Props to the printers -- with revisions
The Nov. 2, 2010 ballot propositions have been sent to the printer to appear in the 2010 Voter Information Guide. Monday was the deadline to make changes to the propositions, and both supporters and opponents of Propositions 22, 23 and 25 took advantage of the time they were given.
On Monday, Aug. 9, backers of Proposition 25 won a key battle in court that reversed an Aug. 5 decision by a Sacramento Superior Court. Proposition 25 is the measure that would allow state budgets to be passed by a majority vote of lawmakers, and the Aug. 5 ruling removed a sentence from the proposition's title and summary and ballot label that notified voters that the measure would do nothing to alter the two-thirds vote requirement to change taxes. The clarification would have appeared on the proposition's title and summary and ballot label, and would have been included in the ballot pamphlet and November's General Election ballot. The Yes on 25 campaign appealed, and the court reversed its decision, ruling on Aug. 9 that the sentence be reinstated because there was nothing in the measure "that would allow the Legislature to circumvent the existing constitutional requirement of a two-thirds vote to raise taxes."
Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown lost a court battle on Aug. 4 to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. over the wording of Proposition 23, the measure that would repeal environmental law AB-32 until the unemployment rate lowers significantly. The court ruled in favor of two wording changes. The first ruling changed the term "major polluters" to "major sources of pollution" because the court found the original phrasing to be pejorative. Judge Timothy Frawley wrote, "the term 'polluters' has an obvious negative connotation, [and] is likely to create unnecessary prejudice against the measure." Now, the measure would suspend a law that requires "major sources of pollution to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming."
The second change altered only one word, changing the word 'laws' to 'law.' Originally, the proposition provided for the suspension of "air pollution control laws," but the court decided to refer to a singular law because the original phrasing misleadingly suggested that other laws besides AB-32 would be affected by the passage of the measure.
Proponents of Proposition 22, a measure that would prevent the state government from using funds set aside for local government services and transportation, scored on Aug. 6 when the court ruled in their favor. Supporters were irked over the way in which the Legislative Analyst's Office worded the measure's Fiscal Impact Statement -- a report that estimates how much the ballot measure would cost California's treasury should it pass. Proponents faulted the office's failure to use the words "local government," because the ultimate purpose of the measure is to prevent state "raids" on local and transportation funds. On Friday, the judge ruled that the second bullet point of the proposition's Fiscal Impact Statement will read, "Comparable increases in funding for state and local transportation programs and local redevelopment," instead of the original wording of "Comparable increases in transportation and redevelopment resources."
-- Emilia Barrosse