Health-Related Measures Qualify for Ballot
A measure to increase the state tobacco tax to fund children's health insurance and other programs qualified this week for the November ballot, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Supporters of the measure estimate that the $2.60 tax increase would generate $2.1 billion annually to provide:
- $758 million for hospital emergency care;
- $371 million for children's health insurance;
- $267 million for cancer, heart, asthma and other disease programs;
- $177 million for tobacco prevention and educations; and
- $96.5 million for tobacco-related disease research.
A measure that would require parental notification before a girl can have an abortion also qualified for the ballot. The measure is nearly identical to Proposition 73, which voters rejected 53% to 47% in the November 2005 special election (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 6/21).
However, unlike the 2005 ballot measure, the measure that will appear on the 2006 ballot does not define abortion as the termination of "a child conceived, but not yet born." The current initiative also would require statistics on the number of judicial waivers requested, declined or granted, to be reported based on county, whereas the 2005 initiative would have required such information to be reported for each judge in the state (Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/21).
The measure would require that parents or a legal guardian be notified 48 hours before a girl can have an abortion. Girls who are married, emancipated or are active members of the armed forces would be exempt (San Jose Mercury News, 6/21).
So far, 10 measures have qualified for the November ballot, and several are still awaiting approval before the June 29 deadline (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/21).