SN&R recommends the following to voters on statewide ballot measures:
Proposition 1A: YES. Some argue that the global financial crisis and worsening state budget should make us vote no on propositions that come with a price tag. We disagree. Now more than ever we need to support the big ideas and breakthrough innovations. This $9.95 billion bond to help build a high–speed rail system in California is a great long-term investment. Bring on the bullet trains!
Proposition 2: YES. This moderate animal-rights measure would halt the overly cruel confinement of farm animals in California, especially chickens, calves and pigs. It’s supported by family farmers, and its passage will have the added benefit of improving food safety.
Proposition 3: YES. This $980 million bond for private and public children’s hospitals is an investment in the health of California’s children. Among other things, it will serve to take pressure off the state’s besieged public general hospitals.
Proposition 4: NO. Once again, California citizens will vote on “parental notification,” which would bar an underage girl from getting a legal abortion unless she can prove that she told her parents. Studies clearly indicate that such laws do nothing whatsoever to decrease teenage pregnancies or abortions.
Proposition 5: YES. This measure expands rehabilitation programs so as to treat violent and nonviolent offenders differently, creating treatment options for young people with drug problems. It will reduce prison overcrowding and should easily pay for itself.
Proposition 6: NO. This tough-on-crime measure would create new law enforcement bureaucracies, cost a billion dollars and continue to pack our already overcrowded jails and prisons.
Proposition 7: NO. However well-intended, this measure would not help California fight for more renewable power or against global warming. The best evidence: It is opposed by dozens of organizations (including the SMUD board) who have championed a “green agenda” for decades.
Proposition 8: NO. We believe all adults have the fundamental, constitutional right to marry the partner of their choice. We therefore strongly oppose this attempt to overturn last June’s court decision allowing gay couples to marry.
Proposition 9: NO. We sympathize with the victims of violent crime and their families. But this “victims’ rights” measure comes with a huge price tag, and it’s ultimately unnecessary, since criminal-justice laws already place victims’ rights in the constitution.
Proposition 10: NO. This $5 billion bond, supported by billionaire T. Boone Pickens, would have Californian subsidize natural gas over other deserving alternative energy sources. It doesn’t make sense (except to Pickens, who stands to profit if the measure is passed).
Proposition 11: YES. This redistricting measure is far from perfect. But, if done in conjunction with campaign finance reform and an end to term limits, at least it would put an end to the undemocratic manner in which incumbents and political parties now shape districts and control who is elected.
Proposition 12: YES. The $900 million bond to help veterans buy homes is a great deal for the state and is running practically unopposed. In dozens of similar bonds, veterans (not taxpayers), through payment of their mortgages, have made good on the debt.