Here is one Ventura County Libertarian’s “take” on the six state measures.
1) NO on WATER BOND
Read what the Secretary of State said about this measure:”The deadline for ballot measures to qualify for this election was June 26, 2014. (After this date) the Legislature and the Governor added a measure to the November ballot.” So, we learn that this should not even be on the ballot, except that our elected officials don’t play by the same rules we do. Surely, the drought issue did not just now catch their attention. In any case, the days of handing over huge sums of money to a bureaucracy are over. Libertarians believe private industry can do a better and more efficient job. Besides, when such large numbers are involved it follows that every semi-related cause is tacked on to the initial one which dilutes the purpose of the measure. One more thing: most of the money is allocated to dams which many experts feel are now old school.
2) NO on STATE BUDGET
This is a lot of ado about something that should be automatic. Of course we should be saving for a rainy day and of course we should be paying off our debts. So why bother creating a micro-planned law that will be binding for the next 15 years? In any case, the proposed amount to pay down the debt—3/4 of a percent—is microscopic. Careful annual reviews by the budget committee would serve us better than this constitutional amendment. There is also the issue of the effect on monies directed to school districts which, with these new rules, would likely only be available in economically good years. There would also be a maximum on the reserves a district can keep on hand, preventing some districts from saving as much as they otherwise could.
45) NO on HEALTHCARE INSURANCE
This one is easy. Keep government out of private industry. Instead, let the industry compete for consumers by setting lower prices on their own and let the free market work. This measure would create more administrative costs for both the state and the health companies and you know who gets the bill. There are also parts of the initiative that are legally “uncertain” and “unclear,” much like the Affordable Care Act. We don’t need more of that. Finally, the worst is that this does not apply to large employer group health plans which is the bulk of the industry. That means disparate treatment and more bureaucracy for the little guy.
46) NO on DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING OF DOCTORS/MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE LAWSUITS
I suspect this grew out of a stalled marijuana legalization initiative. But now this measure would require hospitals to subject all doctors to random drug and alcohol testing at their expense. This measure would also make CURES, a statewide prescription database available even to “certain” law enforcement officials, a requirement. Libertarians believe this is an issue of personal privacy. Prosecute prescription addicts if their actions impinge upon others, but don’t expect a government nanny to change society.
47) NO on CRIMINAL SENTENCES. MISDEMEANOR PENALTIES
This initiative rightfully allows for lower penalties and re-sentencing for those convicted of certain victim-less drug crimes, but it also lets off the hook those involved in non-violent property crimes. We have waited, and are still waiting for marijuana reform; Libertarians would love to grab this chance to release those incarcerated for such a harmless substance. And this measure would also serve to reduce the need for more prisons which has become an industry in itself. But it doesn’t make sense to equate theft and forgery with a misdemeanor. No, they may not be violent crimes, but they still have victims. It’s too bad this initiative was coupled with the lesser offense of marijuana use.
48) NO on INDIAN GAMING COMPACTS
Our state is grasping at straws trying to find revenue anywhere they can. And that includes making an exception to the popular expectation that casinos in California stay only on tribal lands. Once again, this referendum would marry government and private industry with the state as a middleman, distributing “payoffs” from the favored tribe to certain other tribes as well as annual payments to the county and city of Madera. It’s all about the money, and that’s okay, but I see lawsuits in the future for this convoluted setup.
NOW GO FORTH AND VOTE BECAUSE IT DOES MATTER!