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Learning Goal: I’m working on a policy writing question and need guidance to help me learn.Instructions:Your mission from the position of an assigned stakeholder, is to complete a four-page (1500-word) analysis of a previously proposed initiative to establish a public health fund enacting dedicated statewide tax. Although the initiative did not qualify, for reasons you will find, the policy, politics and background provide an exemplary example of the overall process. The analysis will be conducted from the standpoint of an assigned stakeholder and will produce a summary of testimony to be presented in a mock legislative hearing. 1855. (18-0004A1) Establishes Public Health Fund by Enacting Dedicated Statewide Tax on Distribution of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. Summary Date: 09/06/18 | Circulation Deadline: 03/04/19 | Signatures Required: 585,407
Proponents: Dustin Corcoran, Carrie Gordon. Creates a fund for public health programs to prevent, treat, and research obesity, diabetes, dental diseases, and other diseases linked to sugar-sweetened beverages, and to increase access to healthy food and drinks. Enacts a dedicated statewide tax on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages ($0.02 per fluid ounce). Exempts specified beverages from tax—including milk, juice, infant formula, medical beverages, and low-sugar drinks. Requires audit of fund expenditures. Amends Constitution to allow new local taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state revenues starting in 2021–2022. Annual revenues would be roughly $2 billion to $3 billion by 2022–2023. The measure designates these revenues for healthcare; disease prevention; disease research; and access to fruit, vegetables, and water. (18-0004)Recent revisions to the initiative process (SB 1253, Steinberg) require the Legislature to conduct joint committee hearings on an initiative measure after it attains this 25 percent signature threshold, and to conduct these hearings at least 131 days prior to the election. You will be assigned the role of one of the participants in the expected legislative hearings (a committee member, supporter, or opponent), and will produce a briefing document from this perspective. The briefing document should follow this format:
Summary (~1 paragraph—write this last). This should provide a concise synopsis of the analysis.
Issue Overview (~ 1 page). This overview briefly describes current law and the main provisions of the proposed initiative.
Position Statement (~ 2 pages) This statement constitutes the analytic body of the statement. It describes why the stakeholder is taking the position, with focus on the likely policy impacts of interest to that particular stakeholder. It also may dispute claims made by other stakeholders. It should be written using a neutral and professional tone and should base the argument on factual analysis. NOTE: One member of the class will be assigned to represent the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and will not take a position, but rather provide a non-partisan policy analysis that emphasizes fiscal effects.
To get an idea of the types of points to make, read Detwiler, “An Approach to Analysis” located in the Instructional Materials for Week 4. Retain analytic integrity in a compelling analytic argument that advances the position of the assigned stakeholder.
Role Assignments:Joint Hearing Members/Invited Speakers Senator Richard Roth (Dem), Chair, Senate Committee on Business, Professions & Economic Development https://sd31.senate.ca.gov/
Senator Melissa Melendez (Rep), Member, Senate Committee on Governmental Organization https://melendez.cssrc.us/
Senator Melissa Hurtado, (Dem), Member, Senate Health Committee https://sd14.senate.ca.gov
Keely Martin Bosler, Director, California Department of Finance (Governor’s Office, will examine effects to state budget) https://www.dof.ca.gov/About_Us/Executive_Staff/Keely_Bosler/
Gabriel Petek, Legislative Analyst, California Legislative Analyst’s Office, (nonpartisan analysis that stresses fiscal effects) https://lao.ca.gov
Dustin Corcoran, Chief Executive Officer, California Medical Association (Co-Sponsor) https://www.cmadocs.org/staff/dustin-corcoran
Carrie Gordon, Chief Strategy Officer, California Dental Association (Co-Sponsor) http://capitolweekly.net/carrie-gordon/
Patricia Rucker, Legislative Advocate, California Teachers Association (Support) www.cta.org
Fredericka McGee, Vice President Government Affairs, American Beverage Association (Opposition) https://www.americanbeverage.org/initiatives-advocacy/
Leticia Garcia, Legislative Advocate, California Grocers Association (Opposition) www.cagrocers.com
Scott Kaufman, Legislative Advocate, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (Opposition) www.hjta.org
If you are not happy with your role, you may engage in Pareto-improving voluntary role trades, which means that you need to seek a voluntary exchange with another class member. Grading: The issue analysis is worth up to 100 points, with points each for the following:Analysis. (Do you identify and address key points on policy impact?) (40)
Research. (How well do you dig up and employ key facts on a complex issue?) Please note that you should not simply use facts that are advanced by other analysts or in news articles. Go to the source. (20)
Writing mechanics and style. (Is the analysis crisply and professionally written and free of errors?) (20)
Argumentation. (Is the analysis structurally logical both within paragraphs and across the sections?) (20)
IMPORTANT: Feel free to debate the issue with your classmates, but develop an analysis that represents your individual judgment. The memo must be sole-authored and meet USC standards of academic integrity. This means that all sources must be cited appropriately using APA format; please use endnotes.Background Sources:Find the Attorney General’s summary and text of the initiative measure at the Secretary of State website, here:http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/in…
Statewide Initiative Guide
Laws governing the initiative process in California – Ballotpedia: https://ballotpedia.org/Laws_governing_the_initiative_process_in_California
Initiative No. 18-0004-Amendments The California Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act of 2020 (PDF)
Healthcare groups want California voters to tax soda
California bows to beverage industry, blocks soda taxes
California prepares for a new war over soda taxes – and it could spill over into the 2020 election
California dental, medical associations want voters to decide soda tax in 2020