Farm Bureau recommends "No" on Prop. 56,
"Yes" on Props. 57 & 58
» February 2, 2004 «
The California Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors recommends a "no" vote on Proposition 56, and "yes" votes on Propositions 57 and 58 on the March 2 primary ballot.
Each statewide election the CFBF's 24-member board makes ballot recommendations as a guide for Farm Bureau members in California. The CFBF board has taken positions on the four propositions on the ballot.
The CFBF Board opposes Proposition 56, which would permit the state Legislature to enact budget and budget-related tax and appropriation bills with 55 percent vote rather than the currently required two-thirds vote.
"The so-called 'Blank Check Initiative' is strongly opposed by Farm Bureau," said CFBF President Bill Pauli. "This initiative is a Trojan horse. It is being proposed as budget accountability and disciplining elected officials, but in reality it only gives politicians a blank check to levy higher taxes on California taxpayers."
The board recommends a "yes" vote on Propositions 57 and 58, which were placed on the ballot in response to the state's severe budget deficit.
Proposition 57 would authorize up to $15 billion in bonds to consolidate the deficit and to keep state government running.
"The board stressed the need for the state to get spending under control and that Proposition 57 should not be considered a long-term solution," said Pauli. "There needs to be fiscal restraint and a cap on spending so we don't repeat the financial mess that Gov. Schwarzenegger inherited."
Proposition 58, the California Balanced Budget Act, is supported by the CFBF Board. It would require the state to enact budgets that keep expenditures within available resources. It would also establish a reserve fund to address future emergencies.
"Farm Bureau policy supports a balanced budget through spending restraint and cutbacks rather than tax increases," said Pauli. "We think California farmers, ranchers, and rural and urban residents will strongly support Prop. 58 and send a clear signal to lawmakers that state government needs to live within its means."
The board voted to oppose Propositions 55.
Proposition 55, a school bond, would provide nearly $13 billion for construction and renovation of K-12 schools and for higher education facilities.
While recognizing the need to upgrade school facilities, the CFBF board voted to oppose the measure because of the extreme indebtedness of the state and the budget deficit. State revenues should be annually allocated to fund school improvements without creating additional bond debt, said Pauli.
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