We have begun our endorsements for statewide propositions early this year. The following is a list of the recommendations thus far. See the full text of each editorial by following the online instructions below.
Proposition 31: Government process reform. We recommend yes.
Prop. 31 will help improve the work product of state government. It offers sane and long overdue reforms to the state budget process, it increases local government flexibility, and it begins to establish much tighter fiscal oversight on state spending, which is needed.
Proposition 32: Campaign contributions, union dues. We recommend no.
If Proposition 32 did what supporters claim -- limit all special-interest money from corrupting the political system -- we would race to endorse it. It doesn't. It actually tilts the political playing field in favor of the wealthy and corporations.
Proposition 33: Insurance changes: We recommend no.
Billionaire George Joseph, chairman of Mercury Insurance, is back again with a new version of the law voters rejected two years ago.
Proposition 34: Repeal of death penalty. We recommend yes.
California's death penalty is archaic, unfairly applied and fiscally insane.
We think voters should make California the 18th state to repeal the death penalty in favor of life in prison with no chance of parole.
Proposition 35: Human trafficking: We recommend yes.
This proposition would expand some of the definitions of human trafficking in California laws and would increase the fines and penalties for engaging in such illegal conduct, and it severely increases those penalties for repeat offenders.
Proposition 36: Change Three-Strikes Law. We recommend yes.
This would fix some of the flaws in the Three-Strikes Law that have caused overcrowding in our state's prisons and jails.
No one wants violent criminals back on the streets, and Proposition 36 doesn't do that.
Proposition 37: Food labeling. We recommend no.
Proposition 37 purports to be a simple law that requires proper labeling to identify so-called genetically modified food. If that was all it did, we would be for it. Unfortunately, it does much more, and we think voters should send it back to its creators for some modification.
Proposition 39: Multistate business tax treatment: We recommend yes.
State lawmakers so far have refused to correct the mistake they made in 2009 when, in a late-night budget session, they created a tax incentive for companies to locate outside California. Voters need to fix that mistake.
Proposition 40: Redistricting. We recommend yes.
A yes vote upholds the redistricting of the state's legislative and congressional districts drawn up by a citizens' committee, created by a vote of the people in the first place.
Go to www.contracostatimes.com/endorsements to see our current list of recommendations.