California State-wide Propositions 2016

Yes, it’s time again for Californians to wade through the mess of our direct democracy. This year we have seventeen state-wide propositions. I’m still reading up on a lot of these, but I’ve compiled the list and what the major parties and newspapers endorse. I’m interested in hearing other thoughts on these. While only we Californians have skin in this game, everyone is welcome.

Titles and summaries of each proposition are directly from the Secretary of State (and in the public domain).

51 School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute.
Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of K–12 public school facilities; charter schools and vocational education facilities; and California Community Colleges facilities. Fiscal Impact: State costs of about $17.6 billion to pay off both the principal ($9 billion) and interest ($8.6 billion) on the bonds. Payments of about $500 million per year for 35 years.
Democratic:YES, Republican:YES, LA Times:NO, SF Chronicle:YES

52 Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Extends indefinitely an existing statute that imposes fees on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal health care services, care for uninsured patients, and children’s health coverage. Fiscal Impact: Uncertain fiscal effect, ranging from relatively little impact to annual state General Fund savings of around $1 billion and increased funding for public hospitals in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Democratic:YES, Republican:YES, LA Times:YES, SF Chronicle:YES

53 Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Requires statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds can be issued or sold by the state for certain projects if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion. Fiscal Impact: State and local fiscal effects are unknown and would depend on which projects are affected by the measure and what actions government agencies and voters take in response to the measure’s voting requirement.
Democratic:NO, Republican:YES, LA Times:NO, SF Chronicle:NO

54 Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Prohibits Legislature from passing any bill unless published on Internet for 72 hours before vote. Requires Legislature to record its proceedings and post on Internet. Authorizes use of recordings. Fiscal Impact: One-time costs of $1 million to $2 million and ongoing costs of about $1 million annually to record legislative meetings and make videos of those meetings available on the Internet.
Democratic:NO, Republican:YES, LA Times:YES, SF Chronicle:YES

55 Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Extends by twelve years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings over $250,000, with revenues allocated to K–12 schools, California Community Colleges, and, in certain years, healthcare. Fiscal Impact: Increased state revenues—$4 billion to $9 billion annually from 2019–2030—depending on economy and stock market. Increased funding for schools, community colleges, health care for low–income people, budget reserves, and debt payments.
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, LA Times:NO, SF Chronicle:NO

56 Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. Fiscal Impact: Additional net state revenue of $1 billion to $1.4 billion in 2017–18, with potentially lower revenues in future years. Revenues would be used primarily to augment spending on health care for low–income Californians.
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, SF Chronicle:YES

57 Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Allows parole consideration for nonviolent felons. Authorizes sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, and education. Provides juvenile court judge decides whether juvenile will be prosecuted as adult. Fiscal Impact: Net state savings likely in the tens of millions of dollars annually, depending on implementation. Net county costs of likely a few million dollars annually.
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, LA Times:YES, SF Chronicle:YES

58 English Proficiency. Multilingual Education. Initiative Statute.
Preserves requirement that public schools ensure students obtain English language proficiency. Requires school districts to solicit parent/community input in developing language acquisition programs. Requires instruction to ensure English acquisition as rapidly and effectively as possible. Authorizes school districts to establish dual–language immersion programs for both native and non–native English speakers. Fiscal Impact: No notable fiscal effect on school districts or state government.
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, SF Chronicle:YES

59 Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections. Legislative Advisory Question.
Asks whether California’s elected officials should use their authority to propose and ratify an amendment to the federal Constitution overturning the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Citizens United ruled that laws placing certain limits on political spending by corporations and unions are unconstitutional. Fiscal Impact: No direct fiscal effect on state or local governments.
Shall California’s elected officials use all of their constitutional authority, including, but not limited to, proposing and ratifying one or more amendments to the United States Constitution, to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) 558 U.S. 310, and other applicable judicial precedents, to allow the full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another, and to make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings?
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, SF Chronicle:YES

60 Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.
Requires adult film performers to use condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. Requires producers to pay for performer vaccinations, testing, and medical examinations. Requires producers to post condom requirement at film sites. Fiscal Impact: Likely reduction of state and local tax revenues of several million dollars annually. Increased state spending that could exceed $1 million annually on regulation, partially offset by new fees.
Democratic:NO, Republican:NO, LA Times:NO, SF Chronicle:NO

61 State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute.
Prohibits state from buying any prescription drug from a drug manufacturer at price over lowest price paid for the drug by United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Exempts managed care programs funded through Medi–Cal. Fiscal Impact: Potential for state savings of an unknown amount depending on (1) how the measure’s implementation challenges are addressed and (2) the responses of drug manufacturers regarding the provision and pricing of their drugs.
Democratic:undecided, Republican:NO, LA Times:NO

62 Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.
Repeals death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to existing death sentences. Increases the portion of life inmates’ wages that may be applied to victim restitution. Fiscal Impact: Net ongoing reduction in state and county criminal justice costs of around $150 million annually within a few years, although the impact could vary by tens of millions of dollars depending on various factors.
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, LA Times:YES, SF Chronicle:YES

63 Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute.
Requires background check and Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition. Prohibits possession of large–capacity ammunition magazines. Establishes procedures for enforcing laws prohibiting firearm possession by specified persons. Requires Department of Justice’s participation in federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Fiscal Impact: Increased state and local court and law enforcement costs, potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually, related to a new court process for removing firearms from prohibited persons after they are convicted.
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, LA Times:YES, SF Chronicle:YES

64 Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.
Legalizes marijuana under state law, for use by adults 21 or older. Imposes state taxes on sales and cultivation. Provides for industry licensing and establishes standards for marijuana products. Allows local regulation and taxation. Fiscal Impact: Additional tax revenues ranging from high hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually, mostly dedicated to specific purposes. Reduced criminal justice costs of tens of millions of dollars annually.
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, LA Times:YES, SF Chronicle:YES

65 Carry-Out Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute.
Redirects money collected by grocery and certain other retail stores through mandated sale of carryout bags. Requires stores to deposit bag sale proceeds into a special fund to support specified environmental projects. Fiscal Impact: Potential state revenue of several tens of millions of dollars annually under certain circumstances, with the monies used to support certain environmental programs.
Democratic:undecided, Republican:YES, SF Chronicle:NO

66 Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute.
Changes procedures governing state court challenges to death sentences. Designates superior court for initial petitions and limits successive petitions. Requires appointed attorneys who take noncapital appeals to accept death penalty appeals. Exempts prison officials from existing regulation process for developing execution methods. Fiscal Impact: Unknown ongoing impact on state court costs for processing legal challenges to death sentences. Potential prison savings in the tens of millions of dollars annually.
Democratic:NO, Republican:YES, LA Times:NO, SF Chronicle:NO

67 Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum.
A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, a statute that prohibits grocery and other stores from providing customers single–use plastic or paper carryout bags but permits sale of recycled paper bags and reusable bags. Fiscal Impact: Relatively small fiscal effects on state and local governments, including a minor increase in state administrative costs and possible minor local government savings from reduced litter and waste management costs.
Democratic:YES, Republican:NO, SF Chronicle:YES

Cites
http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/en/propositions/
http://www.cadem.org/vote/2016-ballot-initiatives
https://www.cagop.org/ballot_measure_endorsements

I went into overload the moment they delivered the 222 page (small text) information book. I really don’t have that much interest in the measures.
I’m afraid I’ll get caught up in the “don’t know, vote no” movement.

For craps sake, having a ballot initiative requiring porn actors to wear condoms? Seriously? Waste of f’ing voter time.

Yes, I feel sorry for the mail carriers who had to lug those things out.

My initial thought on each.

51: strong yes, I favor infrastructure projects, especially education.
52: yes, based simply on its endorsements.
53: no, not seeing the point of this.
54: strong yes, more transparency in legislative process.
55: yes, we need to continue funding.
56: yes, we need more funding.
57: yes, based on endorsements.
58: yes, better education is better for everyone.
59: strong no, I’m not going to vote strip away mine own rights.
60: strong no, against the nanny state.
61: no, based on endorsements.
62: strong yes, I’m opposed to death penalty on religious grounds.
63: yes, doesn’t prevent people who should be able to buy guns from doing so.
64: strong yes, against the nanny state.
65: yes, no reason the bag-fee should be kept by the store.
66: no, I’m opposed to death penalty on religious grounds.
67: no, not seeing the point of a state-wide ban.

My grouchy default vote is “no” on everything to discourage the overuse of this practice. I grudgingly grit my teeth and study up sometime before Election Day. Thanks for starting this thread; it may be helpful.

I’m particularly fond of Props 65 and 67, two dueling bans on free carryout bags. Prop 65 sounds great, since it requires the 10-cent fee to go to a state fund, instead of staying in those greedy store-owners’ pocketses. Oh, but if both bills pass and 65 gets more votes, some mysterious language kicks on that ensures no ban will go into effect at all. It’s a booby-trap, baited with the promise of environmental funding.

Legislative overreach is bad enough; legislation through deception makes me want to raise an army and march on whatever law/lobbying office drafted this.

The most important one is Prop 62, which will ban the death penalty. I really hope it doesn’t get lost in the crowd. It needs to pass.

It looks so overwhelming. They coulda saved a tree or two by printing the legislative text of the propositions (the last section) even smaller - no one’s reading that stuff, are they?

I will say that I think the objective summaries by the SOS office are more clearly written than in years past.

I’m really curious who’s funding this prop AND the TV ads promoting it. Sincere workplace-safety advocates? Bluenosed moralists trying to shut down the industry?

A general question about these things. Is there some consistency in wording among them, for example, so that a “no” vote means “make no change” and a “yes” vote means “make this change”? I can imagine different propositions stated in ways that confuse voters about what a yes or no vote even means.

“Yes” always means “do what this proposition proposes to do”. And “no” is always “don’t do it”. But it can still be confusing. On Prop 62, yes means against the death penalty, while on Prop 66, yes means in favor of the death penalty.

There are lawsuits about the wording. The Secretary is supposed to be neutral on the propositions, but what is neutral can be a partisan issue. :wink:

When did you all get your information book? I haven’t seen one yet.

Yesterday, it’s what prompted the thread. You can view it online, see the first link in the OP.

Prop 54 seems weird to me. What benefit is there to posting the legislation on the internet for 72 hours? It’s a very pretty theory that it will stop legislators from “gutting and amending” bills, but that assumes anyone actually reads the damn things in the first place. Have you ever tried reading a bill? There’s so much leagalese and double-talk that it makes you go cross-eyed. I suppose there’s no real harm in posting the text of the bills, but it seems like typical government waste - which is why I was surprised to learn that it got the endorsement of the Republican and Libertarian parties.

I’m of two minds on Prop 57. Sure, it releases a bunch of people from prison who have served some time. But it doesn’t replace that punishment with anything - no mandatory rehabilitation or education, just “incentives.” And it doesn’t give much in the way of guidelines for judges in sentencing. It’s purely motivated by the desire to have less people in prison. OK, I can get behind that, but there doesn’t seem to be an alternate sentencing structure to take its place.

I’ve lost count of how many variations of Prop 64 I’ve seen in the last few elections. Seems like there’s a movement to legalize cannabis on every ballot. Maybe with the successes in Colorado and Oregon, we’ll actually see this one pass.

I’m a little confused too, especially that the Democratic Party is against. They say it’s because special interests will have time to read a bill and run attack ads against it. Yes, but everyone will have time to read the bill and speak out for or against it.

About one-quarter of the against column in the voter guide is ad hominen attacks, which undercuts their argument. The media is in favor of the proposition (of course), and so are the League of Women Voters and the NAACP. I can only figure the Democratic Party is against it because they’re the dominant party and it’ll be their legislation it mostly delays.

Until recently, it was illegal to use video footage of the legislature in advocacy pieces. This was recently litigated and enjoined, and later Brown signed a bill removing this barrier. This prop would aid in acquiring footage to educate voters on the legislative process.

This is my approach as well. Since I oppose the initiative process, I try as much as possible to vote no on everything. I allow myself one frivolous yes vote for something I personally support. This year it might be a plastic bag thing, if I can figure out which one. I’m in San Francisco, so I’ve already gotten used to carrying my lunch around in my hands.

Speaking of San Francisco, we have 25 ballot measures in addition to the state measures. My one frivolous yes vote will probably be for the soda tax, just because the opponents’ advertising is so obnoxious.

I wonder how long the voting lines will be in San Francisco. It will probably take at least 30 minutes just to fill out the ballot.

I’m of two minds about 64. On one hand legalization should happen and it was a good thing for Colorado. On the other hand I really don’t like how the distribution is handled as a handout to the teamsters and alcohol lobby it will be required to use the existing distribution network to move product from the farms to the stores.

Distribution is the hardest part of the craft spirits industry and they have created carve-outs for wine and beer in order to help the small starts ups but spirits are still considered evil and it wasn’t until 2015 that you could sell any product directly to consumers without the distributes getting their cut. I have no doubt that this will happen on the weed side and it will kill small business start up and basically turn the industry into large businesses over night.

I’m also concerned that California’s legislation will effect the national laws either by being the model that is copied by most states or actually being enacted into national legislation. I look at how the little guys were systematically driven out of business after prohibition and how long its taken the country to get its small producers back and I’m worried that this law will be the first step on the road for weed.

Thanks! Maybe mine will come today.

I have a daughter that is eligible to vote for the first time this year and I want her to have a grasp of what’s involved.

Initial thoughts:

51 - Yes. I’m all in favor of anything that helps schools.
52 - Yes. Everybody wants this.
53 - No. Republicans are for it, so I’m against it, just on general principle. :smiley:
54 - Yes, sorta. No real opinion, but ok.
55 - Yes. See above on helping schools.
56 - Yes. Fuck cigarettes and fuck smokers.
57 - Yes. See previous re Republicans.
58 - Yes.
59 - Yes. Fuck Citizens United.
60 - No. Are you kidding me?
61 - No.
62 - Yes. The death penalty is evil.
63 - Yes. Fuck the NRA.
64 - Yes. About time, really.
65 - No. Republican, of course.
66 - No. See above.
67 - Yes. Those things are a menace, and a ban is the most efficient way of getting rid of them.

66 does not mean voting in favor of the deathpenalty, it is a vote on how appeals procedures are handled. If they both pass, 62 will simply make 66 superfluous.

51: No. No new debt so the state could squander more money.
52: No. No new fees.
53: Yes. More barriers to increasing debt is good.
54: Yes. More transparency and slowing government is good.
55: No. Reduce revenue so state has less to squander.
56: No. Sin taxes are stupid and an abomination to personal freedom.
57: Yes. Nonviolent felons should not be a priority of the criminal justice system
58: Indifferent - probably vote no as default.
59: No. This is stupid and Citizens United was correctly decided
60: No. This is an abomination to personal freedom
61: No. Default answer - seems like it increases bureaucracy which is bad.
62: Yes. The death penalty as applied is unworkable
63: No. Confiscating millions of magazines and imposing costs and background checks to purchase ammunition is terrible.
64: Yes. All drugs should be legal.
65: No. Nanny state can die a painful death.
66: Probably No. Looks like an effort to make death penalty easier which is bad.
67: No. Bag restrictions are stupid.

51 School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute.
NO.

**53 Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.**NO

55 Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Yes.

**56 Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.**YES

**57 Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.**YES

**59 Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections. Legislative Advisory Question.**who cares?

60 Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.
NO

61 State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute.
Not sure.

62 Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.
YES

**63 Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute.**NO

64 Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.
YES

66 Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute.
NO

67 Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum.
YES