Farm Bureau positions reflect goal of government reform
» October 6, 2010 «
To control government spending and prevent hidden taxes from being imposed in the form of new fees, the state’s largest farm organization said today it recommends voters act to preserve the two-thirds vote requirement for passage of a state budget, and extend the requirement to the imposition of new fees by the Legislature.
In releasing its positions on November ballot measures, the California Farm Bureau Federation recommended voters reject Proposition 25 and approve Proposition 26. Proposition 25 would allow the Legislature to adopt a state budget by majority vote, rather than the two-thirds “super majority” now required. Proposition 26 would expand the definition of a tax to include most regulatory fees and require a two-thirds vote to impose or increase the fees.
“The requirement of a two-thirds vote for a state budget forces lawmakers to find compromises and reach consensus on questions that affect every Californian,” California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger said. “It’s an essential cost-control measure for the state. That same sort of cost control should be extended to the imposition of new fees on individuals and businesses.”
Maintaining its support for reform of the redistricting process, Farm Bureau supports Proposition 20, which would allow a new Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw boundaries for congressional districts, and opposes Proposition 27, which would eliminate the new commission.
“Farm Bureau supported Proposition 11 two years ago, which eliminated the conflict of interest that allowed legislators to draw their own districts and established the new commission to assure that new districts are more fair and competitive,” Wenger said. “That commission should be allowed to complete its work, and we think it makes sense to have it draw congressional boundaries, too. The result will be a Legislature and congressional delegation that’s more truly representative of California’s people.”
Concerns about rising energy costs prompted Farm Bureau to recommend that voters approve Proposition 23, which would suspend the state’s greenhouse-gas law, known as Assembly Bill 32, until unemployment levels drop.
“Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions is a laudable goal, and productive farms benefit the environment by removing more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit. But family farmers and ranchers believe regulations under AB 32 would lead to higher prices for virtually everything they need to grow their crops—fuel, electrical energy, fertilizer and more. Farmers have no way to pass along those additional costs,” Wenger said, “because they don’t set the prices they receive for their products. Proposition 23 links the enactment of AB 32 to economic recovery, which makes sense in light of our state’s struggling economy.”
The California Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors considered all nine measures on the Nov. 2 ballot and adopted the following positions:
Proposition 19: Marijuana Legalization NO
Proposition 20: Congressional Redistricting YES
Proposition 21: Vehicle License Fee for State Parks NO
Proposition 22: Local Government Funds YES
Proposition 23: Suspension of AB 32 YES
Proposition 24: Repeal of Business Tax Credits NO
Proposition 25: Majority Budget Vote NO
Proposition 26: Increased Vote Requirement for Fees YES
Proposition 27: Elimination of Citizens Redistricting Commission NOThe California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 81,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
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