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Press Democrat recommendations

Here's a list of Press Democrat ballot recommendations for today's election. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Come to pressdemocrat.com for live election results.

STATE

Proposition 30: Temporary tax increase for schools — YES

It's not perfect. But it's far better than the partisan caterwauling that has left California's schoolchildren at the center of a political “War of the Roses.” And the situation is about to get worse. If this fails, schools from kindergarten to high school will suffer funding cuts of $5 billion, the equivalent of losing 15 more instructional days. Our kids — our future — deserve better.

Proposition 31: State budget reforms — YES

Among other things, this would require a two-year budget cycle, eliminate unfunded mandates for costly programs and allow the governor to cut spending if legislators fail to take prompt action in a fiscal crisis. These modest reforms emerged from bipartisan efforts to make state government more efficient and more transparent. It isn't a panacea, but it builds on a foundation of recent voter-approved reforms, including open primaries and independent reapportionment.

Proposition 32: Political contributions — NO

This purports to cut the money ties between special interests and state politicians. If it did, we would support it. But Proposition 32 would simply tie the hands of labor unions while magnifying the influence of wealthy people and businesses that spend freely on politics. It's a one-sided measure that does not live up to its billing.

Proposition 33: Auto insurance change — NO

Like a bad dream, this idea keeps coming back. Proposition 33 would allow car insurance companies to offer a “continuity” discount to lure long-term customers from other insurers. Proponents argue that this would promote competition and reduce prices. But it would also allow insurers to raise rates for people who temporarily drop their coverage due to illness, because they can't afford to operate a vehicle or because they choose to use public transit.

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