Friday, October 21, 2016

Voters Guide : The California Propositions

Sacramento Progressive Alliance

Voter Guide with Voting Recommendations

in November 2016 Elections, with prominent YES co-endorsers

YES on 51-Authorizes a statewide facilities bond for K-12 schools and community colleges to upgrade and repair older classrooms. (Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, California Labor Federation (AFL-CIO))

YES on 52-Maintains billions of dollars in federal matching funding to support health for low-income children and seniors. (Sacramento Labor Council (AFL-CIO), California Teachers Association, National Union of Healthcare Workers)

NO on 53-Right-wing measure requiring state approval of local bond measures, for schools, roads, other infrastructure.

NO on 54-Billionaire-funded measure that would institute waiting period for passage of legislation, giving lobbyists extra time to block.

YES on 55-Maintains tax on wealthiest Californians to prevent $4 billion funding cut to public schools and children’s health care. (California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California, Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce)

YES on 56- $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes and electronic cigarettes to fund healthcare, tobacco-use prevention/control programs, and tobacco-related disease research. (American Heart Association, California Medical Association, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of California)

YES on 57-“ …most significant revision of California sentencing laws in 40 years, would allow the state parole board to consider releasing inmates who have served their basic term for a crime the law defines as nonviolent.”-S.F. Chronicle. (Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of California, Equality California, California League of Women Voters, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU))

YES on 58- Current law restricts the instructional methods school districts can use to teach English and also limits the ability of English-speaking students to participate in language immersion programs. Prop. 58 amends the law to ensure all students can learn English as quickly as possible. (California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, California School Boards Association, California Association of School Administrators, La Raza Roundtable de California)

YES on 59- Advises legislature to try to overturn U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate influence in electoral campaigns. (California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, California Labor Federation)

NO on 60-Well-intentioned proposition would mandate condom use in pornography filming. The law would gives anyone watching said pornography to sue film performers, filmmakers, and film crew. Performers would also have to disclose legal names and home addresses.

YES on 61-Gives state government authority to negotiate lower drug prices, saving taxpayers billions. Drug companies spending over $80 billion on the “no” campaign. (California Nurses Association,

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) of California)

YES on 62-Repeals the death penalty in California. (California NAACP, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Amnesty International USA)

YES on 63-Bans large-capacity ammunition weapons, requires background check to purchase ammunition, and prohibit persons convicted of stealing a firearm from possessing firearms. (California League of Women Voters, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California Medical Association, California Federation of Teachers)

YES on 64-Decriminalizes, taxes, regulates marijuana. (California Medical Association,

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California)

NO on 65-An attempt by plastic industry bid to undermine Prop. 67.

NO on 66- An attempt to undermine Prop 62.

YES on 67-State ban on plastic grocery bags. (Sierra Club of California, California League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council) 

Candidate recommendations to follow.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Federal Government Continues To Feed Charter School Beast Despite Auditor’s Warning

Federal Government Continues To Feed Charter School Beast Despite Auditor’s Warning

Donald Trump confirmed our worst fears about the kind of president he would be - Vox

Donald Trump confirmed our worst fears about the kind of president he would be - Vox

The Nightstalker- Trump

The Nightstalker: Donald Trump’s wandering, ominous presence at the debate called to mind a famous monster—though his pronouncements were more monstrous still.

Harold Meyerson

Trump was Menacing and Attacking

In the second debate- Donald Trump was Mean, Menacing, and Morose.  He attacked.
From the Sacramento Bee editorial.

BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD- Sacramento Bee (excerpts) Oct 10, 2016.
Voters who wondered just how low Donald Trump would go in his race against Hillary Clinton got their answer on Sunday night.
From the run-up to the debate – in which Trump held a news conference starring women who say Bill Clinton abused them – to the debate itself, in which he encroached on Clinton onstage, called her names and threatened to have her jailed if he is elected, the Republican nominee made it clear who he is and what he stands for, which is, among other things, misogyny.
The debate opened with the candidates taking the stage and not shaking one another’s hand, a telltale sign of the state of this miserable campaign…
Trump was somewhat more composed Sunday night than in the first debate, but still interrupted, offered sophomoric solutions, and lashed out like a cornered and wounded animal, attempting to use President Clinton’s transgressions against women decades ago in a failed attempt to throw Clinton off her game. She remained composed.
The Republican presidential nominee threatened to retaliate against Republican officeholders who repudiated him in the wake of the “Access Hollywood” tape that became public on Friday. In the tape, Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women, while the host, Billy Bush, enabled him by laughing.
Instead of directly apologizing and taking responsibility for his words, 

Friday, October 07, 2016

Proposition 51 and School Facilities Funding

Whether or Not Voters Approve Proposition 51, Inequities in California’s K-12 School Facilities Funding System Are Likely to Continue

California Budget and Policy Center

Earlier this week we released our analysis of Proposition 51, the $9 billion state general obligation (GO) bond for K-12 school and community college facilities on the November ballot. Our analysis shows the difficult choice faced by California voters who want to help students from low-income families. State bond dollars for K-14 education facilities effectively have been exhausted for several years, leaving local school districts without a key source of state support. So, there is obvious appeal in approving the new bond funds that Prop. 51 would provide. Yet, whether or not voters pass Prop. 51, inequities in the funding of California’s K-12 school facilities are likely to continue for at least the near future.
Prop. 51 would provide $7 billion in new state funds for K-12 school facilities. However, Prop. 51 would require that these funds be distributed according to current rules for allocating K-12 facilities dollars, unless voters approve changes to these rules in the future. In other words, the measure would essentially lock in place the existing facilities funding system, which disadvantages certain K-12 school districts. For example, under the current system state dollars are allocated to districts primarily on a first-come, first-served basis. This tends to reward school districts that are able to apply for funding more quickly and/or have more resources, such as larger districts with more staff.
On the other hand, if voters reject Prop. 51 and state bond funds remain unavailable, the main source for K-12 school districts to obtain facilities dollars would be local GO bonds. But here, too, districts that are less well-off face a disadvantage. This is because local property wealth determines the amount of money K-12 school districts can raise through local bonds, and districts with large shares of students from low-income families have significantly less property wealth per student, on average, than districts with large shares of students from families with higher incomes. As a result, K-12 districts in low-income communities generally can’t raise as much money for school facilities as districts in communities with higher-incomes.
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