Supervisors take stand on statewide ballot measures

10/13/2016

The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted last week to support the majority of 13 state measures on the November ballot. “I do hope that the local media will pick up on this and that we can send a message to the community that these are important propositions,” Supervisor Steve Kinsey said. Supervisors support Proposition 52, the Medi-Cal hospital fee program; Proposition 54, which prohibits the legislature from passing any bill unless it has been in print and published on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the vote; Proposition 55, which extends taxes to fund education and health care; Proposition 56, the cigarette tax to fund health care; and Proposition 57, Governor Brown’s sentencing reform proposal to increase parole chances for felons convicted of non-violent crimes. Supervisor Kate Sears said there is a lot more criminal sentencing reform that can be achieved. “As I think everybody knows, there was a tremendous non-partisan effort at the federal level that unfortunately got stymied by our Congress that has a hard time taking action on much of anything,” she said. They also support Proposition 59, which asks California elected officials to overturn Citizens United; Proposition 61, which sets standards for state prescription drug purchases and pricing; Proposition 62, to repeal the death penalty—Supervisor Damon Connolly said it was “a discussion worth having as a society”; Proposition 63, creating stricter gun control and background checks; and Proposition 67, the plastic bag referendum. The board opposes three measures: Proposition 53, which requires statewide voter approval for revenue bonds that exceed $2 billion; Proposition 65, a redirection of the grocery bag tax; and Proposition 66, which would speed up the death penalty. The board declined to take a position on the remaining four measures, including Proposition 64, the legalization of marijuana. During a meeting in September with Daniel Eilerman, assistant county administrator, the four present board members were split on their positions on that issue. Supervisors Judy Arnold and Connolly—who co-authored the 2015 medical cannabis ordinance—were in favor of the board supporting the measure, while Supervisors Katie Rice and Sears suggested that supporting it should instead be an “individual decision” due to a variety of opinions among constituents.