Category: Propositions (June)

No on Proposition 29

The Peace and Freedom Party is opposed to Proposition 29. It proposes to do two good things – discourage smoking, and fund preventative services and cancer research – in a very bad way, by increasing taxes on those who can least afford to pay.

Sales and excise taxes affect people with lower incomes more than higher incomes. A tax on cigarettes is even more regressive, since those with higher incomes smoke less.

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Source: California Budget Project (page 5)

Cigarettes are highly addictive, and the people with the most difficult lives are the most likely to become addicted. If Proposition 29 passes people will pay more for their habit and have less money left to feed their families.

In addition, research confirms that taxing people does not cure their desire to smoke, and that voluntary counseling programs are much more successful. (See, for example, U.S. Centers for Disease Control.)

We would like to see the goals of Proposition 29 financed through progressive taxation on the wealthy, particularly the owners of the tobacco corporations, and all the bosses who make the lives of working people stressful.

The following summary is reproduced from the Secretary of State’s website.

Proposition 29 Initiative Statute — Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research.

Imposes additional five cent tax on each cigarette distributed ($1.00 per pack), and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products, to fund cancer research and other specified purposes. Requires tax revenues be deposited into a special fund to finance research and research facilities focused on detecting, preventing, treating, and curing cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and other tobacco-related diseases, and to finance prevention programs. Creates nine-member committee charged with administering the fund. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increase in new cigarette tax revenues of about $855 million annually by 2011-12, declining slightly annually thereafter, for various health research and tobacco-related programs. Increase of about $45 million annually to existing health, natural resources, and research programs funded by existing tobacco taxes. Increase in state and local sales taxes of about $32 million annually. (09-0097.) (Full Text)

Proposition 28 – Term Limits

The Peace and Freedom Party is neither for nor against Proposition 28.

Proposition 28 changes the way term limits are imposed on members of the California Legislature. The Peace and Freedom Party is opposed to term limits because they are an ineffective reaction to the fact that the legislature fails to deliver what the people need. We do not support Proposition 28 because we think term limits should be abolished altogether.

The way term limits currently work in the California State Legislature creates a game of “musical chairs”, in which members of the State Assembly who reach the end of their term limit go on to compete for a State Senate seat. Proposition 28 gives legislators the option of serving their entire limited time in the Assembly, or in the Senate. We do not oppose Proposition 28 because we understand why many California voters might prefer this over the current system.

The following summary is from the Secretary of State’s website.

Proposition 28 Initiative Constitutional Amendment — Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office.

Reduces the total amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years. Allows a person to serve a total of 12 years either in the Assembly, the Senate, or a combination of both. Applies only to legislators first elected after the measure is passed. Provides that legislators elected before the measure is passed continue to be subject to existing term limits. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: No direct fiscal effect on state or local governments. (09-0048) (Full