November Ballot Measures Could Be ‘Far-Reaching’
The November statewide election "will not lack for meaty, even historic, political conflicts for voters to digest," including a measure to fund health care programs by increasing state tobacco taxes, columnist Dan Walters writes in the Sacramento Bee (Walters, Sacramento Bee, 5/17).
The proposed measure is expected to generate about $2.1 billion annually. The initiative calls for:
- 52.75% of the revenue to be used to fund hospital emergency services, nurse education, community health clinics and tobacco cessation programs;
- 42.25% to be used for children's health insurance, including an expansion of the Healthy Kids program; smoking prevention campaigns; and cancer, heart, asthma and other disease research; and
- 5% to be used for cancer- and tobacco disease-related research (California Healthline, 5/5).
These proposed initiatives and others addressing infrastructure bonds, tax increases on oil production and eminent domain rights "could trigger a big-money political shootout," according to Walters. "The ballot may not set a record for overall number of propositions, but no election of recent vintage has offered such a variety with such potential for far-reaching impacts," Walters writes (Walters, Sacramento Bee, 5/17). 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.