Yes on Tolling, Liquor Sales; No on Union Training
With absentee ballots being mailed out this week, The Chronicle Editorial Board kicks off its General Election endorsements today with a look at the three initiatives filed for the Nov. 8 election. For all three initiatives, the Editorial Board was unanimous in its voting.
Initiative 1125, Tolling Revenues
I-1125 is an anti-tax measure that would require any tolling on bridges, roads and other transportation projects to remain with that specific project. Once the project is paid for, the tolls go away, and cannot be diverted into the general fund or to pay for other transportation projects.
I-1125 also takes the authority by the state Transportation Commission to set tolls and places it on the state legislature, with its two-thirds mandated vote before raising any taxes. The initiative is championed by anti-tax initiative guru Tim Eyman. We agree that such decisions as to what projects receive tolling revenue, and how much, should not be done by an appointed agency such as the Transportation Commission, but by state legislators that answer directly to voters.
Vote yes on I-1125.
Initiative 1163, Care Workers Training
I-1163 would require more extensive background checks and training of long-term care workers for the elderly and disabled.
That appears as sound progress. A deeper look however, reveals that the initiative would divert money from services to low-income seniors and the disabled and into the state’s largest union under the guise of more “training.” It takes about $80 million in funding from direct services.
The state already has proper background checks and mandated training in place, and certainly does not in these tight budget times need to switch funds from core services to auditing and oversight.
Vote no on I-1163.
State Liquor Sales
I-1183 would privatize the sale of liquor across the state, closing state liquor outlets and opening sales into grocery stores and larger sales stores such as Costco.
If approved, it would raise an estimated $400 million during the next six years for state coffers as compared to the system currently in place.
Opponents claim it would cause an unwelcome number of new liquor outlets. That characterization is false, as only outlets that are 10,000 square feet or more would qualify.
And with added competition, an end to the state sales monopoly should result in efficiencies and a lowered cost to consumers.
The initiative also doubles the penalty for such infractions as selling to minors.
It is high time the state got out of the liquor monopoly and have a sales system that is most common in states across the nation.
Vote yes on I-1183.