Guest Commentary: Seven California Propositions to Vote On by November 8

by Scott Steward

I take the time to look into the propositions each election for the sake of my now-adult children, nieces and nephews.  They are busy and/or are otherwise too polite to thank me for the review.  I used a variety of sources (Courage California and the Los Angeles Progressive Voter Guide to name two) in coming up with the following up or down votes for the seven propositions on the ballot.

Prop 1 – Reproductive Freedom – YES. The opponents to Prop 1 are wrong biblically, morally and biologically.  Prop 1 puts in place a California state amendment establishing women’s reproductive rights.

Prop 26 – Tribal In-Person Sports Betting YES. Sports betting revenue is here to stay, what we don’t want is an out-of-state rip-off.  Tribal gaming (gambling) has been a reasonable compromise and the Tribes have been great to our communities.  26 is not perfect in that their remain inequities as to which tribes are recognized and benefit.

It is inevitable that tech-gambling will grow. We need good partners to fend off the worst that tech-gambling could be.  We are better off with our local Tribal Nations and venues hosting locally regulated gambling.

Prop 27 – Corporate Online Sports Betting – NO. For the reasons above and because of the false statement about 27 having anything to do with solving homelessness.  The housing funding is a ruse to hide the meager 10% CA gambling revenue tax that would become law if Prop 27 passed.  The same companies that sponsor CA Prop 27 pay NY a 51% tax on gambling revenues.

FanDuel, DraftKings, and Penn Interactive Ventures (the money behind Prop 27) are east coast insidious money grabbers made possible by our own Supreme Court. In May of 2018, the Court legalized sports gambling by striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act increasing the influence of money on sports and further eroding the public trust.

The best we can do is fight fire with fire and make sure our good partners in gaming, our Tribal Nations and a few grandfathered race tracks, are where gambling is well regulated (Yes on 26) and fairly taxed for the benefit of Californians.

Proposition 28 – Arts & Music School Funding – Yes. This proposition is necessary because of the propensity to cut, music, studio art and performing arts from the curriculum when budgets get tight.  Proposition 28 is about offering excellence to all students.

Prop 29 Dialysis Regulation. Yes.  Next to child birth and maternity care our nation pays more for dialysis than any other single category of care.  Genetic disposition to losing kidney function after prolonged ingestion of lots of simple carbs, sugar and inactivity can kill you.

DaVita Dialysis and Fresenius are 80% of the treatment market and they get a fixed reimbursement for most dialysis procedures (dialysis patients can need multiple procedures a week to stay alive).  The industry is trying to squeeze out costs by reducing the staff compensation and deprofessionalize the care provided.  Yes will help prevent profiteering and help patients, that are not as “profitable” for the monopolists, get the care they need.

Prop 30 Income Tax to Fund Electric Vehicles, Yes. After much consideration as to what might be the unintended consequences of taxing top revenue households for accelerated electrification of transpiration (transportation being the single biggest greenhouse gas contributor), my fellow energy policy wonks, and I, vote yes on 30.  Prop 30 does not affect the current school-funding formula and it is not a significant cost avoidance for ride share company Lyft (Courage California).  We need to accelerate climate action and the very top revenue households will benefit from the electrical infrastructure and equity improvement.

Prop 31 – Ban on Flavored Tobacco – Yes. Candy coated nicotine makes children addicts. We need to protect our children

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