PROPOSITION 10: California Dailies Weigh In
In the wake of yesterday's announcement that Proposition 10 passed, albeit by a "razor- thin" majority, several newspaper editorial boards air their views on the measure that would raise cigarette price to fund early childhood programs.
- The Los Angeles Times says that Prop. 10's heart is in the right place but that it could produce sour results. "If done right, the results of the proposition, which this newspaper supported, could inspire a national movement to boost children's readiness to learn. But just as easily, poor oversight could let special interests corrupt its essential mission," the editorial states. The county-appointed boards that will run the programs countywide -- "either through inexperience or political favoritism" -- could potentially "squander money on ineffective programs," the Times contends, asserting that Prop. 10's success "will ride largely on the quality of these appointees." The Times concludes: "Attentive state leadership is key to ensuring that Proposition 10 steers clear of political infighting and poor management and focuses on giving California children the early attention they need to succeed" (11/13).
- The Santa Barbara News- Press: "Although we opposed Proposition 10 on the grounds that it creates new bureaucracy and uses cigarette taxes to pay for programs largely unrelated to the campaign against smoking, it's passage by voters could mean significant benefits to local programs." The editorial continues, "After you wade through all [the] bureaucracy, there does exist the potential for doing a great deal of good with the money from Prop. 10" (11/13).
- The Modesto Bee says Prop. 10 "has the potential to be the most significant outcome of this year's election" -- with the caveat "if the measure is implemented well." However, the editorial concludes that "it's not a moment too soon to start thinking about a well-integrated strategy for early childhood services" (11/13).