A Guide to the Propositions on California’s 2016 Ballot

By Keegan Valdez

Prop 51 – SCHOOL BONDS. FUNDING FOR K-12 SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE FACILITIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • YES: 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).
    • Lennar Homes and D.R. Horton (the two top home builders in the US) contributed $425,100 in top ten contributions.
  • NO: The state would not have the authority to sell new general obligation bonds for K-12 public school and community college facilities.
    • Governor Brown opposes Prop. 51.

 

Prop 52 – MEDI‐CAL HOSPITAL FEE PROGRAM. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

  • YES: An existing charge imposed on most private hospitals that 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.
    • Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
  • NO: An existing charge imposed on most private hospitals would end on January 1, 2018 unless additional action by the legislature extended it.

 

Prop 53 – REVENUE BONDS. STATEWIDE VOTER APPROVAL. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

  • YES: 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.
    • Top two contributors are Dean and Joan Cortopassi, who own land in Central California and oppose California Water Fix and Eco Restore, with $4,574,469.
  • NO: State revenue bonds could continue to be used without voter approval.
    • Brown for Governor 2014 largest contributor at $1.7 million

 

Prop 54 – LEGISLATURE. LEGISLATION AND PROCEEDINGS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

  • YES: Any bill (including changes to the bill) would have to be made available to legislators and posted on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the legislature can pass it. The legislature would have to ensure that its public meetings are recorded and made available to view online.
    • Requires no new tax money
  • NO: Rules and duties of the Legislature would not change.

 

Prop 55 – TAX EXTENSION TO FUND EDUCATION AND HEALTHCARE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

  • YES: Income tax increases on high-income taxpayers, which are scheduled to end after 2018, would instead be extended through 2030.
  • NO: Income tax increases on high-income taxpayers would expire as scheduled at the end of 2018.

 

Prop 56 – CIGARETTE TAX TO FUND HEALTHCARE, TOBACCO USE PREVENTION, RESEARCH AND LAW ENFORCEMENT. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

  • YES: State excise tax on cigarettes would increase from 87 cents to $2.87 per pack. State excise tax on other tobacco products would increase by 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.
    • CA Hospitals Committee on Issues, CA Dental Association, CA Medical Association
  • NO: No changes would be made to existing state taxes on cigarettes, other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.
    • Funding by Philip Morris USA Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, with a Coalition of Taxpayers, Educators, Healthcare Professionals, Law Enforcement, Labor and Small Businesses.

 

Prop 57 – CRIMINAL SENTENCES. PAROLE. JUVENILE CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AND SENTENCING. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

  • YES: Certain state prison inmates convicted of nonviolent felony offenses would be considered for early release. 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 are transferred to adult court.
    • Governor Brown’s Ballot Measure Committee, California Democratic Party
  • NO: 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 to be tried in adult court without a hearing in juvenile court.
    • Major Funding by Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers’ Association Independent Expenditure Committee

 

Prop 58 – ENGLISH PROFICIENCY. MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • YES: Public schools would have more freedom to decide how they teach English learners, whether in English-only, bilingual, or other types of programs.
    • Supported by Governor Jerry Brown.
    • California Teachers Association/Issues PAC – $1,060,823
  • NO: Public schools would still be required to teach most English learners in English-only programs.

 

Prop 59 – CORPORATIONS. POLITICAL SPENDING. FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS. LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY QUESTION.

  • YES: Voters would ask 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.
  • NO: Voters would not be asking their elected officials to seek certain changes in the regulation of campaign spending and contributions.

 

Prop 60 – ADULT FILMS. CONDOMS. HEALTH REQUIREMENTS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • YES: There would be additional workplace health and safety requirements placed on adult film productions in California as well as additional ways to enforce those requirements.
    • AIDS Healthcare Foundation – $4,357,071
  • NO: 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.

 

Prop 61 – STATE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PURCHASES. PRICING STANDARDS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • YES: 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.
    • AIDS Healthcare Foundation – $14,405,716
  • NO: 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.
    • Top ten contributors are large global pharmaceutical companies with contributions totaling $53,938,000

 

Prop 62 – DEATH PENALTY. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • YES: No offenders could be sentenced to death by the state for first degree murder. The most serious penalty available would be a 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.
  • NO: Certain offenders convicted for first degree murder could continue to be sentenced to death. There would be no change for offenders currently on death row.
    • CA Correctional Peace Officers Association Truth in American Government Fund
    • Peace Officers Research Association of CA Political Issues Committee (PORAC PIC)

 

Prop 63 – FIREARMS. AMMUNITION SALES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • YES: 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.
  • NO: No new firearm-or-ammunition-related requirements would be implemented.

 

Prop 64 – MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • YES: Adults 21 years of age or older can legally grow, possess and use marijuana for nonmedical purposes, with certain restrictions. The state would regulate non-medical marijuana businesses and tax the growing and selling of medical and non-medical marijuana. Most of the revenue from such taxes would support youth programs, environmental protection and law enforcement.
  • NO: Growing, possessing, or using marijuana for nonmedical purposes would remain illegal. It would remain legal to grow, possess, or use marijuana for medical purposes.
    • Omits DUI standard to keep marijuana-impaired drivers off our highways

 

Prop 65 – CARRYOUT BAGS. CHARGES. INITIATIVE STATUTE

  • YES: 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 in a new state fund to support certain environmental programs.
    • Top nine contributors are plastics companies for a total of $6,135,383
  • NO: If charges on carryout bags are required by a state law, that law could direct the use of the resulting revenue toward any purpose.
    • Funding predominantly provided by Yes on 67

 

Prop 66 – DEATH PENALTY. PROCEDURES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • YES: 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 available attorneys for those challenges. Condemned inmates could be housed at any state prison.
    • CA Correctional Peace Officers Association Truth in American Government Fund
    • Peace Officers Research Association of CA Political Issues Committee (PORAC PIC)
    • Other Police associations
  • NO: 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.
    • Funding predominantly provided by Yes on 62/Californians Against Waste (CAW)

 

Prop 67 – BAN ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS. REFERENDUM.

  • YES: Most grocery stores, convenience stores, large pharmacies and liquor stores would be prohibited from providing single-use plastic carryout 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.
  • NO: 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.
    • Top nine contributors are plastics companies for a total of $6,135,383