This week, absentee ballots are hitting mail boxes all across the state. That means it is official game-on for many critical measures, and it is time, once again, to reiterate PCL’s position on the major initiatives that affect California’s environment. To help protect air and water quality, protect public lands and endangered species, here is your voter guide for the propositions:
Prop. 23 – Dirty Energy Initiative
PCL opposes the Dirty Energy Initiative – Proposition 23. This measure, funded mainly by two Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro, would suspend California’s landmark clean energy and climate bill AB 32. The oil companies and other polluters have poured millions into the Prop. 23 campaign in hopes of weakening California’s crucial environmental protections. If passed, Prop. 23 would halt the state’s green jobs growth in its track and setback efforts to effectively combat climate change.
Prop. 26 – Polluter Protection Initiative
PCL opposes Proposition 26. This dangerous measure would set our state back and let polluters off the hook, forcing taxpayers to clean up their mess. The initiative changes the State Constitution to require a two-thirds vote to pass any kind of fee at both the state and local level. Fees on polluters that generate much-needed revenue to clean up the pollution would be overturned and nearly impossible to pass. Passage of Prop. 26 would make passing a balanced budget even harder than it is now and ensure a continuous budgetary nightmare for the Legislature and California.
Prop. 21 – State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010
PCL supports Proposition 21. It establishes an $18 annual vehicle surcharge that will be used to fund state parks and wildlife programs. Surcharged vehicles receive free admission to all state parks and beaches. The measure will provide a stable and sufficient funding source to keep state parks open. Under Prop. 21 State Park funds will no longer be a political football with the budget and its funds will no longer be raided to fill budget gaps.
Prop. 25 – Majority Vote Budget Initiative
PCL supports Proposition 25, the Majority Vote Budget Initiative. This measure changes the legislative vote requirement necessary to pass the state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. The measure would also require that, if the Legislature fails to pass a budget bill by the June 15 deadline, members of the Legislature will forfeit salary and reimbursement of expenses for each day until the budget is passed. The current, arcane, two-thirds vote requirement has allowed a minority of legislators to hold the budget hostage for anti-environmental policies that they could never pass otherwise.