California Labor Federation Speaks Out on '08 Ballot Initiatives
Today, the California Labor Federation announced its position regarding the ballot initiatives that Californians will be voting on in February of 2008.
Referenda Petitions to Overturn Amendments to Indian Gaming Compacts
California’s unions have stood in strong opposition to these tribal gaming compacts since they were originally proposed in 2006. Under tribal law, casino workers on Indian reservations have no enforceable right to organize into a union unless it is expressly specified in the gaming compacts. These four gaming compacts do not include provisions to protect the rights of these workers, which is
why Labor will continue to oppose these compacts as referenda. There is no more important issue to workers than the right to organize and collectively bargain for fair wages and improved working conditions.
Transportation Funding Protection Act (Proposition 91)
The goal of Proposition 91 is to prevent the state from spending gas tax revenue on non-transportation related endeavors. While Proposition 91 was being qualified, the Governor and legislators put a different measure, Proposition 1A, on the November 2006 ballot. Labor supported Proposition 1A, which accomplished the same thing that Proposition 91 set out to do, and was approved by voters last year. Due to the passage of Proposition 1A, proponents of Proposition 91 agree that this initiative is no longer necessary.
California Community College Initiative (Proposition 92)
This initiative would give every Californian the chance to go to college by lowering fees. In 2004, when the Legislature hiked fees to $26 per unit, over 300,000 fewer students enrolled in community colleges. Proposition 92 would reduce community college attendance fees to $15 per unit, ensuring that community college remains accessible and affordable. It also limits the rise in future fees, ensures stable funding for California community colleges, and guarantees that the community college system stays independent from state politics. Community colleges help improve the economy — for every $1 the state spends on community colleges, $3 are generated back to the state through increased wages, as
students see their wages jump from an average $25,600 to $47,571 in the three years after completing a vocational degree or certificate.
Term Limits and Legislative Reform Act (Proposition 93)
Proposition 93 would impose a shorter total limit on legislative terms, while permitting legislators to serve longer in either legislative house, and allowing current legislators to serve beyond existing term limits. This initiative strikes a reasonable balance between the need to elect new people with fresh
ideas, and the need for experienced legislators with the knowledge and expertise to solve the complex problems facing our state.