This is part 2 of our progressive voters guide to initiatives that will be on state ballots this November. Part 1 of the guide is available here.
If you live in a state with one of the ballot initiatives, please get involved by speaking with your family, friends, and colleagues; by volunteering; and by writing a letter to your local newspaper editor. If you live out-of-state, please contribute what you can to support the efforts of the progressive organizations who are working on these initiatives.
Michigan Proposal 2 - vote Yes on the the "Protect Working Families" ballot proposal, which would grant both private and public sector employees a state constitutional right to bargain collectively through labor unions, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements. At a time of continued assault on the rights of working people, Proposal 2 would provide working Michiganders with protection from right-wing attacks, and would be a strong statement in favor of union rights.
Michigan Proposal 4 - vote Yes on the "Home Health Care Amendment" to help improve the quality and availability of home health care services. The proposal would amend the state constitution to create the Michigan Quality Home Care Council, which would create a registry of qualified home health care providers, run background checks on providers, establish job training programs for home health care providers, establish wage and condition of employment standards for providers, and grant providers a limited right to collectively bargain over wages, benefits, and working conditions.
California Proposition 32 - vote No on Proposition 32, which would vastly restrict the ability of working people and labor unions to engage in political advocacy. The proposition is billed as an effort to get special interest money out of politics in California. But the reality is that while the proposition would stop unions from spending their members' dues on political action and restrict campaign contributions from "special interests," it includes a long list of exemptions that allow hedge funds, investment firms, real-estate developers, insurance companies, and other corporate interests to continue buying elections at will.
* No On 32
Montana Corporate Contributions Initiative, I-166 - vote Yes on ballot initiative I-166, which: (1) would establish a state policy that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights, (2) calls for restoring Montana's ban on corporate campaign contributions (which was struck down in June 2012 by the U.S. Supreme Court), and (3) urges the state's Congressional delegation to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn Citizens United and other Supreme Court decisions that establish that corporations have a free speech right to spend unlimited amounts on campaign contributions.
Idaho Propositions 1, 2, and 3 - vote No on Idaho propositions 1, 2, and 3, which seek to approve anti-teacher legislation passed by the Idaho legislature in 2011. Proposition 1 would forbid teachers from collectively bargaining about anything except wages and benefits. In other words, teachers would no longer be able to raise their voices about classroom size, funding for classroom supplies, student safety, etc. Proposition 2 would link teacher pay to standardized testing. Proposition 3 would try to divert students and funding away from public schools by requiring local school districts to spend money providing laptops to students who pursued on-line schooling.
Oregon Measure 85 - the Corporate Tax "Kicker" Funds for Education Initiative - vote Yes on Oregon Measure 85, which would provide that certain higher than expected tax revenues from corporate taxes would go towards K-12 education funding, rather than being refunded to corporations. Under Oregon law, the Governor must, every two years, estimate the amount of tax revenue the state expects to receive. If actual revenue from corporate taxpayers exceeds the estimate by more than 2%, the excess amount is refunded. Measure 85 would provide that such excess amounts are, instead, dedicated to K-12 funding.
Washington Charter School Initiative 1240 - vote No on Initiative 1240, which would start chipping away at public education in Washington State by allowing 40 charter schools to be formed over the next five years. Washington is currently one of only eight states in the US that has no charter schools. Initiative is the fourth attempt by charter school advocates to bring charters to the state of Washington.