment of five dollars a month, sixty dollars a year, since then.

      I agree with Bob's recommendations, and appreciate the hard work he has done researching the facts behind these issues. As a California voter I will be following his recommendations as I vote and encourage you to do the same," said Robert Colaco the Volunteer National Chairman and Founder of Citizens For A Better America ®.


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      Last Update: 11/01/2010