Balance of State Measure Recommendations by LPSF for Mailer & Website

Hi All. Since we didn't finish these up in our last meeting, I promised I
would research them more and provide input for our recommendations for the
mailer and website. Prop 11 was complicated, so sorry for the windy
explanation on this one. Please read, review, advise your thoughts, and
vote on each measure by Friday so we can finish this off.

*Prop 2 (Authorizes Bonds to Fund Housing for Homeless Individuals with
Mental Illness or at Risk for Chronic Homelessness)*. I’m revisiting this
one because during the September meeting, I said that this proposition was
another bond issue, and we saved time during the meeting by recommending a
NO vote on all bond issues, as we usually do. However, I took a closer
look at this one because I noticed that the San Diego LP recommended a YES
vote on this one, so maybe I missed something. They were correct that this
is not a traditional bond measure since the money to repay the bonds and
interest would come from Prop 63, the tax on millionaires the voters
approved in 2004. Hence, theoretically this proposition would be revenue
neutral, something that might change our recommendation. The legislature
created the “No Place Like Home Program” in 2016 for homelessness housing
in 2016, but with no dedicated funding, so the intent is to fund it with
the extractions from Prop 63. The courts are currently ruling on whether
it’s legal for the state to use the funding for various county mental
health services for the state homelessness program, but if the voters
approve the measure, the court’s approval would not be needed. Of course
none of this is any good from a Libertarian viewpoint, but if the
extractions are going to happen, it’s probably best to leave the money with
the counties rather than giving it to the state to waste, though the
counties could waste it too. And of course bonds are bonds—never a good
thing to begin with—but if the government agency is going to do something,
why not pay for it from the current budget rather than with expensive bonds
that end up costing almost twice as much? SDLP’s reasoning is,
“Understanding that the taxes have already been collected, the SDLP is in
favor of making more clear the dedicated expenditures of the already
collected funds.” This is not clear to me at all why we would support
another government program destined to waste money which will be paid with
borrowed money and which will transfer control from the counties to the
state. Bad as Prop 63 is, I think the money is better spent leaving it
with the counties, which are primarily charged with providing mental health
care for folks without private coverage. I’m still recommending a NO vote.

*Prop 11 (Requires Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain
On-Call During Work Breaks)*. This measure has several things that are
abhorrent to Libertarians, like “requiring” several things that obviously
should be decided between employers and employees, but I’m still
recommending a YES vote on this one for the following reason. The state
created an impossible problem for employers like security firms and ER
companies by requiring that all employees be granted “real” breaks where
they step away from their job for a short time and not have to deal with
any job-related functions. Obviously this mandate wouldn’t work for
companies like security services or ER services where you can’t just step
away from your job, even for a short time, because the place may get robbed
or the person needing to get transported to the hospital may die in 5
minutes. These kinds of jobs are unique, and the folks voluntarily
choosing to take them are obviously aware of the job requirements, so they
shouldn’t have any problem with them because they knew what they were
getting into. In actual practice, security guards and ER folks have not
been getting their mandated “real” breaks for a long time because it’s just
not practical in their industries, and they have been “on call” when
they’ve been on breaks, but by the same token (per the ballot measure),
“EMT’s and paramedics are often unable to plan their meal and rest breaks. As
a result, most ambulance shifts include down time between emergency calls. As
a result, crews often have enough down time in their shift to take
uninterrupted meal and rest breaks even though they are technical on call.”
So, they’ve technically been breaking the law for years, and it’s been
working out just fine. What prompted this ballot measure is a court
decision where employees of a security firm shamefully sued their employer
because they didn’t get “real” breaks and they wanted back pay for all the
time they didn’t get “real” breaks, and the court ruled in their favor. It
is highly likely that this situation will now be applied to ER employees,
and some of them have sued their employers and are looking for a shakedown
too. That’s how they came up with Prop 11, which now “requires” the ER
employees to be “on call” and not get the “real” breaks everyone else is
required to get. In addition, Prop 11 will shield the ER companies from
having to pay all the back pay for the missed “real” breaks, and it adds in
a politically correct requirement for giving the ER employees mental health
services and training. So a one-size-fits-all mandate that simply did not
fit security and ER companies gave birth to a measure with more
requirements. Both LPCA, Santa Clara LP, and SDLP recommended a NO vote,
but I see it differently since this helps ambulance companies do their job
without incurring a lot of extra costs that eventually would be paid by
someone (anyone taking an ambulance who has private insurance). It helps
to fix a problem that was caused by a mandate and allows the ambulance
companies to more or less go back to operating like they were (ignoring the
law) without anyone getting hurt. I could do without the parts of the
proposition that mandate when the breaks take place and the mental services
requirement, but those parts are minor, and overall I see the proposition
as solving a government-caused problem with a mostly satisfactory solution.
Just insisting that we do not approve of mandates and government
requirements that obviously shouldn’t exist isn’t going to do anything when
clearly the government has its nose firmly fixed in between employees and
employers, and it’s not removing that nose anytime soon. I recommend a
reluctant YES vote.

*Prop 12 (Establishes New Standards for Confinement of Specified Farm
Animals)*. This measure creates new minimum requirements for farmers to
provide more space for hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal, and
it also bans the sale of products that don’t measure up to the new animal
housing standards. First of all, we already have Prop 2, which the voters
passed 10 years ago, which contains housing requirements for such animals,
and there’s already another law which made it illegal for businesses to
sell eggs where they knew the cages did not meet the Prop 2 standard.
public interest in animal welfare has been increasing over the years, and
many grocery stores and restaurants are voluntarily already moving towards
requiring their food suppliers to give their animals more moving space. So,
why pass another law mandating more requirements when society is already
organically moving in that direction? Also this proposition is heavy on
enforcement, and it even talks about having “to check that farmers in
California *and other states* that sell to California use animal hosing
that meets the measure’s requirements (my emphasis).” Pay for bureaucrats
to travel to other states to ensure that everything is kosher? I recommend
a NO vote on this unnecessary measure.