FROM Lynda Gledhill
Props 1A and 1B: Big Money for Transportation? Governor Schwarzenegger spent last week signing bills with George Clooney by his side and Tony Blair appearing by video linkup. Today and tomorrow he'll be putting partisanship aside as he tours the state with top Democrats, advocating a package of propositions on next month's ballot. Phil Angelides won't be going along, even though he backs the same measures. We look at the first two, Proposition 1A and 1B , which deal with the gasoline tax and a bond issue worth $20 billion--all for roads, freeways and public transit. It would be the biggest transportation investment in 50 years.
Proposition 86: Should Smokers Save ER's and Provide Healthcare for Children? Proposition 86 would triple the cigarette tax, from 87¢ to $3.47 a pack, bringing the total cost for a cigarette pack to about $6.60. The estimated $2.1 billion raised every year would give health insurance to kids who don't have it and reimburse emergency rooms for serving the uninsured. Most of the $50 million raised to fight Prop 86 comes from the tobacco companies. There's $13 million against it, mostly from hospitals. Would Prop 86 make California a healthier state? Is it fair to smokers? Would it encourage cigarette smuggling by criminal gangs?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?