(March 19, 2012) The California Chamber of Commerce is supporting Proposition 28 on the June ballot and opposing Proposition 29.
The CalChamber Board of Directors voted in March 2011 to support an initiative constitutional amendment that altered the term limits created when voters approved Proposition 140 in 1990. The initiative is on the June 2012 ballot as Proposition 28: Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Proposition 28 reduces the total time a person may serve in the state Legislature from 14 years to 12 years. It allows a person to serve a total of 12 years in the Assembly or the Senate, or a combination of both.
Unlike a 2008 attempt to reform term limits (Proposition 93), Proposition 28 applies its revised limits only to legislators first elected after the proposition passes. Legislators elected before the passage of Proposition 28 would continue to be subject to existing term limits.
The CalChamber opposed Proposition 93 in 2008 because it did not include a companion reform measure on redistricting, a goal subsequently accomplished with the passage of Proposition 11 in 2008.
In announcing support for Proposition 28, CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg said it is “a much- needed improvement to the current term limits law while keeping the original initiative intact.”
The CalChamber Board voted in March 2011 to oppose an initiative statute described as imposing an additional tax on cigarettes for cancer research.
That initiative will appear on the June 2012 ballot as Proposition 29: Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 29 imposes an additional $1 per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products to fund research for cancer and tobacco-related diseases.
It is estimated to raise nearly $1 billion in new taxes, but nothing in Proposition 29 requires the funding to be spent in California or even in the United States.
Although cancer research is important, the CalChamber Board thought it was inappropriate to create a new program when the state is slashing existing essential programs, such as education and courts.
In addition, the Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded that the revenue stream to fund these new programs would be declining and the Board was concerned that it would once again put existing programs at risk to keep the new programs.