Written by Peggi Chute
Our September monthly meeting was given a special treat as Adjunct Professor from Palomar College, Seena Trigas, presented a rundown of the 17 Propositions that will be on the ballot this November. Rather than simply go straight down the list in numerical order, Trigas grouped similar subject Propositions together, making it easier to understand, especially where Propositions appear to contradict each other in intent.
Professor Trigas succinctly explained each Proposition and told the audience what the California Democratic Party recommends for voting YES or NO, allowing those of us listening to understand that some Propositions were quite complicated and at times it is difficult to know which way to vote. The list of propositions, grouped by topic, is below with the Democratic Party voting recommendation.
Prop. 52 – Medical Funding Recommended vote: YES
Holds Legislature accountable and prohibits government or other special interests from diverting funds away from health care for other purposes. Makes a 2013 agreement for Federal Matching funds for Medi-Cal permanent. Bi-partisan approval.
Prop. 60 – Condoms in Adult Films Recommended vote: NO
The president of CA AIDS Program proposed this proposition as a way to educate safe sex, as well as protect the actors from contracting AIDS as has happened in the past. However, if passed, it would allow any California citizen to file a lawsuit against performers or businesses if condoms aren’t visible in the film. If this became law, film performers may have to disclose their legal names and home addresses.
Prop.61 – Drug Prices Paid Out by the State Recommended vote: No position
Drugs purchased by the State must be in line when possible with the lowest price available to the VA, which receives a discount. Pharmaceutical industry has spent $50 million to defeat it.
Prop. 67 – Ban Plastic Bags Recommended vote: YES
Keeps the ban of single-use Plastic Bags, a law passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Brown. The law also stipulated a 10¢ minimum charge for recycled paper bags, reusable plastic bags, and compostable bags at certain locations. (The retailers would keep the money charged.) Law pending while being challenged through the Referendum process by plastic bag companies.
PROP. 65 – $ From Bag Sales Recommended vote: No position
This one is a bit sneaky. It stipulates there be a charge for ALL bags with the monies collected going to an environment fund. Some feel that we should vote NO as charging for plastic bags that still create pollution doesn’t solve the problem. On the other hand, added fees such as this can help incentivize the desired behavior, in this case, bringing your own bags.
Prop. 51 – $9 Billion in Public School Bonds Recommended vote: YES
Authorizes upgrading and repairing K-12 schools and community colleges, and to help Veterans prepare for the workforce.
Prop. 58 – Allow Bilingual Education by Districts Recommended vote: YES
The state mandated ban on bilingual education in favor of total immersion will be lifted and each District will decide how best to educate their population.
Prop. 53 – Voter Approval for Revenue Bonds Recommended vote: NO
Erodes local control by requiring a statewide vote on local infrastructure projects. Being pushed by one right-wing multi-millionaire with an agenda. You can read more about the backer of this proposition here.
Prop. 54 – Legislation & Proceedings Recommended vote: NO
Allows special interests to block or forestall timely legislative action on key issues, giving special interests extended time to create attack ads against the legislation.
Prop. 55 – Tax Extension to Fund Education/Healthcare Recommended vote: YES
Temporarily continues a higher tax on wealthiest Californians earmarked for local schools. Strict accountability requirements ensures money goes to classroom teaching rather than administrative costs.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE/GUN CONTROL
Prop. 57 – Public Safety & Rehabilitation Act Recommended vote: YES
Gives Judges the power to decide whether or not 14 year old and younger juveniles should be tried as adults. Also allows for Parole for non-violent offenders who have earned credits for good behavior.
Prop. 62 – Repeals the Death Penalty Recommended vote: YES
Replaces the death penalty with life in prison without parole, requires offenders to work and pay restitution, and saves taxpayers $150 million per year.
Prop. 66 – Accelerate Appeals Process in Death Penalty Recommended vote: NO
Shortens the appeal process for those on death row.
Prop. 63 – Ban Sale of Large Capacity AMMO Magazines Recommended vote: YES
Prohibits possession of large-capacity military-style magazines, creates background checks for ammunition purchases, requires reporting lost or stolen guns, and shares the list of persons prohibited from owning or purchasing a gun in CA with the federal system. It is not a referendum.
REMAINING STAND ALONE ISSUES
Prop. 59 – Voter Opinion to End “Citizens United” Recommended vote: YES
Asks whether our elected officials should propose an amendment to the U.S.Constitution to reverse the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. FEC and thus limit campaign spending and ensure corporations do not have the same rights as human beings.
Prop. 56 – Increate Cigarette tax by $2.00 Recommended vote: YES
Raises taxes on a pack of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. Supported by anti-smoking groups.
Prop. 64 – Legalize All Marijuana for Adults Recommended vote: YES
Control, regulate, and tax recreational marijuana and hemp usage for adults 21 and older. There is already an approximate 15% usage in CA. Medical marijuana usage, legalized in 1996, is a smaller percentage. The tax would go for medical use.
Professor Trigas provided a great service by explaining these Propositions. All present were grateful and gave her a thunderous ovation. The official California Democratic explanations are below.