Propositions on the Ballot

Propositions on the Ballot

 

The election is less than two weeks away. Even though Measure L1 and M1 is getting most of the attention, there are others important propositions voters should be aware of.  Here is a list of propositions that will be voted on during the election.

Proposition 51: School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities

Summary: Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of K-12 public school facilities; charter schools and vocational education 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: The state could sell $9 billion in general obligation bonds for education facilities ($7 billion for K-12 public school facilities and $2 billion for community college facilities)

A “no” vote on this measure means: the state would not have the authority to sell new general obligations bonds for K-12 public school and community college facilities.

Proposition 52: Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Summary: Extends indefinitely and 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: An existing charge imposed on most private hospitals this is scheduled to end on January 1, 2018 under current law would be extended permanently. It would be harder for the Legislature to make changes to it. Revenue raised would be used to create state savings, increase payments for hospital services to low-income Californians, and provide grants to public hospitals.

A “no” vote on this measure means: An existing charge imposed on hospitals would end on January 1, 2018 unless additional action by the Legislature extended it.

Proposition 53: Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Summary: 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 requirements.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: State revenue bonds totaling more than $2 billion for a project that is funded, owned, or managed by the state would require statewide voter approval.

A “no” vote on this measure means: State Revenue bonds could continue to be used without voter approval.

Proposition 54: Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Summary: 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 about $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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: Any bill (including changes to the bill) would have to be available to legislators and posted on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the Legislature could pass it. The Legislature would have to ensure that its public meetings are recorded and make videos of those meetings available on the Internet.

A “no” vote on this measure means: Rules and duties of the Legislature would not change.

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

Summary: Extends by 12 years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings over $250,000, with revenue 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: Income tax increases on high-income taxpayers, which are scheduled to end after 2018, would instead be extended through 2030.

A “no” vote on this measure means: Income tax increases on high-income taxpayers would expire as scheduled at the end of 2018.

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

Summary: 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: State excise tax on cigarettes would increase by $2 per pack – from 87 cents to $2.87. State excise tax on other tobacco products would increase to a similar amount. State excise tax also would be applied to electronic cigarettes. Revenue from these higher taxes would be used for many purposes, but primarily to augment spending on health care for low-income Californians.

A “no” vote on this measure means: No changes would be made to existing state taxes on cigarettes, other tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes.

Proposition 57: Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Summary: 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 an 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: Certain state prison inmates convicted of nonviolent felony offences would be considered for release earlier than otherwise. The state prison system could award additional sentencing credits to inmates for good behavior and approved rehabilitative or educational achievements. Youths must have a hearing in juvenile court before they could be transferred to adult court.

A “no” vote on this measure means: There would be no change to the inmate release process. The state’s prison system could not award additional sentencing credits to inmates. Certain youths could continue being tried in adult court without a hearing in juvenile court.

Proposition 58: English Proficiency. Multilingual Education. Initiative Statute.

Summary: 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 governments.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: Public Schools could more easily choose how to teach English learners, whether in English-only, bilingual, or other types of programs.

A “no” vote on this measure means: Public schools would still be required to teach most English learners in English-only programs.

Proposition 59: Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections. Legislative Advisory Question.

Summary: Asks whether California’s elected officials should use their authority to propose and ratify and 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 it clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings?

A “yes” vote on this measure means: Voters would be asking their elected officials to use their constitutional authority to seek increased regulation of campaign spending and contributions. As an advisory measure, Proposition 59 does not require any particular action by the Congress or California Legislature.

A “no” vote on this measure means: Voters would not be asking their elected officials top seek certain changes in the regulation of campaign spending and contributions.

Proposition 60: Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.

Summary: 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: There would be additional workplace health and safety requirements placed on adult film productions in California and additional ways to enforce those requirements.

A “no” vote on this measure means: Adult film productions in California would continue to be subject to current state and local workplace health and safety requirements, including the rules now interpreted to require condom use in adult film productions.

Proposition 61: State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute.

Summary: Prohibits state form 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: State agencies would generally be prohibited from paying more for any prescription drug than the lowest price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the same drug.

A “no” vote on this measure means: State agencies would continue to be able to negotiate the prices of, and pay for, prescription drugs without reference to the prices paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Proposition 62: Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.

Summary: 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: No offenders could be sentenced to death by the state for first degree murder. The most serious penalty available would be prison term of life without the possibility of parole. Offenders who are currently under a sentence of death would be resentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

A “no” vote on this measure means: Certain offenders convicted for first degree murder could continue to be sentenced to death. There would be no change for offenders currently under a sentence of death.

Proposition 63: Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute.

Summary: 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: A new court process would be created for the removal of firearms from individuals upon conviction of certain crimes. New requirements related to the selling or purchasing of ammunition would be implemented.

A “no” vote on this measure means: no new firearm- or ammunition-related requirements would be implemented.

Proposition 64: Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.

Summary: 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: Adults 21 years of age or older could legally grow, possess and use marijuana for nonmedical purposes with certain restrictions. The state would regulate nonmedical marijuana businesses and tax the growing and selling of medical and nonmedical marijuana. Most of the revenue from such taxes would support youth programs, environmental protection, and law enforcement.

A “no” vote on this measure means: Growing, possessing, or using marijuana fir nonmedical purposes would remain illegal. It would still be legal to grow, possess, or use marijuana for medical purposes.

Proposition 65: Carryout Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute.

Summary: 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: If state law (1) prohibits giving customers certain carryout bags for free and (2) requires a charge for other types of carryout bags, the resulting revenue would be deposited into a new state fund to support certain environmental programs.

A “no” vote on this measure means: If charges on carryout bags are required by state law, that law could direct the use of the resulting revenue toward any purpose.

Proposition 66: Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute.

Summary: 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: Court procedures for legal challenges to death sentences would be subject to various changes, such as time limits on those challenges and revised rules to increase the number of attorneys for those challenges. Condemned inmates could be housed at any state prison.

A “no” vote on this measure means: There would be no changes to the state’s current court procedures for legal challenges to death sentences. The state would still be limited to housing condemned inmates only at certain state prisons.

Proposition 67: Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum.

Summary: 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.

A “yes” vote on this measure means: Most grocery stores, convenience stores, large pharmacies, and liquor stores would be prohibited from providing single use plastic carry out bags. Stores generally would be required to charge at least 10 cents for any other carryout bag provided to customers at checkout. Stores would keep the resulting revenue for specified purposes.

A “no” on this measure means: Stores could continue to provide single-use plastic carryout bags and other bags free of charge unless a local law restricts the use of such bags.