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November 8, 2016

November 8, 2016 | News Releases on

Heritage Experts React to State Ballot Initiatives

Often leading indicators of trends, state ballot initiatives this U.S. election have touched on critical economic and social issues. And analysts from The Heritage Foundation have highlighted how the following initiatives will impact broader public policy:

Physician-Assisted Suicide in Colorado
"This is disappointing for Colorado because physician-assisted suicide corrupts the practice of medicine and compromises the doctor-patient relationship. These laws create profound risks for the weak, the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the marginalized. We should respond to human suffering with compassion that focuses on appropriate hospice and psychiatric care and human presence. But intentional killing should not be an option."—Melanie Israel

Soda Taxes in Albany, Oakland, San Francisco, and Boulder
“These new taxes are a dangerous idea that clearly show the willingness of some people to trample on the rights of others. These taxes legitimize the government’s ability to make personal dietary decisions for us and it’s a shame that most voters didn’t recognize that.  It should be noted though that these taxes were passed in far-left communities, and while there’s certainly a concern that these taxes could spread, nobody should confuse San Francisco and Boulder with most American cities.”—Daren Bakst

Single-Payer Health Care in Colorado
"Special interest groups sold the single-payer system as simple. You pay the state big taxes, and the state bestows health benefits. But government-run health care is never that simple. It always disrupts the coverage and the care that you have today. So Coloradoans said no to both political control of their health benefits and the huge costs that it would entail.”—Robert Moffit

Minimum Wage Hikes in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington
“Advocates claim minimum wage increases will help low-income workers. Unfortunately, solving economic problems is not as simple as forcing businesses to pay higher starting wages. Instead of helping, these hikes will make it more difficult for less skilled workers to find work and gain experience, while increasing the cost of living.”—James Sherk

Charter School Initiative in Massachusetts
"It's unfortunate that all Massachusetts students will not have the opportunity to chose charter schools due to an arbitrary cap that will remain in place for the time being. Students only get one chance at their K-12 education, and for many, this means waiting in schools that may not work for them. Sadly, teachers unions and special interests won out."—Lindsey Burke

Multi-Lingual School Education in California
“This is another attempt to create an America split culturally and linguistically. Whether it was the intent of the organizers or not, what results from such divisions is a country that lacks national unity and cohesion—which are much needed in constitutional republics. Immigrant children will be put at a disadvantage if they end up lacking the English-languages skills they need to succeed.”—Mike Gonzalez

Right-to-Work in South Dakota and Virginia
VA: “The ballot description was confusingly worded. Many voters had no idea what it meant and understandably voted ‘no’ on a proposal they did not understand. Had the description simply explained voting yes meant workers could not be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment it would have passed overwhelmingly.”
SD: “The proposition is pretty simple; workers should not be forced to pay union dues in order to hold their job. Opposition to right-to-work laws comes mainly from union executives. They want to continue forcing workers to pay their salaries and support a political lobbying effort that overwhelmingly favors liberal causes that have very little to do with improving the life of the average union member.”—James Sherk

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Marguerite Bowling Senior Communications Manager
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