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AAUW members learn about ballot propositions at meeting

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 7:02 am

Vickie Makarian and Dee Matteucci from the League of Women Voters of San Joaquin County presented the background on each of the ballot propositions at the joint meeting of the Lodi and Stockton branches of American Association of University Women on Oct. 6. The meeting took place at O’Connor Woods in Stockton at 9:30 a.m.

Makarian had been a teacher and joined the League of Women Voters in 2000. Matteucci had been a microbiologist at St. Joseph’s since 1964, and has conducted similar forums on behalf of the League of Women Voters for 41 years. Makarian said that it was her belief that the government is only as good as the people who take an active part in it. She also said that the League is non-partisan and it doesn’t back any party or candidate. League women don’t tell people how to vote. They only seek to educate and to advocate voting. She said emphatically, “Democracy is not a spectator sport.”

With that introduction, they provided a history of each proposition and information of who supports or opposes each proposition. Makarian and Matteucci untangled the meanings of the propositions and explained which outcomes would result from a “yes” or “no” vote.

For example, Propositions 30 and 38 are similar but different, Makarian explained. Both seek to increase taxes.

Proposition 30 increases sales taxes a quarter of a cent and increases personal income tax for those making over $500,000. This proposition guarantees that local governments get funds for mandated programs and the money raised, about $6 billion, would go to the state general fund and then be allocated through the budget process.

Proposition 38 also seeks to increase taxes, but without a sales tax increase. The increase of personal income tax would begin with those making $35,000 and increase upward on a sliding scale. The funds generated by this increase would go not to the general fund but to a newly created trust fund administered for education (preschool and K-12 only). Community colleges and universities would not benefit. The funds could not be used for teacher salaries.

In the event that both propositions pass with a majority of the vote, the proposition that passes with the most “yes” votes would take effect.

Makarian and Matteucci provided this kind of detailed analysis for each of the state proposition until they got to Proposition 40. Matteucci said that this would automatically pass because the opposition to Proposition 40 “pulled out,” and the Supreme Court has already ruled that “it wouldn’t fly.”

The next AAUW meeting will take place on Nov. 13 at the United Christian Congregational Church in Lodi. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a Holiday Boutique sale followed at 6 p.m. with a soup/salad supper. The cost for the supper is $10, paid at the door. The program will focus on sexual harassment in the military and will preview the film “The Invisible War,” which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. The program will begin at 7 p.m. after a short business meeting.

Please contact Margie Paulsen at 209-334-4443 regarding the program or Sharon Ceresa at 209-481-3007 about membership.

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