Making Democracy Work


California League Positions


2016: New Public Higher Education Position -

League program consists of those government issues chosen by members for concerted study and action. The process of planning the program for the League begins with the review of our existing positions. After member discussion and review, each local League chooses those positions that it believes should be retained or deleted as well as those that the League should emphasize. The emphasis could be on advocacy or on education of League members and/or the community; or it could be a new study, an update of an existing position or a restudy of a long-held League position.

The following summary of state League positions will aid local League members in their discussion and decisions on the 2015-2017 LWVC program. Some positions are used frequently, while others await a particular need. Recent applications are given. Only the positions in brief are given here; see the LWVC Action Policies and Positions Updated 2011, with 2012 and 2013 Additions for the full wording of the positions.

Note that national League positions are also frequently used by Leagues in California for advocacy and education. LWVUS positions are stated in brief at the end of the LWVC Action Policies and Positions; the full text of the positions and examples of their use are given in the LWVUS publication Impact on Issues.

The LWVC Action Policies on Children and Family Issues; Growth Management; Offshore Oil/Gas Exploration, Development, and Production; Sustainable Communities; Waste-to-Energy Plants; and Water Privatization are based on existing League positions, and thus they are not included in this review. Likewise, the LWVUS Climate Change policy, which is used to guide LWVC action, is not included in this review.

GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGN FINANCING adopted in 1973, updated in 1976 Position in brief: Support state campaign finance practices for candidates and advocates of ballot measure positions that will ensure full disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures and enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office. Application--The League has been active in campaign finance (money in politics) reform for many years, supporting bills and ballot measures to regulate campaign contributions, spending, and disclosure. In 2008, AB 583, the California Fair Elections Act, was passed, placing a trial program for public financing of campaigns for the Secretary of State's office before the voters. However, that measure, Prop 15 of June 2010, was defeated.

In November 2012, we were active in the campaign that defeated Prop 32, which combined a prohibition on the use of payroll deductions to fund political activity with other deceptive provisions aimed at appearing to be campaign finance reform.

We have worked for improved campaign finance disclosure, especially online disclosure of candidate and ballot measure campaign financing and better disclosure of independent expenditure funding of radio and TV campaign ads. In 2011 the LWVC was represented on a LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 2 task force that recommended Political Reform Act (PRA) improvements to the state Fair Political Practices Commission, and we supported the resulting bills in the legislature.

We supported the California Disclose Act in the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 legislative sessions. After "dark money" contributions were made to state ballot measure campaigns by out-of-state nonprofits in the November 2012 election, we strongly advocated for SB 27 to require disclosure of the sources of such funds; the bill was enacted in time to be in place for the November 2014 election. In the 2013-2014 legislative session a large number of campaign finance and ethics reform bills were introduced to make PRA improvements and to respond to recent scandals. Of those bills, nine made it through the legislative process and were signed by the governor. Although a bill we cosponsored to spur rebuilding of the antiquated Cal-Access online disclosure system was vetoed, we are continuing to work toward the goal of a new, user-friendly system. Local Leagues have used this position vertically to support local campaign finance ordinances, some including public financing.

CONSTITUTION adopted in 1957, updated in 1965-67 Position in brief: Support measures to secure an orderly and simplified state constitution; provisions that enable the legislature to deal with state problems efficiently, flexibly and with responsibility clearly fixed, and constitutional guarantee of equal representation of all citizens in the state.

Application--This position is frequently cited in opposition to putting details such as tax sources and rates, exemptions, and earmarked funds into the constitution. We were supportive of the efforts of the California Constitution Revision Commission of 1994-1996. ELECTION SYSTEMS adopted in 2001, amended in 2003 and 2011 Position in brief: Support election systems for executive offices and other single-seat offices, both at the state and local levels, that require the winner to receive a majority of the votes, as long as the majority is achieved using a voting method such as Instant Runoff Voting, rather than a second, separate runoff election.

Application--Some Leagues have used this position vertically to support instant runoff voting (IRV) in local elections. At this time only charter cities and counties can adopt IRV by legislation. The LWVC has supported bills that would have also allowed general law cities and counties to do this. That proposal passed the legislature in 2007 but was vetoed by the governor. A subsequent, more limited bill would have allowed up to twelve localities to adopt IRV by legislation as a pilot program. This bill was also supported by LWVC but failed to pass the legislature. The LWVC could not speak to Proposition 14 (the "Top Two Primary") on the June 2010 ballot because we have no position on primary elections and the role of political parties.

INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM PROCESS adopted in 1984, updated in 1999 and 2013 Position in brief: Support citizens' right of direct legislation through the initiative and referendum process. LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 3

Application--Past uses of this position include sponsoring bills to establish an optional indirect initiative and to require a review of initiative wording before circulation for signatures, and opposing measures to restrict the use of the initiative. We have supported a clarification and tightening of the constitutional requirement that an initiative contain only one subject, and we joined in an unsuccessful court challenge to Prop 21 of 2000, the juvenile crime initiative, charging that it violated the single-subject rule.

In recent legislative sessions we supported bills to increase the filing fee paid by initiative proponents, increase disclosure during the petition circulation period, require an official check of the wording printed on petitions, and establish an indirect initiative. League representatives testified before several legislative committees about initiative process reform. In 2013-2014, we cosponsored SB 1253, a bill that will provide greater information to voters on proposed initiatives and increase public and legislative participation in the initiative process, producing some of the advantages of the indirect initiative.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONSHIPS adopted in 1981 Position in brief: Support an efficient, effective and equitable balance of responsibility and authority among the levels of government with accountability to the public. Application--This position can be applied to realignment, a subject that continues to get a lot of attention. In 2012, the LWV Bay Area, with permission from the LWVC, supported a bill that would have created a Bay Area Regional Commission.

One section of the position is frequently used in support of open governmental decision making with opportunities for public participation. We used this position to urge the California Public Utilities Commission to provide better information on energy issues so the public can more intelligently weigh alternatives. We have supported a variety of bills--some successful, others not--to improve public disclosure of information on state and local agency Web sites. We supported Proposition 59 of 2004 and Proposition 42 of 2014 to put open government provisions in the state constitution.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES adopted in 1998 Position in brief: Support a public library system as a basic community service with a long-term, assured, stable and adequate funding source. Support access by all persons to public library services as a major source of knowledge and information necessary for informed, active participation in a democratic society. Application--This position was adopted by concurrence of local Leagues following the 1997 LWVC Convention. We have used it to support library construction and renovation bond measures on the state ballot. Local Leagues have used the position to support existing and new library facilities and services in their communities. In 2014, we supported a bill which would have provided for a comprehensive needs assessment of library facilities in California; the bill was vetoed.

LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 4

REDISTRICTING adopted in 1988, amended in 2007 Position in brief: Support a state redistricting process and standards that promote fair and effective representation in the state legislature and in the House of Representatives with maximum opportunity for public scrutiny. Support an independent commission as the preferred redistricting body.

Application--The League has been active in redistricting reform since the late 1980s. Our most recent work began in 2005-2006 when we established redistricting as a priority issue and the League began participating extensively in high profile advocacy and education to achieve substantive reform and culminated in the voters' approval of Proposition 11 in November 2008.

Following passage of Prop 11, the League was actively engaged in its implementation. We monitored the entire process and issued a report to the public upon completion of the commission's work.

In November 2010, the League opposed both Proposition 27, a measure to eliminate the Citizens Redistricting Commission and place redistricting back in the hands of the legislature, and Proposition 20, an initiative to extend the power of the commission to draw lines for Congress but shorten the timeline and narrow the "communities of interest" definition. Prop 27 failed, but Prop 20 was approved by the voters.

In November 2012, the League supported a yes vote on Proposition 40, an orphaned referendum on the maps drawn for the state Senate by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The voters approved the maps by overwhelmingly passing Prop 40.

The LWVC supported AB 420, passed in 2011, to facilitate the counting of incarcerated persons at their last place of residence for the purposes of the redistricting following the 2020 census and is monitoring its implementation. The LWVC is supporting local Leagues that are working to establish independent redistricting commissions for their cities and counties and monitoring California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) suits in local jurisdictions throughout the state. In 2014 we supported an unsuccessful bill that would have extended the CVRA to cover challenges related to district-based elections.

STATE AND LOCAL FINANCES adopted in 1969, updated in 1975; new positions in 1976, 1977, 1981, and 1995

Position in brief: Support measures to ensure revenues both sufficient and flexible enough to meet changing needs for state and local government services; that contribute to a system of public finance that emphasizes equity and fair sharing of the tax burden as well as adequacy; that include long range finance methods that meet current and future needs while taking into account the cumulative impact of public debt. Support a process that maintains statutory authority over tax sources, rates and tax expenditures; that makes limited use of direct voting by the public on revenue measures; and that allows adoption of revenue and finance measures by a simple majority vote. Support the distribution of revenue sources between state and local governments in a manner to ensure adequate, equitable and flexible funding of public programs based on the responsibilities and requirements of each and that encourages accountability. Support an equitable, broad- based local property tax, easy and economical to administer, producing adequate revenue, with limitations on the types of services it funds. Support assessment practices LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 5 and policies that are equitable, accurate, easy to understand and well publicized, with like properties treated uniformly.

Application--This position is used very frequently, as it deals with the heart of what makes government work: money. Bills and budget measures related to the state budget process, proper allocation of revenues and responsibilities of the various levels of government, fair sharing of the tax burden, and a simple majority vote to pass local tax and bond measures fall under this position. We consider this position's criteria for long-term debt financing when evaluating bond measures. Local Leagues use the position to take stands on local tax issues.

As the state budget has had major shortfalls, we have advocated real, long-term revenue solutions such as higher top-bracket income tax rates and an oil severance tax, rather than severe program cuts and questionable bonding schemes. We have supported bills to redefine change of ownership of commercial properties, thus establishing a split roll for property tax assessment. We have supported a number of bills to require a more comprehensive review of tax expenditures and bills to tax Internet sales to Californians.

In 2009 we joined an unusually broad group of organizations and a number of leading economists in successfully opposing the recommendations of the Commission on the 21st Century Economy, which would have eliminated most of our existing taxes and replaced them with an untried Business Net Receipts Tax.

Based on our State and Local Finances position, the LWVC has supported or opposed a number of noteworthy ballot measures that have had an impact on our state's fiscal operations. At a May 2009 special election we opposed four unsuccessful measures intended to alter the budget process. Among them, Prop 1A would have applied formulas and requirements to the state budget process that would have severely limited our elected representatives' ability to deal with changing conditions with flexibility and given the governor more power to make cuts without legislative oversight. Prop 1C would have raised money through bonds that would be paid by uncertain future lottery revenue. In June 2010 we opposed Prop 16 based in part on our SLF position; it would have required a two-thirds vote requirement for local public electricity providers who wished to make any changes from their current private service providers. In November 2010 we supported Prop 24 to repeal corporate tax breaks that would cost about $1.3 billion a year in revenue and provide no clear benefit to the state and Prop 25 to change the vote requirement for passage of the budget, but not taxes, to a simple majority, to give the minority less of a stranglehold on the budget process. Prop 24 failed but Prop 25 passed. We opposed Prop 26, which redefined regulatory fees as taxes, making a two-thirds vote necessary to pass them at both the state and local level. Unfortunately, it passed.

We have also followed numerous reform efforts. They included an unsuccessful attempt to put measures on the ballot to call a Constitutional Convention and lay out the procedures for selecting delegates and running the convention. We continue to work on proposals such as those by California Forward to make a number of changes in the state budget process; however, we opposed the flawed Prop 31 on the November 2012 ballot.

In November 2012, we supported Prop 30, which imposed temporary rate increases in the sales tax and in the income tax for high-income taxpayers, as a way to begin to move the state toward financial stability and provide adequate funding for government services. We were neutral on Props 38 and 39 because of the earmarking in those measures. In November 2014, we supported Prop 2, which requires the state to make contributions to the Budget Stabilization Account (the LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 6 state reserve fund) and pay down debts and liabilities when times are good, with increased contributions in years when revenues spike upwards. Prop 2 requires joint action of the governor and the legislature to reduce the amount put in or to take money out of the rainy day fund.

VOTING RIGHTS adopted in 1972, reviewed in 1986 Position in brief: Support measures that will protect every citizen's right to vote and that will ensure government's responsibility to protect this right through regulations and procedures that encourage an informed and active electorate.

Application--Under this position, the League has opposed bills requiring people to show identification to register to vote or vote and has supported requirements for voter registration outreach, improved procedures for vote-by-mail and provisional ballots, pollworker training, etc. In 2007-2008 a League representative sat on a Secretary of State's advisory committee for the procurement process of the VoteCal statewide voter registration database.

We have supported legislation to increase voter registration on college campuses, allow vote-by-mail in primary elections in certain counties, prohibit the loss of student attendance funds when students work on precinct boards, require the Secretary of State to provide counties with translations of election materials, offer voters online confirmation that their vote-by-mail ballots were received and counted, improve certain polling place practices, and ensure that votes for write-in candidates would be counted if the intent of the voter was clear. Bills we supported in 2009 and 2014 allow early registration of 17-year-olds and 16-year-olds, respectively.

League-supported legislation in 2008 established online voter registration (OVR) by persons who have a valid California driver's license or state identification card, once a statewide voter registration database (VoteCal) was in operation. In 2011 we supported a bill, passed and signed by the governor, that allowed OVR to be implemented before VoteCal is launched. The process went into effect in October 2012 and had a significant impact on the November 2012 election. In 2011-2012 we advocated successfully for election day registration, which will be implemented after the VoteCal database is implemented. Also in 2012, a League-supported bill was signed to require better implementation of opportunities to register at social service agencies, in accord with the goals of the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter law).

In 2013-2014, the League supported successful bills to make voter registration easier, establish voting procedures in the case of a natural disaster, allow vote-by-mail ballots to be counted if they are postmarked by election day and received within three days after the election, and improve bilingual services at polling places by allowing permanent U.S. residents to serve as pollworkers. A League-supported bill that would have extended the California Voting Rights Act to cover challenges related to district-based elections was vetoed by the governor. In addition, we supported a bill to establish a state preclearance system, as a replacement for the parts of the federal Voting Rights Act which were overturned by the Supreme Court, That bill failed in the legislature.

We have used the LWVC and LWVUS voting rights positions as the basis for lawsuits and similar actions protecting the right to vote. In 2006 we succeeded in confirming that persons serving time in county jail as a condition of probation have the right to register and vote. In a current suit, Scott v. Bowen, a lower court has ruled with us that persons on post release community supervision and mandatory supervision under the 2011 criminal justice realignment LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 7 have the right to vote; that case is on appeal. Working with the same partners, we negotiated a settlement with Covered California to ensure that all its applicants for health care are offered voter registration, as required by the NVRA.

In a resolution passed at LWVC Convention 2009, California League members supported the addition of the principle of transparency to the LWVUS SARA (secure, accurate, recountable, and accessible) principles for voting systems.

NATURAL RESOURCES AGRICULTURE adopted in 1983 Position in brief: Support policies that recognize agricultural land as a limited resource that must be preserved for the economic and physical well-being of California and the nation. Appropriate agricultural land should be identified and its long term protection should be based on regulatory and incentive programs that include comprehensive planning, zoning measures and other preservation techniques. State policy that affects agriculture should ensure the conservation of soil and water resources through incentives coupled with penalties for noncompliance.

Application--This position is used in conjunction with the water and land use positions in taking a broad view of how best to provide stewardship for natural resources in California. The implementation of water management tools will aid in conserving resources in the future. The League has opposed budget proposals to eliminate state funding for the Williamson Act, which protects agricultural and open-space land through lowered property taxes. AIR QUALITY adopted in 1971, updated in 1973 Position in brief: Support measures to establish air quality standards that will protect the public health and welfare, and the development of effective enforcement and implementation procedures at each level of government to attain these standards.

Application--This position has been used in support of efforts to reduce emissions of air pollutants and toxic air contaminants. The LWVC has supported legislation to fund alternative-fueled school buses and to require air quality standards that protect infants and children, and we have opposed weakening of the Zero Emission Vehicle program. The League supported legislation to prohibit cruise ships from incinerating wastes onboard within three miles of the California coast.

We supported AB 32, the 2005-2006 bill requiring a statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit, and SB 1368, which would require a greenhouse gases emission performance standard for all electricity generators, including publicly owned electric utilities. Improving the air quality in basins such as the Central Valley continues to be a concern for the LWVC and local Leagues, and we successfully supported the creation of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District at the request of local Leagues in the Central Valley. This position was used to reinforce support for SB 375 of 2007-2008, which provides for regional carbon emission reduction targets for transportation sources (see Transportation position). We opposed Prop 23 on the Nov 2010 ballot, which would have suspended AB 32 until the quarterly unemployment rate was below 5.5 percent for at least a year. This Air Quality position is not applicable for indoor air pollution, for it was not an issue at the time of the study.

LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 8 ENERGY adopted in 1978, updated in 1980 and 2006; amended in 2007

Position in brief: The League supports development of a state energy policy that will ensure reliability of energy resources and protection of the environment and public health and safety, at reasonable customer rates, giving primary consideration to conservation and energy efficiency. State government should provide an efficient, coordinated energy administrative structure with open transparent procedures.

Application--In November 2008 we opposed Prop 7, Renewable Energy Generation, because it was poorly drafted and we felt the targets were overly optimistic compared to the AB 32 targets, and Prop 10, Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy bonds, because the money would not be used to fund long-term capital improvements, but rather rebates and other incentives. In 2009 we supported bills that would have raised the target for renewable energy to 33 percent by 2020 but were vetoed by the governor. However, a similar League-supported bill was signed in 2011.

In June 2010 we opposed Prop 16, which would have required a two-thirds vote for the expansion of an electric service area or to provide new service, if public funds were involved. Additionally a two-thirds vote would have been required for a local government to buy power at wholesale prices to sell to residents through a Community Choice Aggregation program. The measure failed. We opposed Prop 23 on the November 2010 ballot as it would have virtually killed AB 32, and possibly related programs, until the unemployment rate was below 5.5 percent for a full year. In 2013-2014, we opposed a bill that would have made Community Choice Aggregation more difficult and supported the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS adopted in 1986 and 1987 Position in brief: Support comprehensive measures to provide maximum protection to human health and the environment from the adverse effects of hazardous materials, including pesticides. An integrated approach should be taken to prevent harmful exposures through soil, surface and ground water contamination, bioaccumulation, air pollution and direct contact. Hazardous materials planning should promote pollution prevention. All levels of government share responsibility for preventing exposures. Application-- Over twenty years ago, the LWVC and local Leagues were very active in supporting major hazardous waste and hazardous materials legislation, including community right to know about the hazards in our communities, and participated in local and regional hazardous waste management plans. The LWVC also had public education projects on these then-new issues, including two educational videos on hazardous materials. Currently this position is used more in a watchdog mode.

When attempts are made to simplify and streamline state regulations and laws in this area, we use this position to make sure that this process does not weaken the protection of human health and the environment. The cleanup of hazardous waste as military sites are closed has been overseen by League members sitting on local oversight bodies. We have supported legislation to strengthen penalties for discharging hazardous materials into state waters and to extend the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act to inland waters. In 2009 we supported AB 1131, which would have required programs for life cycle toxic reduction. In 2010, we opposed Proposition LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 9 26, which requires a two-thirds vote, rather than a majority, to impose regulatory fees on activities that would harm the environment or public health. Since 1987, at least one member has represented the LWVC on the Local Emergency Planning Committees under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The LWVC is also represented on the UC Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program Advisory Committee, and a League member serves on the Green Ribbon Science Panel for the Green Chemistry program of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

In 2012, the League testified about the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at DOGGR (Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources) workshops. We supported several bills to require disclosure of fracking plans and information about chemicals and amount of water used, etc., culminating in the passage of SB 4 in 2013. We gave input in the development of regulations and continue to monitor the implementation of SB 4. In 2014 a League-supported bill that will require more extensive disclosure of water use and wastewater disposal in oil and gas operations was signed by the Governor.

LAND USE adopted in 1975 Position in brief: Support state land use planning that recognizes land as a resource as well as a commodity. The state should establish guidelines and standards for land areas of more than local concern. Decisions for these areas should be made at the lowest level of government feasible, but should be subject to state review. Citizens must have a meaningful participation in land use planning and regulation.

Application--This position supports effective planning and growth management and is often used by local Leagues to address development proposals. It has had extensive application in opposing legislative and regulatory efforts to weaken the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). For example, in 2010 and 2011 we opposed several bills that would have exempted 25 projects a year from CEQA regulations. In 2012 and 2014, we opposed further attempts to weaken CEQA through maneuvering in the last days of the legislative session. This position has been a basis for League action on "smart growth" proposals. It has also been used to support improved coastal access and a strong process for California Coastal Commission review of local coastal plans.

The LWVC has supported coastal wetlands restoration and measures to fund habitat acquisition, parks, etc., through tax credits and statewide park bonds. The LWVC gave permission to the San Diego County Leagues to successfully support the restructuring of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and to oppose the construction of a toll road through San Onofre State Beach. We remained neutral on Prop 21 on the November 2010 ballot, which would have levied an $18 vehicle license fee to fund state parks and wildlife programs, as we generally do not support earmarks.

SOLID WASTE adopted in 1973 Position in brief: Support measures to ensure environmentally sound and efficient solid waste management, to reduce the generation of wastes, to encourage resource recovery, and to increase the demand for secondary materials. LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 10 Application--Lobbying for recycling and regional solutions to waste disposal come under this position.

TRANSPORTATION adopted in 1981, revised in 1985; new position in 1991

Position in brief: Support a transportation system to move people and goods that includes a variety of transportation modes, with emphasis on increased public transportation services and other viable alternatives to reduce vehicle miles traveled; is efficient, convenient, and cost effective; is safe and secure; services all segments of the population and diverse geographic needs; minimizes harmful effects on the environment; is integrated with land use; and is supported by extensive public education.

Application--In addition to its use in local League action, this position is the basis for support of legislative proposals to improve transportation planning as state officials respond to increased congestion and sprawl. It has been used with the land use, housing, and state and local finances positions to support "smart growth" proposals including transit-oriented development and passage of local sales taxes or bonds for transportation infrastructure by a simple majority, as well as our general support for smart growth principles in the state bond funding of infrastructure in 2006. We have supported several bills to authorize regional motor vehicle license fees to fund environmental mitigation or congestion management programs. Another area of League support is the funding of transportation assistance for welfare-to-work programs.

We supported the state transportation bond measure, Prop 1B, in 2006, and Prop 1A, High Speed Passenger Train bonds, in 2008. In the 2007-2008 legislative session we supported SB 375, which the governor signed, that would integrate transportation, land use and affordable housing planning within regional targets for reduction in carbon emissions from transportation sources. We also unsuccessfully supported an increase in the gas tax for the San Francisco and Los Angeles regions as a climate-protection fee. In November 2010 we remained neutral on Prop 22, which prohibits the state from taking transportation funds from local governments, but freezes in place the current dysfunctional system of local government funding.

WATER adopted in 1959, updated in 1961, 1967, 1971, and 1979 Position in brief: Support measures that promote the management and development of water resources in ways that are beneficial to the environment with emphasis on conservation and high standards of water quality that are appropriate for the intended use.

Application--Protecting water quality, comprehensive ecosystem restoration, coordination of water resource planning with land use planning, and demand-side management of water supplies are a focus of this position's use. LWVC legislative action has included support for requiring water meters in areas that have never had them before and for a Bay Area motor vehicle registration fee to fund projects that mitigate the impact of motor vehicles on water quality, habitat, and watersheds. We have also supported legislation to require consideration of flood management in general plans and a number of bills to require reporting of water use by various sectors. In 2009 the League supported SB 790, which authorized grants to promote low-impact development and stormwater management plans, and AB 1242, which would have established California policy supporting the human right to water but was vetoed by the governor.

In 2011- LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 11 2012 we supported AB 685 (Eng), the successful Human Right to Water bill that established a state policy of a right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water. The League has had representatives on the advisory committees for the Department of Water Resource's California Water Plan Updates of 2005, 2009, and 2013. In 2014, we opposed certification of the environmental documents for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. We planned to oppose the water bond measure that was removed from the November 2010 ballot and also from the November 2012 ballot. We remained neutral on Proposition 1, the replacement bond measure on the November 2014 ballot. We supported a bill that would have created a pilot project for the use of recycled water in agriculture. In addition, the Water position was used with the position on Hazardous Materials to support increased regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

SOCIAL POLICY CHILD CARE adopted in 1989 Position in brief: Support state and local policies, legislation and programs that meet the need for accessible, affordable, and quality child care. Application--The League's Working Party for Children (WPC) closely follows child care issues under the Children and Family Issues Action Policy. The LWVC has supported legislation to improve the quality of child care programs and their reimbursement rates as well as to require a plan for providing child care services for all who are income-eligible. The League has supported budget action to protect stage 3 CalWORKs child care funding, and in 2003 action on the state budget to oppose spending cuts in children and family programs was a priority. We have supported budget provisions that protect services for children and families, signing on to coalition letters to officials at the state and federal levels. This position was part of the basis for League opposition to Proposition 1D on the May 2009 ballot, which would have diverted funds from First 5 programs to the state's General Fund. In 2012 we supported AB 823 (Dickinson), a bill to establish a California Children's Coordinating Council, but the bill was vetoed.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM adopted in 2003 Position in brief: Support a statewide community college system with sufficient resources to fulfill its overall goal: to offer all Californians access to a quality higher education. Resources should be stable, accommodate all enrolling students, be fairly distributed among the college districts, and provide opportunities for long-range planning. Governance should allow greater authority within the system itself with local districts making key decisions about mission priorities to meet community needs. See the new Public Higher Education Position:

Application--Action since this position was adopted in 2003 includes our support for open access at a special session of the Community College Board of Governors. We urged the legislature to maintain sufficient resources for the community colleges to fulfill their overall mission and ensure access for all Californians to a quality higher education. In 2004 we joined in the "Missing Students March" on Sacramento in support of the colleges when an estimated 1200 courses were cut in response to state budget reductions. We supported a budget-related bill to require an annual plan for allocating the moneys for equalization of funding per full-time LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 12 equivalent student received by the districts and advocated for $80 million in 2004-2005 equalization funds. We supported bills sponsored by the Campaign for College Opportunity to renew the commitment to the 1960 Master Plan for education, call on the governor to convene a biennial summit, and provide information to families of middle- and high-school youth about accessibility and affordability of a college education. We supported the successful education bond measure, Prop 1D, in 2006. With the approval of the LWVUS, we testified in 2006 at a U.S. Department of Education hearing on financial aid proposals in the report of the Secretary's Commission on the Future of Higher Education. We urged increasing need-based student financial aid, funding that is stable over time and can support expected enrollment growth, adequate funding for student support personnel, equal funding for pre-collegiate courses, and an annual public accounting of government actions to foster educational opportunities.

Although Prop 92 on the February 2008 ballot offered constitutional status for the Community College system and promised the colleges considerable relief from budget uncertainty, the LWVC opposed this measure because it would have mandated increased spending without identifying a way to pay for it and impaired the flexibility needed for the overall state budget.

We supported SB 890, which was signed by the governor in 2008 to establish an Early Commitment to College program targeted at students in low-performing schools. It guarantees a place in the state's higher educational system to those who meet its requirements. We supported SB 1440, signed by the governor in 2010, to improve the mechanism of transfer from the community colleges to the CSU system, and SB 440, signed in 2013, to require specific actions to implement that goal.

EDUCATION: PRE-KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12 adopted in 1973, updated in 1985 and 2005 Position in brief: Support a comprehensive pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade public education system that meets the needs of each individual student; challenges all students to reach their highest potential; develops patterns of lifelong learning and responsible citizenship. Support improvements in public education, based on access with both equitable and sufficient opportunities to learn for all students. Support a system of public education funding that is adequate, flexible, equitable, reliable and sustainable; derived from a combination of revenue sources; and distributed fairly to support access and equitable opportunities for all students. Support formulating broad general guidelines at the state level, with flexibility at the local level for developing and implementing program. Application--Our 2003-2005 update study resulted in an expansion of this position and its title to acknowledge support for public pre-kindergarten education. The League often supports school bond measures on the state ballot, and this position also enables local Leagues to support local school bond and parcel tax measures.

For the May 2009 special election, the Education: PK-12 position was part of the basis for League opposition to Prop 1A, restrictions on the state budget process, and Prop 1C, lottery-based borrowing; the LWVC remained neutral on Prop 1B, education funding/payment plan. This position was also part of the basis for League support of Prop 25, which established a simple majority vote requirement for the state budget in the November 2010 election. LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 13

In 2008, which was supposed to be the "Year of Education" but was not because of state budget shortfalls, our work in the legislature addressed high school graduation/dropout rates, improved pupil data collection, civic education and multicultural curriculum.

The expansion of the education position enabled the League to become one of four primary partners in the School Finance Exploration Partnership (SFEP) project, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Our SFEP work included the distribution of a "Give Our School the Tools to Succeed" community engagement toolkit to all local Leagues, along with supportive funding to targeted local Leagues for regional community engagement activities. The expansion of the education position to include early childhood education provided the basis for our support of bills to consolidate state preschool programs and establish an advisory committee to develop a plan for an Early Learning Quality Improvement System. In 2013-2014 we supported SB 837 and SB 1123 to provide quality standards and access to early childhood education and transitional kindergarten for all California's children. However, those issues were ultimately dealt with in the state budget process.

During 2009-2010, the League worked with other organizations to advocate for an improved statewide student data system, supporting SB 19 and SB 1357, which were signed by the governor. We continue to be involved in discussions about the development of a statewide data system. We have also advocated for including the ability to track and generate reports on chronic absences (not just truancies) in CALPADS, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, as part of our high school graduation/dropout prevention work. In 2014, we joined with other education partners in supporting the Attorney General's bill package dealing with truancy and chronic absence. Parts of the package were passed and signed by the governor. The parts that were not adopted provided the basis for expanding knowledge and understanding of how these issues relate to student achievement and the work to close the achievement gap.

From 2011 through 2014 we supported efforts to review and analyze alternative formulas for allocating funds to public schools in California. In 2013-2014, as part of a coalition, we sent several letters to the legislature supporting the new school funding formula (Local Control Funding Formula--LCFF) and to the State Board of Education supporting their work on the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) template and suggesting specific modifications to strengthen accountability and transparency in the LCAP reporting.

The League cofounded and continues to have a representative on the board of directors of EdSource, an education policy informational organization.

HOUSING adopted in 1970, updated in 1973 and 1993 Position in brief: Support of equal opportunity in housing. Support of measures to provide state programs to increase the supply of safe, decent, and adequate housing for all Californians. Support for action at all levels of government for the provision of affordable housing for all Californians.

Application--The League has used this position to work for affordable housing and sustainable development in our communities. In the 2007-2008 legislative session we supported SB 375, which the governor signed, that would integrate transportation, land use and affordable housing planning within regional targets for reduction in carbon emissions from transportation sources. In 2012, we supported a bill that protected affordable housing funds as redevelopment agencies LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 14 were dismantled. We supported bills in the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 sessions that would have created a permanent source of funding for affordable housing and that would have clarified that local jurisdictions have the authority to require inclusionary zoning. Local League action based on this position can address housing decisions made by local governments.

JUVENILE JUSTICE/DEPENDENCY adopted in 1997 and 1999, amended in 2011 Position in brief: Support a juvenile justice/dependency system that works to prevent child abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquency, that serves foster children and their families and status offenders, and that rehabilitates juvenile offenders, by promoting the safety and well-being of children and helping to prepare them for productive participation in society. Support early identification of at-risk children and families followed by appropriate referrals to services that work with children, youth, families and schools. Support community efforts to provide safe supportive environments for children and their families and institutions that respect them and promote non-violent solutions to problems. Support the rights and best interests of the child in preference to those of any other individual.

Application--We continue to monitor legislation on prevention, early intervention, community-based programs, and a juvenile justice system that balances rehabilitation, accountability, and protection of the community. We have supported full funding for the Juvenile Crime Prevention Program and bills to restructure the youthful offender parole system, tighten procedures under which a minor can be detained in an adult facility, and protect the rights of students who are questioned by peace officers at school. We are monitoring the efforts at reform of the state Division of Juvenile Justice (formerly the California Youth Authority). In other legislative action, the League opposed the phasing out of certain extended day programs, supported after school programs for teens, and encouraged mentoring programs with high standards of quality. In 2009-2010 and 2011-2012, we supported bills to allow prisoners sentenced to life without possibility of parole as juveniles to apply for resentencing, and saw that proposal signed into law by the governor in 2012. In 2013-2014, a League-supported bill was enacted to limit the use of willful defiance as a reason for suspension or expulsion from school.

The dependency aspects of our position have been used to support housing and transitional services for emancipated foster youth. We supported legislation to consider sibling relationships in foster care placements and to give support to minor parents who are in foster care. During 2007-2008 we supported several bills related to foster care children, including preference for them to have relative caregivers as guardians, retain federal and Medi-Cal benefits, and a special program for preparation and commitment to higher education. In 2009-2010 we supported AB 12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, which allows the leveraging of federal funds to expand support for foster children to age 21 and assistance to legal relative guardians. In 2013-2014, we supported a bill that ensures a social worker's visits with a foster youth will take place in the youth's foster home or group home. Primarily on the basis of this position, we unsuccessfully supported Prop 5 in November 2008, which would have required the expansion of treatment and rehabilitation for nonviolent offenders. LWVC PROGRAM PLANNING KIT 2015-2017 Summary and Use of LWVC Positions LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA * 1107 Ninth Street * Suite 300 * Sacramento, CA 95814 916-442-7215/FAX 916-442-7362 * E-mail: * Web site: 15 LEGAL AID adopted in 1971, revised in 1983 Position in brief: Support measures that will enable the judicial system of the state to provide for all citizens adequate access to legal services. Application--We have not used the Legal Aid position for action recently, as fewer legal services are offered in California. We will continue to monitor with this position in mind.

MENTAL HEALTH CARE adopted in 1998 Position in brief: Support for an adequately funded mental health care system that provides comprehensive services to the acutely, chronically and seriously mentally ill of all ages; maintains optimal mental health services for all clients places emphasis on meeting the needs of children; offers mental health services for the homeless; seeks additional funds for preventive services; implements a master plan to integrate services; raises awareness of critical unmet needs; and emphasizes case management. Application--The LWVC has supported legislation requiring coverage of mental illnesses on the same level as other illnesses. This position has also been used to promote comprehensive programs for mentally ill persons who are homeless, recently incarcerated, or at risk for either of those conditions. More recently, the League supported legislation to establish a grant program for counties to develop mental health plans for children. The LWVUS health care position supporting access to a basic level of affordable, quality health care, including mental health care, is used in conjunction with this LWVC position.

The LWVC took a neutral stand on Prop 63, the Mental Health Services Act passed in November 2005, because of the conflict between support for an adequately funded mental health care system and opposition to earmarking of funds under our State and Local Finances position, as well as long-term League support for reinstating top personal income tax rates as a source of general fund, rather than special fund, revenue. The League opposed Prop 1E in May 2009, which would have diverted Prop 63 monies to the state General Fund and might have even resulted in the loss of federal matching funds. Prop 63 is one of a number of developments in California's mental health system, beginning with the realignment of social service responsibilities between state and local governments in 1991, that are not recognized by the LWVC mental health position.