Election Watch 2012: California: Information regarding propositions in California.
On Tuesday, November 6th, 2012, voters in California will have several propositions to vote on. Here is a summary about those propositions in California:
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: The state would increase personal income taxes on high-income taxpayers for seven years and sales taxes for four years. The new tax revenues would be available to fund programs in the state budget.
A “No” vote on this measure means: The state would not increase personal income taxes or sales taxes. State spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would take effect in 2012–13.
** Proposition 31: **
State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Establishes two-year state budget. Sets rules for offsetting new expenditures, and Governor budget cuts in fiscal emergencies. Local governments can alter application of laws governing state-funded programs. Fiscal Impact: Decreased state sales tax revenues of $200 million annually, with corresponding increases of funding to local governments. Other, potentially more significant changes in state and local budgets, depending on future decisions by public officials.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: Certain fiscal responsibilities of the Legislature and Governor, including state and local budgeting and oversight procedures, would change. Local governments that create plans to coordinate services would receive funding from the state and could develop their own procedures for administering state programs.
A “No” vote on this measure means: The fiscal responsibilities of the Legislature and Governor, including state and local budgeting and oversight procedures, would not change. Local governments would not be given (1) funding to implement new plans that coordinate services or (2) authority to develop their own procedures for administering state programs.
** Proposition 32: **
Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Applies same use prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees. Prohibits government contractor contributions to elected officers or their committees. Fiscal Impact: Increased costs to state and local government, potentially exceeding $1 million annually, to implement and enforce the measure’s requirements.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: Unions and corporations could not use money deducted from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes. Unions, corporations, and government contractors would be subject to additional campaign finance restrictions.
A “No” vote on this measure means: There would be no change to existing laws regulating the ability of unions and corporations to use money deducted from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes. Unions, corporations, and government contractors would continue to be subject to existing campaign finance laws.
** Proposition 33: **
Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
Changes current law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. Allows proportional discount for drivers with some prior coverage. Allows increased cost for drivers without history of continuous coverage. Fiscal Impact: Probably no significant fiscal effect on state insurance premium tax revenues.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: Insurance companies could offer new customers a discount on automobile insurance premiums based on the number of years in the previous five years that the customer was insured.
A “No” vote on this measure means: Insurers could continue to provide discounts to their long-term automobile insurance customers, but would continue to be prohibited from providing a discount to new customers switching from other insurers.
** Proposition 34: **
Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.
Repeals death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to existing death sentences. Directs $100 million to law enforcement agencies for investigations of homicide and rape cases. Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state and county criminal justice savings of about $130 million annually within a few years, which could vary by tens of millions of dollars. One-time state costs of $100 million for local law enforcement grants.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: No offenders could be sentenced to death under state law. Offenders who are currently under a sentence of death would be resentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The state would provide a total of $100 million in grants to local law enforcement agencies over the next four years.
A “No” vote on this measure means: Certain offenders convicted for murder could continue to be sentenced to death. The status of offenders currently under a sentence of death would not change. The state would not be required to provide local law enforcement agencies with additional grant funding.
** Proposition 35: **
Human Trafficking. Penalties. Initiative Statute.
Increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions. Requires convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders. Requires registered sex offenders to disclose Internet activities and identities. Fiscal Impact: Costs of a few million dollars annually to state and local governments for addressing human trafficking offenses. Potential increased annual fine revenue of a similar amount, dedicated primarily for human trafficking victims.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: Longer prison sentences and larger fines for committing human trafficking crimes.
A “No” vote on this measure means: Existing criminal penalties for human trafficking would stay in effect.
** Proposition 36: **
Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties. Initiative Statute.
Revises law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. May authorize re-sentencing if third strike conviction was not serious or violent. Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state correctional savings of around $70 million annually, with even greater savings (up to $90 million) over the next couple of decades. These savings could vary significantly depending on future state actions.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: Some criminal offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who commit certain nonserious, non-violent felonies would be sentenced to shorter terms in state prison. In addition, some offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who are currently serving life sentences for many nonserious, non-violent felony convictions could be resentenced to shorter prison terms.
A “No” vote on this measure means: Offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who commit any new felony could continue to receive life sentences. In addition, offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who are currently serving life sentences for nonserious, non-violent felonies would continue to serve the remainder of their life sentences.
** Proposition 37: **
Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling. Initiative Statute.
Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as “natural.” Provides exemptions. Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Additional, but likely not significant, governmental costs to address violations under the measure.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: Genetically engineered foods sold in California would have to be specifically labeled as being genetically engineered.
A “No” vote on this measure means: Genetically engineered foods sold in California would continue not to have specific labeling requirements.
** Proposition 38: **
Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
Increases taxes on earnings using sliding scale, for twelve years. Revenues go to K–12 schools and early childhood programs, and for four years to repaying state debt. Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues for 12 years—roughly $10 billion annually in initial years, tending to grow over time. Funds used for schools, child care, and preschool, as well as providing savings on state debt payments.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: State personal income tax rates would increase for 12 years. The additional revenues would be used for schools, child care, preschool, and state debt payments.
A “No” vote on this measure means: State personal income tax rates would remain at their current levels. No additional funding would be available for schools, child care, preschool, and state debt payments.
** Proposition 39: **
Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
Requires multistate businesses to pay income taxes based on percentage of their sales in California. Dedicates revenues for five years to clean/efficient energy projects. Fiscal Impact: Increased state revenues of $1 billion annually, with half of the revenues over the next five years spent on energy efficiency projects. Of the remaining revenues, a significant portion likely would be spent on schools.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: Multistate businesses would no longer be able to choose the method for determining their state taxable income that is most advantageous for them. Some multistate businesses would have to pay more corporate income taxes due to this change. About half of this increased tax revenue over the next five years would be used to support energy efficiency and alternative energy projects.
A “No” vote on this measure means: Most multistate businesses would continue to be able to choose one of two methods to determine their California taxable income.
** Proposition 40: **
Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.
A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. If rejected, districts will be adjusted by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court. Fiscal Impact: Approving the referendum would have no fiscal impact on the state and local governments. Rejecting the referendum would result in a one-time cost of about $1 million to the state and counties.
A “Yes” vote on this measure means: The state Senate district boundaries certified by the Citizens Redistricting Commission would continue to be used.
A “No” vote on this measure means: The California Supreme Court would appoint special masters to determine new state Senate district boundaries.
You can find more information and websites regarding propositions in California at the following California Secretary of State website:
If you are planning to vote on Election Day and need to find a polling Place, please head to the following County of San Bernardino Registrar of Voters websites and contacts:
1 (800) 881-VOTE (8683)
1 (909) 387-8300
San Bernardino County Elections Office of the Registrar of Voters
777 East Rialto Avenue
San Bernardino, California, 92415
** Polling Places and Mail Ballot Drop Offs are Open from 7:00am to 8:00pm PT. **
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