In The Know: State propositions to appear on November ballot

Proposition 51 – School Bonds: A YES votes provides a total of $9 billion in bonds (federal money borrowed and paid back over time) to help support K-12 schools ($7 billion) and community colleges ($2 billion). A NO votes means that this large sum of bonds would not be borrowed. Reasons for a NO vote: borrowing the bonds would cause California to become $17.6 billion more in debt (the initial borrowing amount plus yearly interest over time).

Proposition 52 – Medical: A YES vote would stop Legislatures from diverting the federal Medicaid fund of $2 billion per year into the general California fund. Voting yes would have all of the federal money go into the Medi-Cal program to help pay hospital fees for low income patients. A NO vote would continue to allow Legislators to change, extend or eliminate the hospital fee program however they vote to choose.

Proposition 53 – Bond Voting: A YES vote would create a need for a vote by Californians if the state buys a federal bond of more than $2 billion to support or fund a project. A NO vote would not require a vote for the purchase of any bond.

Proposition 54 – Legislature Voting: A YES vote requires Legislature to print AND publish on the internet what they are voting on at least 72 hours before they make a vote. A NO vote would not require this and no changes to proceedings would be made.

Proposition 55 – Tax Extension: A YES vote would extend the already in-place income tax increase for high-income taxpayers that was scheduled to expire in 2018; a yes vote would extend this measure into 2030. A NO vote would allow the measure to expire at its scheduled time in 2018. High-income taxpayers would not have an increase in their taxes after the expiration.

Proposition 56 – Cigarette Tax: A YES vote would increase the $0.87 State Excise tax on cigarettes by $2 (making it $2.87) and would also be applied to all other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. The tax helps support: healthcare for low-income families, tobacco prevention, environmental protection, breast cancer research, early childhood development programs, and many more. Increasing the tax would increase funding to these programs. A NO vote would not increase the tax and would remain at $0.87 per pack of cigarettes.

Proposition 57 – Trials: A YES vote increases the opportunities for early release and parole for nonviolent offenders. Decisions would be made by a judge, not a prosecutor. The Proposition also requires that youths be tried in juvenile court before being tried as an adult. A NO vote would not change the inmate release system currently instated and would continue to have certain juveniles be tried in adult court.

Proposition 58 – Non-English Teaching: A YES vote would repeal Proposition 227 passed in 1998 (requires public schools to teach non-English learners in separate classrooms) to allow public schools to decide to teach non-English learns in english entirely, bilingual, or in other types of programs. A NO vote would keep Proposition 227 in effect.

Proposition 59 – Campaign Spending: A YES vote would overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (a supreme court case in 2010 saying under the first amendment, corporations had the right to spend an unlimited amount of money to influence elections) to limit the amount of money someone can spend on an election. This applies to creating advertisements or events to oppose or support a bill, amendment or official. A NO vote would keep the 2010 decision active and allow anyone to spend any amount of money on an election.

Proposition 60 – Adult Films: A YES vote would make it a requirement for the use of condoms and other protections during adult film production. Producers of such films would also be required to pay for treatment/addition of health needs and checkups. A NO vote would not change the requirements and practices currently used in adult films.

Proposition 61 – Prescription Drugs: A YES vote would require prescription drug prices to be the same for state agencies (such as CalTrans or the California Education Department) as they are for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), a state agency that helps support U.S. military veterans. The DVA receives reduced prices for prescription drugs for the veterans a part of their program. A NO vote would keep prices the way they are with the DVA still receiving the same reduced cost.

Proposition 62 – Repealing the Death Penalty: A YES vote would remove California’s ability to issue the death penalty and make it so that the sentence “life without the possibility of parole” be the highest sentence possible. A NO vote would keep the death penalty.

Proposition 63 – Gun regulations: A YES vote would add a variety of new gun laws to California, including: prohibiting the ownership or sale of large-capacity ammunition, impose background checks on purchase of ammunition, additional felony charges for gun theft and upholding rules prohibiting felons from owning a gun. A NO vote would mean that no new firearm or ammunition laws would be added.

Proposition 64 – Marijuana Legalization: A YES vote supports the recreational use of marijuana in California for citizens over the age of 21 but does not affect the status of federal law regarding the use of cannabis. Cultivation, sale and use of marijuana would be completely legal by state law and would be taxable. Medical marijuana laws would remain unchanged and would be a separate agency from recreational. A NO vote would keep the growth, possession, and consumption of recreational marijuana illegal and laws regarding medical marijuana would not change.

Proposition 65 – Carryout Bags: A YES vote would redirect funds collected from purchasing reusable bags to support environmental projects and programs. A NO vote would cause funds from reusable bags to not be redirected.

Proposition 66 – Death Penalty Procedures: A YES vote would create a time limit of five years after a death penalty conviction for an inmate to appeal to the court. The state would also require prisoners on death row to work while in prison and pay restitution to the victims’ families. A NO vote would keep the current death penalty system of procedures.

Proposition 67 – Plastic Bag Ban: A YES vote would ban the use of plastic bags in grocery, department, and retail stores statewide and issue a 10 cents charge on purchasing paper bags. A NO vote would not issue this statewide ban but local governments that have already issued this ban would not be affected.