Editorial Board Endorsements: Our Take on the California Ballot
Prop 51: Yes
Proposition 51 supports a state-issued $9 billion in bonds to fund improvement and construction for K-12 schools and community colleges.
While we understand that there tends to be an inherent distrust of allocating large funds to bureaucratic systems, these funds will be helpful in maintaining the current state of public schools and keeping after-school programs intact. We therefore support this proposition.
Prop 52: Yes
Proposition 52 requires voter approval to change the dedicated use of certain fees from hospitals used to draw matching federal money and fund Medi-Cal services as well as requires a two-thirds majority vote of the California Legislature to end the hospital fee program.
We support the requirement of voter approval before the reallocation of funds.
Prop 53: No
Proposition 53 requires voter approval before the state can issue more than $2 billion in public infrastructure bonds that would require an increase in taxes or fees for repayment.
We do not support this proposition because mandating additional voter approval could make infrastructure improvement slower and more difficult in California, despite the state’s dire need for infrastructure investment.
Prop 54: Yes
Proposition 54 requires legislation to be to be published online and in print at least 72 hours before the vote.
We support this proposition because the text of California legislation should be available to journalists and voters in advance of any final decisions, so that citizens may have adequate time and access to make informed decisions and contact their representatives.
Prop 55: No
Proposition 55 would extend the 2012 legislation to increase personal income taxes for incomes over $250,000 for the next 12 years in order to fund education and healthcare.
We do not support this proposition because it extends past legislation that was proposed as a temporary solution. Additionally, a $250,000 personal income is not considered incredibly wealthy in California, a state with a notoriously high cost of living, and therefore would damage California’s middle class families more than the extremely wealthy.
Prop 56: Yes
Proposition 56 calls for a $2 tax increase per cigarette pack and an equivalent tax on all tobacco products.
We support this tax because we hope it will discourage the use of tobacco products which are unhealthy for consumers, bystanders and the environment.
Prop 57: Yes
Proposition 57 supports increasing parole and good behavior opportunities for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes and allows judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults in court.
We did not reach a unanimous decision. Molestation and lewd acts against children, which we strongly oppose, are under the umbrella of “nonviolent crimes” covered by this proposition.
However, we believe that the majority of those released as a result of this proposition will be drug-related offenders and people in need of rehabilitation outside of prison. We therefore support the release of prisoners on the standing of good behavior.
Prop 58: Yes
Proposition 58 seeks to repeal the 1998 Proposition 227, thus effectively allowing non-English languages to be used in public educational instruction.
We are in favor of this proposition because it will expose English speakers to different languages at an earlier age and will enhance the education of students who speak English as a second language in school.
Prop 59: Yes
Proposition 59 allows California’s elected officials to use their authority to overturn the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, potentially through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
We support this proposition because Citizens United allows corporations to donate money to politicians without regulation. This proposition will send a message to Congress that voters are in favor of an amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.
Prop 60: Yes
Proposition 60 would require the use of condoms and other protective measures during the filming of pornographic films, as well as requiring pornography producers to pay for certain health requirements and checkups.
We recognize the potential disadvantages of this proposition, such as the increase of unsafe “underground” pornography and movement of the pornogrpahy industry to other states that do not require these regulations.
However, this proposition advocates for safe sex and mandates companies in the industry to pay for health requirements and checkups which will decrease the transmission of STDs.
Prop 61: No
Proposition 61 seeks to regulate drug prices by requiring state agencies to pay the same prices that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays for prescription drugs.
We do not support this proposition because it regulates how the state functions and could potentially lead to an increase in drug prices for everyone, including veterans. Additionally, veterans receive a lower price of medication as a benefit for their service, which should be maintained.
Prop 62: Yes
Proposition 62 seeks to repeal the death penalty and make life in prison without the possibility of parole the maximum sentence for murder.
We fully support the abolition of the death penalty.
Prop 63: Yes
Proposition 63 prohibits the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and requires certain individuals to pass a background check in order to purchase ammunition.
We support this proposition because we believe California needs stricter gun control laws, including background checks.
Prop 64: Yes
Proposition 64 seeks to legalize recreational marijuana for persons aged 21 years or older under state law and establishing certain sales and cultivation taxes.
We support this proposition because the legalization of marijuana for recreational use will allow its sale to become a legitimate business. If legalized, the industry is expected to contribute a large amount to state revenue through sales tax.
Prop 65: Yes
Proposition 65 would redirect money collected from the sale of carry-out bags by grocery or other retail stores to a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board.
While we ultimately support the complete statewide ban of plastic bags outlined in proposition 67, we hope that if proposition 67 should fail, proposition 65 will at least cut down on plastic waste and contribute to environmental research and restoration.
Prop 66: No
Proposition 66 seeks to change the procedures governing state court appeals and petitions that challenge death penalty convictions and sentences.
We do not support this because it risks an innocent person being executed due to a lack of appeals.
Prop 67: Yes
Proposition 67 supports the ban of plastic bags in California.
We support this proposition because plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose and are detrimental to the environment.
Presidential endorsement: Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine
U.S. Senator for the State of California endorsement: Loretta Sanchez