California Prop Analysis

Because of all the spam and bombardment of crappy information and confusion out there. I decided to write my own version analyzing all propositions as simply as possible, while at the same time, maintain a neutral status. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do, because I believe voting is a very essential element for our democracy.

Below are the propositions that myself and my friend, Ariana Faustini, aggregated and edited to explain all the propositions to help California voters, like Ariana and I, to decide more efficiently and effectively.

Prop 30

Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

A proposition that uses increase in taxes to fund university and education programs in California. Those in favor say it will help provide budget for California’s Education system. Those against it state that it is more important to streamline the current infrastructure than to put money in a broken system.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • You will support increase in sales tax from 7.25% -> 7.5%
  • Increase of income taxes for families that get more than $250K/Year for seven years. If you are less than $250K, you don’t get taxed
  • Puts tax revenues for 89% of highschools and 11% on community colleges
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 31

State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute

A proposition that aims to revamp and transform the method on how the government takes into account their operations. Basically, it provides a more “business-oriented” rather than “bureaucratic-oriented” perspective of balancing budget and taking financial statement into account. People who support this prop declare that this helps in improving government spending and bring into account their activity, whereas those who oppose it states that this will add further bureaucracy, because in the end, someone has to implement it and take this bill into account legally.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Establishes two-year state budget cycle
  • Prohibits Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless revenues or spending cuts are identified
  • Permits Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act
  • Requires performance reviews of all state programs
  • Requires performance goals in state and local budgets
  • Requires publication of bills at least three days prior to legislative vote
  • Allows local governments to alter how laws governing state-funded programs apply to them, unless there is a veto in play the refuses them so
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 32

Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute

In simple terms, this proposition bans corporations and unions from funding a local or state candidate during elections; otherwise wise known as special interest money/funds. Those who support this proposition state that this will help bring out the voice of the residents of California and place emphasis on residents rather than special interest groups; on the other hand, those who oppose it express that this is not expanded for Super Political Action Committees (PACs), which are the main source of political funding, and state that the legislative rule gives Super PACs political immunity against this bill, making it easier for candidates to receive funds from corporations and unions via Super PACs.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Ban both, exclusively, corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates
  • Ban contributions by government contractors to the politicians who control contracts awarded to them
  • Ban automatic deductions by corporations, unions, and government of employees’ wages to be used for politics
  • Super PACs and other political affiliations are “NOT” bound by this prop, and have permission to fund candidates
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 33

Auto Insurance Companies. Prices based on Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute

This proposition was a tricky read, but made more sense after I spent around 20 minutes to understand what the hell was going on. In essence, this prop provides car insurance company access to your historical records in driving and base the price of premium, and discount, on your driver history; which includes how long you had your previous insurance, how long you drove well, and what you’ve been charged in the past. Supporters of this proposition state that this will reward insurance buyers with discount because insurance corporation can determine a better price for you; however, opposition states that the penalty is greater than the reward as the insurance firms have a better grasp of your driving history and can harm you through increasing the cost based on only if you hadn’t have insurance coverage in the past five years alone.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Changes current law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company
  • Allows insurance companies to give proportional discounts to drivers with some history of prior insurance coverage
  • Will allow insurance companies to increase cost of insurance to drivers who have not maintained continuous coverage
  • Treats drivers with lapse as continuously covered if lapse is due to military service or loss of employment, or if lapse is less than 90 days
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 34

Death Penalty. Initiative Statute

This is a sensitive legislation regarding the banning death penalty in California. There are 725 people on the death row in California, and the passing of this proposition will change their sentences will be replaced with “life in prison without the possibility of parole”. Those who support it state that death penalty is intrinsically wrong and will save money through layoffs of prosecution officers and attorneys responsible for death penalties. On the other hand, those who oppose this proposition state that death penalty is a necessary act for society to bring order and justice into community for crimes that are beyond the realm of traditional jail sentence.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Repeal the death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replace it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
  • Apply retroactively to persons already sentenced to death.
  • Require persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them.
  • Create a $100 million fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases.
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 35

Human Trafficking. Penalties. Initiative Statute

This proposition promotes the increase of penalties and funding for Human Trafficking initiatives and programs in California. Those who support the ballot state that this will bring further justice and increases the training of the Peace Enforcement Officers regarding human trafficking, sex slaves and sex offenders. Opponents state that the legislation does not provide a good financial plan of this program, and this program can be abused due to bureaucratic and inefficient components of the judicial system.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Increase prison terms for human traffickers.
  • Require convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders.
  • Require all registered sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts.
  • Require criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims.
  • Mandate law enforcement training on human trafficking.
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 36

Changes in the “Three Strikes” Law

This proposition re-examines and re-defines the “Three Strikes” Law rule in order to provide a fair judicial trial for those who have committed mild felonies, while at the same time, maintain or change sentences for individuals who have committed serious crimes. Supporters say that this will save the prison system financially and allocate proper justice to those who were convicted wrongly. Opponents state that this measure will make judicial system more lenient; thus, increasing potential crime due to leniency in the system.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Revise the three strikes law to impose life sentence only when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent”
  • Authorize re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if their third strike conviction was not serious or violent and if the judge determines that the re-sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety
  • Continue to impose a life sentence penalty if the third strike conviction was for “certain non-serious, non-violent sex or drug offenses or involved firearm possession”
  • Maintain the life sentence penalty for felons with “non-serious, non-violent third strike if prior convictions were for rape, murder, or child molestation”
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 37

Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling. Initiative Statute

This proposition requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Supporters of the proposition state that this will provide consumers with the right information about the food they consume, and that this initiative has been implemented all over the world except for few countries such as United States. On the other hand, opponents state that this measure will increase cost of agricultural services in California and supports special Interest groups.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways
  • Prohibits labeling or advertising such food, or other processed food, as “natural”
  • Exempts foods from this proposition include: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 38

State Income Tax Increase to Support Education

This proposition increases income taxes of individuals earning $7,316 and greater starting from 0.4% to 2.2%. The purpose is to allocate more funding of the taxes to California K-12 system. Supporters state that this will help California’s education system go back on track and open the schools that were shut down by the government. Proponents state that this measure lacks financial credibility and accountability functions that are stated in Prop 30 (which is mentioned in the Yes section as “Prohibits state from directing new funds.”

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Increases personal income tax rates on annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from .4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, for twelve years
  • During first four years, allocates 60% of revenues to K–12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, allocates 85% of revenues to K–12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs
  • Provides K–12 funds on school-specific, per-pupil basis, subject to local control, audits, and public input
  • Prohibits state from directing new funds
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 39

Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute

The measure would only affect out-of-state businesses and not California-based companies or California residents. Currently, out-of-state businesses can reduce their California income taxes by not locating facilities or employees within the state. If passed, Proposition 39 would add possibly $1 billion to the state’s revenue and create approximately 40,000 construction and clean energy jobs, according to the non-partisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office. Supporters state that this will promote business and increase growth of California jobs by encouraging businesses to employ more Californian residents and base their businesses in California. However, opponents argue that this measure would increase business taxes and eventually lead to businesses to seek other states for business.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Require out-of-state businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California
  • Support the elimination of the “three-factor” method (tax loophole) allowing businesses that operate outside of California to avoid paying taxes for California sales
  • Dedicate $550 million annually for five years from the initiative’s anticipated increase in revenue in order to fund projects that “create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs” in California.
  • Of the revenue raised by this measure over the next five years, about half would be dedicated to energy efficiency and alternative energy projects.
  • Of the remaining revenues, a significant portion likely would be spent on public schools and community colleges.
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen

Prop 40

Referendum on the State Senate Redistricting Plan

Supporting this proposition states that you support a non-political organization be responsible in redistricting California State Senate regions. In essence, this ensures that the organization responsible for redistricting areas within California are non-partisan, its commissioners are selected via lottery, and maintain a diverse and objective break down of regions. Supporters state that this gives citizens the power to redistrict their areas rather than have politicians influence redistricting; opponents argue that this method decreases chances for fair elections to proceed due to redistricting.

Selecting Yes Means…
  • Approving new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission
  • If the new districts are rejected, the State Senate district boundary lines will be adjusted by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court
  • State Senate districts are revised every 10 years following the federal census
Selecting No Means…

None of the items in Yes will happen