Propositions: What to know

Alicia Edquist, Advertising Manager/Lab Aide

Proposition 1A

Protection of Local Government Revenues

Proposition 1A amends the state constitution to prevent state government from taking property and sales tax from cities, counties, redevelopment agencies and special districts. State may borrow money twice in a 10-year period if the governor declares a fiscal necessity and two-thirds of the Legislature concurs. Loan must be repaid with interest before state borrows more money.

—- You are basically choosing from big brother control of local money or bigger brother control. Everyday life may not be affected but changes may come as local government reaches into coffers not audited or controlled by legislature.

Propositions 59 Public records, Open Meetings, Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Description: This measure amends the state Constitution to: Provide right of public access to meetings of government bodies and writings of government officials. Preserve constitutional rights including rights of privacy, due process, and equal protection.

—-Prop 59 will make it a constitutional right to know what the government is doing, why it is doing it, and how. It will also ensure that private information about ordinary citizens will remain just that -private. It allows that public meetings and writings of public officials and agencies be open to public scrutiny. The government would have to demonstrate to a somewhat greater extent that under the current law why information requested by the public should be kept private.

Proposition 60: Election Rights and Political Parties. Legislative Constitutional Amendment. What is it: This proposition will provide the right for political parties participating in a primary election for partisan office to participate in the general election for that office. A candidate receiving most of the votes from its party’s candidates in a primary election for the state partisan office cannot be denied placement on a general election ballot. It will not have any effect fiscal impact on California all procedures will remain the same just more advanced. How it will affect students: It will allow all registrar voters to vote in a primary election, without regard to party affiliations, or non partisan. It will allow voters to choose two candidates for the list of candidates running for any seat of office. Proposition 60A:Surplus Property. Legislative Constitutional Amendment. What is it: Dedicates proceeds from sale of surplus state property purchased with General Fund monies to payment of principal, interest on Economic Recovery Bonds approved in March 2004. When those bonds are repaid, surplus property sales proceeds directed to Special Fund For Economic Uncertainties. Description: Most current state statutes generally require a state agency to review annually its real property holdings land and facilities and determine what, if any, is in excess of its foreseeable needs. These properties are commonly referred to as “surplus state properties.” Having them include both unused properties and those that are underutilized by an agency.

Effects: This measure requires that proceeds from the sale of surplus state property that occur on or after the passage of this measure be used to pay the principal and interest on Proposition 57 bonds. How will affect students: It will allow the state to use surplus property sales funds to offset the funds. The Economic Recovery Bonds Approval in the 2004 primary. Once the bond is fully paid surplus sales, money, would be used in the general fund.

Proposition 61

Children’s Hospital Projects. Grant Program. Bond Act. Initiative Statute.

Description: Authorizes 750,000,000 in general obligation bonds, to be repaid from state’s General Fund, for grants to eligible children’s hospitals for construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing, and equipping children’s hospitals.

—- Hospitals across California will receive a substantial amount of money to renovate and refurnish old hospital buildings and facilities.

Proposition 62: Elections. Primaries. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. What is it: It will require a primary election where all voters may vote for any state or federal candidate regardless of how a voter or candidate is registered? Exempts presidential nominations and elections of party central committees. Only the two primary-election candidate receiving most votes for an office, whether they are candidates with “no party” or members of same or different party would be listed on general election ballot. In special primary election, candidate receiving majority vote is elected. Requires political party’s consent for identification of a candidates’ party registration on a ballot and in any other official election publications. Effect: This measure would change some of the administration procedures associated with holding elections. In some cases, these changes could increase state and county election costs. How it will affect students: It will allow voters to receive a single primary election ballot for most state and federal elections. It will place the names of the top two vote-getting candidates on the general election ballot. Without regard to arty affiliation this may allow two candidates being on the general election ballot.

Proposition 63

Mental Health Services Expansion, Funding. Tax on Personal Incomes Above $1 Million. Initiative Statute.

Description: Provides funds to counties to expand services and develop programs. Requires state to develop mental health service programs. Imposes 1 percent tax on taxpayer’s taxable personal income.

—- Proposition 63 will contribute to the developing mental health service programs. The 1 percent increase will help develop programs needed to advance mental health issues.

Proposition 64

Limits on Private Enforcement of Unfair Business Competition Laws. Initiative Statute.

Description: Limits individual’s right to sue by allowing private enforcement of unfair business competition laws only if that individual was actually injured by, and suffered financial/property loss because of, and unfair business practice.

—- Prop. 64 aims to close what its proponents call a loophole in California’s unfair competition law. That law prohibits anyone from engaging in any unlawful or fraudulent business act. These are often deceptive or misleading advertising, or violations of state health-and-safety laws.

Prop 65 Local Government funds, revenues, state mandates. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Description: Requires voter approval for any legislation that provides for any reduction, based on January 1, 2003 levels, of local governments’ vehicle license fee revenues, sales tax powers and revenues, and proportionate share of local property tax revenues. Permits local government to suspend performance of state mandate if state fails to reimburse local government within 180 days of final determination of state-mandated obligation; except mandates requiring local government to provide/modify: any protection, benefit or employment status to employee/retiree, or any procedural/substantive employment right for employee or employee organization.

How it will affect students: The measure amends the State Constitution to reduce the state’s authority over local government, school and community college programs.

There was no argument made in favor of this measure. Though Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democrats and Republicans want citizens to vote No on Prop 65 because since Prop 65 was submitted there has been a new and better measure called Prop 1A. These two props are similar yet Prop 1A will prevent state raids on local governments funding. It offers a more flexible approach to protect funding for vital local services.

Proposition 66

Limitations on “Three Strikes” Law. Sex Crimes. Punishment.

Initiative Statute.

Proposition 66 would amend the three strikes law to provide longer sentences only if the most recent crime is a violent or serious felony. R
edefines violent and serious felonies. Requires separate trials for each strike. Increases punishment for certain sex crimes against children.

—– The state would be required to resentence “third strikers” whose third strike was nonviolent and nonserious. In addition, prison sentences for specified sex offenses against children would be lengthened. Could mean a lot of people you know would be affected, those in custody and whose future might include a life of crime. Proposition 67: Emergency Medical Services. Funding. Telephone Surcharge. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. What it is: It will provide funding to physicians for uncompensated emergency care, hospitals for emergency services, and community clinics for uncompensated care, emergency personnel training/equipment, and emergency telephone system improvements. Funding by addition of 3 percent to existing surcharge rate on telephone use with in California, portions of tobacco taxes, and criminal and traffic penalties. Effects: The expected number of telephone customers and accounting the cap of residential charges to the lines an estimate that will measure the raise about $500 million in addition to the revenues to the increase surcharge. The fee will increase over the years within the state. It will come to about $500 million annually to the increased revenue already in place. How it will affect students: It will allow the state to create a special tax. On telephone services bills to help fund the cost of emergency medical services. It will raise the cost of residential, commercial, and cellular phone bills. | Shopping

Proposition 68

Non-Tribal Commercial Gambling Expansion. Tribal Gaming Compact Amendments. Revenues, Tax Exemptions. InitiativeConstitutional Amendment and Statue.

Description: Authorizes Governor to negotiate tribal compact amendments requiring that Indian tribes pay 25 percent of slot machine/gaming device revenues to government fund, comply with multiple state laws, and accept state court jurisdiction.

—-Prop 68 promoters will increase commercial gambling across California. More slot machines in more casinos across the state equals more police patrolling more of the gambling zones.

Prop 69 DNA Samples. Collection. Database. Funding. Initiative Statute.

Description: Requires collection of DNA samples from all felons, and from adults and juveniles arrested for or charged with specified crimes, and submission to state DNA database; and, in five years, from adults arrested for or charged with any felony. Authorizes local law enforcement laboratories to perform analyses for state database and maintain local database. Specifies procedures for confidentiality and removing samples from database. Imposes additional monetary penalty upon certain fines/forfeitures to fund program. Designates California Department of Justice to implement program, subject to available moneys: Authorizes $7,000,000 loan from Legislature for implementation.

How it will affect students: The Gov. Schwarzenegger backs this proposition, along with the state attorney general and LA county District attorney. Prop 69 makes the following changes to the current law such as expands DNA collection to include all convicted felons and some non felons, requires timely collection and analysis of samples (the swab sample would be an addition to the right thumbprint and full palm print impression of both hands required by current law.), provides additional funding and raises the existing criminal penalties to fund the proposed expansion of DNA collection. It also creates a new crime, the measure would make it a felony offense punishable by 2,3, or 4 years in prison for a person required to submit a sample or print to tamper (attempt to tamper) with a DNA sample, or thumb or palm print impression.

Proposition 70

Tribal Gaming Compacts. Exclusive Gaming Rights. Contributions to State. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Description: Grants exclusive tribal gaming rights; no limits on number of machines, facilities, types of games on Indian land.

Bottom Line: A 99 year contract will hold us to standards that might have to change in the future.

Proposition 71

Stem Cell Research. Funding. Bonds. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Description: Establishes “California Institute for Regenerative Medicine” to regulate stem cell research and provide funding, through grants and loans. It allows the state to sell $3 billion in general obligation bonds to establish a state institute for stem cell research that would provide funding for research and research facilities.

Bottom Line: Stem Cell research can help advance science as a whole. Some people disagree with the morals of the issue though.

Prop 72 Health Care Coverage Requirements. Referendum.

Description: Provides for individual and dependent health care coverage for employees, as specified, working for large and medium employers; Requires that employers pay at least 80 percent of coverage cost; maximum 20 percent employee contribution; Requires employers to pay for health coverage or pay fee to medical insurance board that purchases primarily private health coverage; Applies to employers with 200 or more employees beginning January 1, 2006; Applies to employers with 50 to 199 employees beginning January 1, 2007. Applies to employers with 20 to 49 employees if tax credit enacted.

How it will affect students: Prop 72 will help pay the cost of coverage for health care. Students that are employed by companies under these requirements the company would be paying up 80 percent with cost being only a maximum of 20 percent for the student. If you work in a company with more than 200 employees in the state than the employer is requires either paying for private health coverage or finding coverage for employees and dependents in other health insurance providers. If the company is smaller than 199 to 50 than the company is only responsible for the employees. Dependents are not included. If the company is 49 to 20 employees, the company only pays for employees, if a specified tax credit is enacted. Companies that have 19 or less employees there will be no requirement for health coverage.