California Healthline Highlights Some Assembly Candidates’ Positions on Propositions 71, 72
Some newspapers recently have featured articles focusing on Assembly races, including information on candidates' positions on propositions 71 and 72, health-related measures on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot. Proposition 71 would issue state bonds to raise an average of $295 million annually over a decade to promote human stem cell research and provide funds for a new stem cell research center at a University of California campus, as well as grants and loans for laboratory projects at other colleges. State analysts say the measure could cost a total of $6 billion, including interest.
Proposition 72 allows California residents to vote "yes" to uphold or "no" to repeal SB 2, a state law that will require some employers to provide health insurance to employees or pay into a state fund to provide such coverage.
SB 2, which is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2006, will require employers with 200 or more employees to provide health insurance to workers and their dependents by 2006 or pay into the state fund. Employers with 50 to 199 employees will have to provide health insurance only to workers by 2007. Companies with fewer than 20 workers will not have to comply with the law, and the law also will exempt employers with 20 to 49 workers unless the state provides them with tax credits to offset the cost of health coverage (California Healthline, 10/25). Summaries appear below.
Assembly member Guy Houston (R-Livermore) opposes SB 2. Elaine Shaw (D), an attorney who is challenging Houston, supports the law (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 10/25).
Ira Ruskin (D), a Redwood City council member and communications consultant, said he supports SB 2. His opponent, businessman Steve Poizner (R), said requiring businesses to provide health care coverage would impede job creation (Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 10/26).
Assembly member Nicole Parra (D-Bakersfield) supports Proposition 71, although she said she initially had concerns about the initiative, the Bakersfield Californian reports. Her opponent, businessman Dean Gardner (R), said he opposes government funding for stem cell research (Adamson, Bakersfield Californian, 10/26).
Additional information on propositions 71 and 72 is available online.