California Ballot Propositions – 2016

California Ballot Propositions – 2016


Prop 51,_Public_School_Facility_Bonds_(2016)

·       $9 billion bond for school construction

·       Support: most state politicians and both political parties and developers and builders, most school organizations, business and labor  

o   Helps renovate schools and community colleges

·       Oppose: Gov. Brown and nearly every major newspaper in the state

o   Should be better targeted to those schools that really need the help. This helps the local schools that could readily fund their renovations with local school bonds which is the better and more accountable way to fund needed school repairs


 Prop 52,_Voter_Approval_to_Divert_Hospital_Fee_Revenue_Dedicated_to_Medi-Cal_(2016)

·       Constitutional amendment that locks in the Medi-Cal hospital fee of $4.6 billion, prevents the legislature from diverting funding absent a 2/3rds vote of the legislature

·       Support: the California Hospital Association and virtually every major health organization, both political parties, business, labor and many elected officials

·       Oppose: SEIU-UHW who argues there is no accountability for the funds being received.


Prop 53,_Voter_Approval_Requirement_for_Revenue_Bonds_above_$2_Billion_(2016)

·       Constitutional amendment to require voter approval for revenue bonds above $2 billion.

·       Revenue bonds are, for example, to build a bridge or toll road where the bonds will be repaid by those using the bridge or toll road

·       Support: the Cortopassi family, some taxpayer foundations and the California Republican party

·       Oppose: Governor Brown, business, labor, water districts, infrastructure and health care organizations. Most major newspapers

·       This might be a Trojan Horse to block the Delta water tunnel and the new high speed rail projects


Prop 54,_Public_Display_of_Legislative_Bills_Prior_to_Vote_(2016)

·       Requires legislation to be in print for 72 hours before it is voted on and requires audio-visual recording and record keeping of all legislative proceedings.

·       Support: Charles Munger Jr., the Republican Party and a vast number of advocacy organizations, ranging from the NAACP and Common Cause to the Howard Jarvis Assn.

·       Oppose: The Democratic Party, the California Nurses Association, California Teachers Federation and the California Labor Federation

·       Most major newspapers endorse.


Proposition 55,_Extension_of_the_Proposition_30_Income_Tax_Increase_(2016)

·       Extends for 12 years the income tax surcharges on individuals with incomes over $250,000 and families with incomes over $500,000. It raises $4 billion to $9 billion annually. These funds are dedicated to schools, Medi-Cal and the state’s rainy day fund.

·       Support: the Democratic party, Democratic elected officials and a broad array of education and health groups

·       Oppose: the Republican party, the California Chamber of Commerce and NFIB

·       Newspaper endorsements are split: the Bee and Bakersfield Californian support and the LA Times and SF Chronicle oppose. All agree that California needs to reform its tax codes to generate the revenues needed to finance government services.



Proposition 56,_Tobacco_Tax_Increase_(2016)

·       Increases the cigarette tax by $2.00 from 87¢. This will generate between $1 billion and $1.4 billion in revenues. The funds are dedicated to anti-smoking, cancer research, physician training, dental disease prevention, and health care for the low income.

·       California (87¢) has one of the lower cigarette taxes in the country. New York is $4.35; Washington state is $3; Arizona is $2, and Texas is at $1.40.  

·       Supporters: Tom Steyer, health, education, business and labor groups, Democratic Party and elected.

·       Opponents:  Tobacco industry, Republican Party and business and taxpayer groups.

·       Almost all newspapers endorse the tax increase.



Proposition 57,_Parole_for_Non-Violent_Criminals_and_Juvenile_Court_Trial_Requirements_(2016)

·       The goal is both to reduce recidivism and prison overcrowding.

·       Judges, not District Attorneys, would decide whether to try a juvenile as an adult.

·       Prisoners convicted of non-violent crimes who participate successfully in rehabilitation programs can qualify for earlier release in the discretion of prison officials, and those who have served their full sentence for their primary offense could qualify for parole.

·       The backdrop is the severe overcrowding of California prisons, leading to a finding of cruel and unusual punishment by the federal courts.

·       Supporters: Governor Brown, the Democratic Party, Newt Gingrich, the Parole Officers and the Catholic Bishops

·       Opponents: The Republican Party and Republican electeds, many District Attorneys, Deputy Sheriffs and Police Chiefs

·       Newspaper endorsements: Bakersfield Californian, LA Times, Sacramento Bee, and San Francisco Chronicle.

·       Newspaper opposition: Fresno Bee, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and San Jose Mercury News


Proposition 58,_Non-English_Languages_Allowed_in_Public_Education_(2016)

·       Prop 227 required “English Only” classes in public schools and forbade bi-lingual education; the assumption was that children would learn faster in English immersion programs. Prop 58 allows schools and parents to have bi-lingual education in their schools if enough parents want it. Children and their parents may choose English immersion and cannot be forced into bi-lingual programs; neither can they be denied the option of bi-lingual education.

·       Supporters: Democratic Party and many office holders; schools, unions and a variety of civic, educational and business organizations

·       Opponents: California Republican Party and Ron Unz. They maintain that English only education has been very successful in improving the academic performance of Latino children.

·       Newspaper endorsements: LA Times and Fresno Bee support and

·       Bakersfield Californian opposes.


Proposition 59,_Overturn_of_Citizens_United_Act_Advisory_Question_(2016)

·       Encourages California’s political leaders to seek a reversal of Citizen’s United, the Supreme Court case that held that corporations and labor unions had free speech rights under the US Constitution to spend unlimited sums in elections

·       Support: Democratic Party and electeds and interest groups

·       Oppose: Republican elected officials

·       Newspapers: Most endorse saying it's a good idea to keep sending the message that Citizens United is flooding political campaigns with unlimited corporate and union spending, but

·       Several including the LA Times point out this Proposition is advisory and a waste of time and money


Proposition 60,_Condoms_in_Pornographic_Films_(2016)

·       Requires adult film producers to equip their actors with condoms and assure they are used in sexual intercourse  scenes.

·       Sponsor and funder: AIDS Health Care Foundation

·       Opponents: Democratic Party, Republican Party, most leading LGBT organizations, AIDS Project LA, AIDS Project San Francisco

·       Newspapers: Bakersfield Californian endorses;

·       All others oppose saying its very poorly drafted and are highly critical of the initiatives sponsor


Proposition 61,_Drug_Price_Standards_(2016)

·       Requires Medi-Cal and other state health programs such as CAL-PERS to negotiate drug company prices at a rate no higher than the Veterans Administration pays

·       Sponsor and funder: AIDS Health Care Foundation

·       Support: AARP, CNA (California Nurses Association), LA Urban League

·       Oppose: Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, an array of provider groups, business, unions, veterans organizations and the Republican Party

·       Newspapers: Many oppose saying only Congress can solve the scandalous behaviors of drug companies jacking up their prices


Prop 62,_Repeal_of_the_Death_Penalty_(2016)

·       Replaces the death penalty with life in prison with no chance of parole

·       Support: Democratic Party, Public Defenders, attorneys, entertainers and several individuals who led the 1978 effort to reinstate the death penalty, civic organizations, criminal justice reform organizations, Catholic Church, unions and others

·       Oppose: Republican Party and most law enforcement organizations and victims rights groups

·       Newspapers: Virtually all concur that it is ineffective and way too costly to continue and favor life without the possibility of parole instead

·       This is linked to Prop 66. I         f both pass, the one with the most votes cancels the other out.


Prop 63,_Background_Checks_for_Ammunition_Purchases_and_Large-Capacity_Ammunition_Magazine_Ban_(2016)

·       Requires a permit to buy ammunition, a permit to sell ammunition and background checks to determine whether the individual is authorized to buy ammunition

·       Sponsor: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

·       Support: Democratic Party, many electeds, unions and law enforcement

·       Oppose: Republican Party, the NRA and other guns rights groups

·       Newspapers: Most endorse, several say that this is grandstanding by Lt. Gov. Newsom since the CA legislature has already acted on many of these issues


Prop 64,_Marijuana_Legalization_(2016)

·       This would legalize marijuana for recreational use and its cultivation. It would tax sales (15%) and cultivation ($9.25 per ounce of flowers). Local governments can also tax and regulate.

·       The funds would be used for research and education on drug use, highway safety, and drug treatment

·       Support: Democratic Party, some in law enforcement, some unions, California Medical Association, and many civic organizations, Gary Johnson and Tom Campbell

·       Oppose: Dianne Feinstein, Republican Party, many in law enforcement, California Hospital Association  

·       Newspapers: Most endorse saying its well-crafted and about time.  

·       Bakersfield Californian, Sacramento and Fresno Bee oppose saying “its too soon”.


Prop 65,_Dedication_of_Revenue_from_Disposable_Bag_Sales_to_Wildlife_Conservation_Fund_(2016)

·       This would allocate the funds collected by grocers for paper sbags to the Wildlife Conservation Board.

·       Support: The American Bag Alliance and the Republican Party

·       Oppose: The Surfrider Foundation, Californians against Waste

·       Newspapers: All oppose as a confusing and deceptive ploy by the plastic bag industry. They recommend no on 65 and yes on 67


Prop 66,_Death_Penalty_Procedures_(2016)

·       This is the law enforcement counter to Prop 62 that would repeal the death penalty. This is intended to speed up its procedures in the following ways: habeas corpus petitions are heard by the initial trial judge, time limits are imposed for appeals and experienced appellate attorneys not specialized in death penalty cases are appointed to represent the accused.

·       Support: The Republican Party, most law enforcement and victim’s rights groups.

·       Oppose: Democratic Party, Public Defenders, attorneys, entertainers and several individuals who led the 1978 effort to reinstate the death penalty, civic organizations, criminal justice reform organizations, Catholic Church, unions and others

·       Newspapers: All oppose even those who were opposed to Prop 62 saying this takes the experienced public defenders off these capital cases, speeds up and shortens review processes in ways that may result in innocents being executed.

·       This is linked to Prop 62. If both pass, the one with the most votes cancels the other out.


Prop 67,_Plastic_Bag_Ban_Veto_Referendum_(2016)

·       This is a referendum initiated by the plastic bag industry to overturn the state’s legislation to end plastic bags in grocery stores.

·       A yes vote means the legislation is upheld and a no vote means the legislation is repealed.

·        The legislation banned single use plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies and required recycled paper bags for which the merchants charge 10¢.

·       Sponsors: The American Bag Alliance and the Republican Party are asking for a no vote

·       Opposition: The Democratic Party and a host of environmental and civic groups are asking for a yes vote upholding the legislation.

·       Newspapers: All support the legislation and ask for a yes vote, except the Orange County Register.


Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin

Date: 10/8/16

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