Earlier this week, union front group Mi Familia Vota, which claims to want to increase the Latino community in the civic engagement, sent a letter to its members imploring them to write their legislators to oppose H.B. 1057. This bill would require financial impact statements attached to ballot initiatives, which is a responsible idea and better informs voters about what they are voting for (or against). It’s puzzling that an organization that claims to want to increase engagement in the process would oppose a bill that better informs voters.
Unless that organization is entirely corrupted by union members. (It is.)
Here’s the rationale given by Mi Familia Vota:
“For instance, a ballot question asking voters to fund all-day kindergarten for every Colorado child would have an up-front cost but also a long-term payoff. Only the up-front cost would be required on the petition, not the long-term benefit. Is that the whole picture?”
This free full-day kindergarten idea is a mantra that has been pushed by teachers unions for years because it creates more full-time teaching positions and, thus, more potential union members.
This is an odd example to use as studies have shown that full-day kindergarten is not effective, and some studies actually show that it’s detrimental. So, when Mi Familia Vota writes that this program “would have an up-front cost, but also a long-term payoff”, it’s entirely unclear from where this organization sources its information – perhaps they simply made it up. And, yes, voters should know how much something costs before they “buy” it via their vote, just as shoppers should know how much something costs before they receive their credit card statement.
If Mi Familia Vota is committed to engaging more people in the political and policy process, a positive start would be to give them the information they need to make decisions that best meet their needs.