Vote yes for both.
Prop. 41, Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014, would authorize $600 million in general obligation bonds for affordable housing to relieve homelessness for veterans and their families, as well as fund programs dedicated to aid veterans with physical and mental health care, counseling for drug and alcohol abuse and job training.
Those opposing the bill are concerned that the money will fall into corrupt hands and not be used for its intended purpose.
However, the proposition also requires annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the programs, thus allowing the people to be constant watchdogs over the way this bond money is being spent.
Passing this proposition will not raise taxes or add to California’s debt because the $600 million are previously approved, unspent funds.
In January 2013, there were 15,000 homeless veterans out of 137,000 homeless Californians, according to a federal government survey.
The study also showed that California veterans are more likely to be homeless than non-veterans, making California home to more than one-quarter of all homeless veterans in the United States.
This number is appalling and with close to 45,000 more veterans returning soon to California, the best way to help resolve the problem is by voting yes on Prop. 41.
Ten years ago, Proposition 59 already made access to open records a civil right under the state constitution.
However, Prop. 42 will amend the Constitution of California to require local – not state – government agencies such as cities, counties and school districts to fund the agendas of local government bodies, as well as records of the government officials.
It will also ensure the right that allows any person to obtain copies of the meetings’ agendas, allowing the people to know what the government is doing and how they are doing it.
Passing this proposition will eliminate local agencies’ argument that providing this information is too expensive and therefore deny a person’s request for information.
Transparency in government is essential for a true democracy and this starts by keeping government meetings and records open to the public.
Both propositions were unanimously passed by the Senate and Assembly and now it is up to us to make them law.