RCRC Takes Official Positions on November Ballot Measures

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SACRAMENTO, CA – October 6, 2014 – The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) took official positions on California’s Proposition 1 and Proposition 47 at its September Board of Directors Meeting. The RCRC Board of Directors voted to support Proposition 1 and oppose Proposition 47.

“Our thirty-four member county Board of rural Supervisors make a concerted effort to review statewide ballot measures that may impact our ability to operate effectively at the local level,” said Nate Beason, RCRC Chair and Nevada County Supervisor. “Protecting rural resources and rural counties’ ability to adequately serve our populations are of paramount importance, and Proposition 1 falls into this category. Proposition 47, on the other hand, is of concern to rural counties.”

Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Water Bond) would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $7.120 billion, and the reallocation of $425 million of unissued bonds. State funding for the public benefits of storage is vital to storage project feasibility and rural counties. If approved by voters, Proposition 1 would be the first water bond passed by voters since 1996 with funding allocated for water storage, set at $2.7 billion. Given the allocation for water storage, and funding for numerous other vital water-related programs, the RCRC Board of Directors voted to take a support position.

Given that Proposition 47 represents another significant change in the county corrections process so quickly following the enactment of Assembly Bill 109 (the criminal justice realignment law), the RCRC Board of Directors voted to take an oppose position. Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, would reduce penalties for a variety of specified offenses, and dedicate the ‘savings’ from prosecuting and housing these offenders to programs that support K-12 schools, victim services, mental health, and drug treatment. While some aspects of this measure appear beneficial, there are other impacts to counties’ criminal justice system that give rural counties much concern.

In addition to Propositions 1 and 47, the RCRC Board of Directors have previously taken positions on two other ballot measures this year including a support position on Proposition 2, commonly known as California’s Rainy Day fund, and an oppose position on Proposition 46, the trial lawyer sponsored measure to alter the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).