Candidates for 5th Senate District Seat Debate Health-Related Measures on November Ballot
Sen. Michael Machado (D-Stockton) and Republican challenger Gary Podesto, who is the mayor of Stockton, on Wednesday at a voter forum held a "polite and detailed discussion" on "big issues," including two health-related ballot measures, the Stockton Record reports. The candidates are running for the 5th Senate District seat, which includes parts of San Joaquin, Solano, Yolo and Sacramento counties.
Podesto said the Legislature should stop passing "job-killer" bills, such as SB 2 (Massad, Stockton Record, 10/21). Proposition 72 will allow state residents to vote "yes" to uphold or "no" to repeal SB 2, a state law scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2006, that will require some employers to provide health insurance to workers or pay into a state fund to provide such coverage (California Healthline, 10/22). Podesto said that instead of funding a new program, the state should expand Healthy Families to cover adults with no children.
Machado said he supports SB 2.
Machado also said he supports a measure on the Nov. 2 ballot that would raise an average of $295 million annually for a decade through the issue of state bonds to promote stem cell research (Stockton Record, 10/22). The measure would 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 would cost a total of $6 billion, including interest (California Healthline, 10/22).
Machado said the investment in stem cell research would result in more high-tech jobs at firms such as Vacaville-based drug maker Genentech.
Podesto said the proposed investment would be too expensive for a state that needs to more fiscally disciplined (Stockton Record, 10/22).
More information on Propositions 71 and 72 is available online.