Ballot Measures Spark Concerns About Health Care Among Minorities
Ethnic minority advocacy groups are raising concerns that propositions 1A and 1D on the May 19 special election ballot would negatively affect minorities' health, New America Media reports.
Proposition 1A would increase California's cash reserve from 3% to 12.5% of state revenue and create a state spending cap.Â The measure also would extend recent tax increases for two more years (Po/Ng, New America Media, 5/13).
Proposition 1D would shift funds from First 5, which was created in 1998 when voters approved Proposition 10 to increase the state tobacco tax to fund early childhood health care and education programs.
In fiscal year 2009-2010, the measure would shift as much as $608 million in Proposition 10 revenue to the state general fund for other state health and human services programs for children who are not older than age five.Â The measure would shift as much as $268 million to the state general fund in each of the next four fiscal years.
The measure also would eliminate funds for statewide media campaigns and permit First 5 to allocate funding only for direct health and human services (California Healthline, 5/13).
Cary Sanders -- director of Having Our Say, a coalition of 50 Asian, Hispanic and black groups -- said, "If Proposition 1A and 1D pass, communities of color will have to shoulder the cost of our broken system because Proposition 1A limits our ability to invest in the health care system and Proposition 1D will result in more children becoming uninsured."
Alice Chen, a board member of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, said Proposition 1A could restrict minority communities' access to immunizations and dental and health services.
Julie Soderlund of Budget Reform Now, a committee campaigning in favor of the ballot measures, said that Proposition 1A would help prevent wild swings in the state's budget.Â She also rejected arguments that Proposition 1D would compromise children's health services (New America Media, 5/13).
On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced that she would vote in favor of propositions 1A and 1B next week and vote "no" on Proposition 1C, the San Francisco Chronicle's "Politics Blog" reports (Wildermuth, "Politics Blog," San Francisco Chronicle, 5/12).
Proposition 1B would allocate $9.3 billion of Proposition 1A's rainy day fund for education.Â It takes effect only if voters also approve Proposition 1A (New America Media, 5/13).
Proposition 1C would let the state borrow $5 billion against future lottery revenue.
In her statement, Feinstein did not take a position on propositions 1D or 1E ("Politics Blog," San Francisco Chronicle, 5/12).
Proposition 1E would shift $226.7 million from mental health care programs that Proposition 63 funds to the existing Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program for low-income children for two years.Â
In 2004, voters approved Proposition 63, which increased the state income tax on high-income Californians to fund mental health services (California Healthline, 5/12).
However, Feinstein was critical of propositions 10 and 63, saying, "Voters are confronted with these bad choices because we don't have a budgeting system that works effectively and efficiently in times of budget crisis" ("Politics Blog," San Francisco Chronicle, 5/12).
Tobacco Company Donations
On Tuesday, the No on Prop. 1D and 1E campaign criticized Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) campaign in favor of the ballot measures for accepting donations from tobacco companies.
The campaign has accepted $125,000 from Reynolds American of Winston-Salem and $350,000 from Philip Morris USA (Ferriss, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 5/12).
Survey USA Poll
Majorities of respondents opposed propositions 1D and 1E in a new Survey USA poll, the Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.The poll was conducted May 8-10 and included responses from 1,300 California adults, including 1,096 registered voters (Hecht, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 5/12). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.