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October 20, 2016

California Propositions — November 2016 — FAQ

For my thoughts on all of the California statewide propositions and Los Angeles County measures being voted on in a couple of weeks, click any proposition below:

Statewide propositions

Prop 51 — $9 Billion General Obligation Bonds for schools and community colleges

No. Funding is awarded on a first-come/first-served basis, so those with the resources to get applications submitted for projects get the bulk of the funds. But the poorest schools, which are most in need of these funds, do not have the resources to get applications approved ahead of wealthy schools. If there were a way to ensure that the schools most in need of the funds would be the first to get funds then this might be a positive measure.

Prop 52 — Extends existing fees on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal


Prop 53 — Mandate voter approval for Revenue Bonds over $2 Billion

No. Revenue bonds get paid for by the projects themselves, not state taxes. The whole state should not have to decide if a project benefiting a local community should get funded.

Prop 54 — Require Internet publication of Legislative proceedings

Yes. The more we know about the Legislature’s business, the better.

Prop 55 — Extends existing tax on income over $250,000 to fund schools

Yes. People who make over $250,000 per year do not need a tax cut right now.

Prop 56 — Raise cigarette tax from $0.87 per pack to $2.87 per pack

Yes. Raise funds to help smokers pay for their own healthcare. Tobacco companies oppose.

Prop 57 — Allow parole for non-violent felons. Also specifies that Juvenile Court judges will decide if juveniles get tried as adults

Yes. We need to incarcerate fewer non-violent offenders. This might help alleviate the racial disparity in state prisons. Also, juvenile court judges should be the best-equipped to decide if a juvenile should be charged as an adult.

Prop 58 — Allow dual-language immersion programs in schools

Unsure. I do not profess any expertise in the teaching of English to English-learners. I wish this were up to experts (and not up to us voters).

Prop 59 — Requests legislature to oppose Citizens United decision

No. This proposal does absolutely nothing real. Regardless of my position on Citizens United, this proposal is a waste of time that does nothing other than to ask the legislature to oppose a US Supreme Court decision; it does not enact any laws at all.

Prop 60 — Require condoms statewide for porn shoots

No. Is this a problem?

Prop 61 — Prohibit State from paying more for drugs than the Veterans Administration pays.

Yes. One step towards decreasing the prices of drugs.

Prop 62 — End death penalty in State. Replace with life-without-parole

Yes. Either you are in favor of the death penalty, or you are opposed. I am opposed. We could argue endlessly about the moral right to end people’s lives, but I am definitely not comfortable with the possibility of putting an innocent person to death.

Prop 63 — Require background checks to purchase ammunition

Unsure. There are a few good things in the proposition.

Prop 64 — Legalize recreational use of marijuana

Yes. Marijuana is nearly legal in California with how easily people get medical-marijuana cards. But, then again, I do not have children, so the scare-ads do not scare me as much as they might others.

Prop 65 — Require all $0.10 grocery bag fees (if any) to go to State

No. Why add another bookkeeping task to what grocers already have to do … just to make the state a measly 10¢?

Prop 66 — Speed up death penalty. Pays for more lawyers to expedite proceedings

No. I oppose the death penalty, so I definitely oppose making it go faster.

Prop 67 — Prohibit single-use plastic grocery bags statewide

Yes. I am happy not to see nearly so many plastic bags floating around on local streets, but I am always surprised that they still show up in other areas. And I do not see many people or businesses losing money locally.

Los Angeles County Measures

Measure A — Increase property tax by 1.5¢ per square foot (for parks, beaches, and rivers)

Yes. Sure. I will pay an extra $15 per year to help maintain the parks that I use.

Measure M — Increase sales tax by ½¢ per dollar (for Metro projects)

Yes. I ride public transport, and I will ride even more if there are trains, subways, and buses running close to the same time as cars (and sometimes faster).

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