November 6: The San Francisco Department of Elections reported that Propositon A passed with a "Yes" vote of 68.77% and a "No" vote of 31.23%.
August 19: The Libertarian Party of San Francisco filed its Rebuttal to the Argument in favor of Proposition A submitted by the Proposition's supporters. Public employees' retirement benefits is a most important issue facing state and local governments all across America, including San Francisco. In LPSF's constant effort to encourage voters and taxpayers to be mindful of what they vote for, we will continue our discussion on Proposition A until Election Day on November 5, 2013.
Also, we would welcome your comments and views. In addition to the contact information provided by the article below, we invite you to leave a message on the LPSF Voice Mail (415) 775-5773, join our Facebook Page, and/or join our Yahoo Groups Discussion List.
LPSF selected as official ballot opponent
of Proposition A on November 2013 ballot.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2013
On Thursday, a 298-word argument submitted by members of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco against Proposition A was randomly selected by Elections Department officials as the official Opponents argument to appear in the Voter Handbook that will be mailed to registered San Francisco voters.
Prop. A is a Charter Amendment on the November ballot that would lock in more spending on government employee benefits at the expense of other priorities. This measure proposes to explicitly put taxpayers on the hook for any difference that may arise between the amount of money in the retirement health care fund to which employees contribute, and the actual costs of employee health care, giving health care providers an opportunity to inflate their billing and have the public pick up the cost.
On September 12, 2013, SB1 was ordered to Inactive File at the request of its author, Senator Darrell Steinberg. Strange development, but perhaps an interesting move, considering Senator Steinberg is hoping for Governor Brown's favorable reception of two other of his bills: Bill Prohibiting Detachable Magazines on Rifles (SB 374), and CEQA Modernization Bill (SB 743).
The bill was ordered on September 4 to a third reading in the Assembly, after passing Committee with 12 Yes and 5 No on August 30. SB1 may not turn out to be the slam-dunk Steinberg may have been hoping for. Even if it eventually passes the Legislature, it needs the approval of Governor Brown. By way of background, in 2011 Governor Brown led the push to dismantle the California Redevelopment Agency, based on the Agency's dubious cost effectiveness. But bureaucrats never cease in their efforts to bring this monster back from the dead. SB1 is the latest effort.
Earlier, on August 21, 2013, SB1 was referred to the Suspense File to be evaluated again at a later date. The Bill had passed Assembly Committee on August 14, 2013. Votes were YES 6 (Levine, Alejo, Bradford, Gordon, Mullin, and Rendon), and NO 3 (Achadjian, Melendez, and Waldron).
SB1, “Sustainable Communities Investment Authority,” written by CA Senators Darrell Steinberg and Mark DeSaulnier, is scheduled to be heard in California Assembly Local Government Committee On August 14, 2013, 1:30 pm (See Update above).
We have been speaking out against Plan Bay Area for a couple of years. SB1 is PBA’s major funding mechanism.
An August 1 editorial from the Contra Costa Times, titled "BART strike is unwarranted, but it is likely", opines on the sad regularity of BART labor disputes. The Times notes that the strikes and threats of strikes are essentially posturing. On one side, a union with extremely well-paid employees and a protected-strike allowance, rare in the transit space. On the other, management that has an abysmal history on stewardship of taxpayer funds: hiking salaries and building costly extensions (over the objections of residents, no less) as the core system crumbles.
The Times article cuts straight to the point:
Quite predictably, the Bay Area is on the precipice of another disabling BART strike... [I]t seems the primary purpose of the negotiating teams is to attend news conferences and call the other side liars. We find it irritating and tiresome.
One paragraph, though, is a real jaw-dropper. It exposes how out-of-touch the unions are with economic realities of the residents they portend to serve, and how BART management's weak financial controls have further facilitated the exploitation of Bay Area taxpayers:
On October 1, 2013, AB351 was appoved by Governor Brown.
As of September 3, 2013, AB351 passed both houses of Legislation. The next step is for Governor Brown to sign it into law. Please call or write the Governor to show support for his signing the bill. To call: (916) 445-2841.
On August 12, 2013, AB351 was ordered for a third reading in the State Senate. So, the Bill is still alive, but needs your help in getting it passed. Please call the legislators listed at the end of this article to express your views.
BACKGROUND AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ACTION:
California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly's AB351, a bill which starts the process of stopping "Indefinite Detention" under the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), has passed the State Assembly by a vote of 71 - 1, and the State Senate Public Safety Committee as well. The next step is a hearing and vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee, where the bill is scheduled to be heard on August 12, 2013. (See Update above)
On February 26, 2013, thanks to efforts of groups opposing the "Indefinite Detention" clause of the NDAA, including the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, the San Francsico Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a Resolution declaring San Francisco's opposition to the clause. The same can be accomplished at the California Legislature's level.