Stopping Trump is the easy part. We have seventeen statewide propositions to decide this year (and 25 city and district measures in San Francisco). Here is my guide to the California propositions:
51 School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute.
Yes. This is around $1,125 per student to help fix up run down schools. Pretty modest impact on the state budget.
52 Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Yes. Ensures that California continues to get four billion dollars in Federal matching funds for Medicaid.
53 Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
No. I’d like to see fewer propositions on the ballot. This is asking for a referendum on every medium to large project. What a nightmare. I want to elect representatives to handle this for me and then vote them out if they seem to be making a mess of it.
54 Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Yes. Would require advance notice of legislation and also preserve video of proceedings for twenty years. Might stop some bad bills from getting through and will certainly provide many hours of footage to the Daily Show.
55 Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Yes. I grudgingly supported Prop 30 back in 2012. I actually preferred Prop 38 back then which seemed more balanced across income brackets and I hated the regressive sales tax component. This extension keeps the tax on the wealthy while allowing the sales tax to expire.
56 Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Yes. About time California taxed tobacco more. I’d rather see the funds raised be unrestricted but this is a good cause.
57 Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute
Yes. Stops throwing away the key on some prisoners who could be rehabilitated. Our prison population is ridiculous. Also makes it harder to send kids to adult court.
58 English Proficiency. Multilingual Education. Initiative Statute.
Yes. Makes it easier for schools to establish bilingual education programs.
59 Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections. Legislative Advisory Question.
Yes. Corporations are not people. This proposition will do close to nothing to reverse that Supreme Court decision but it doesn’t hurt to complain about it.
60 Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.
Abstain. Don’t really know or care.
61 State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute.
Yes. It’s a tough one because there is risk that VA pricing would increase and some drugs may not be available at the discounted rate. But if that happens the answer is going to be more draconian action against the drug makers not less. The current system where Medicare is banned from negotiating prices while bad actors send costs into the stratosphere has to end. Also, they’re spending $100M to defeat this which makes me inclined to see it as a great idea.
62 Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.
Yes. I disagree with the death penalty for a bunch of reasons. Primarily that the state should only use violence in life or death situations and should not have the power to kill in cold blood. The risk that we execute the wrong person is too high. Practically the cost and complexity is a waste of time. Life without the possibility of parole should be the ultimate sanction (and can be reversed in the event of a miscarriage of justice.
63 Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute.
Yes. The only thing that can stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good parent with no ammunition. More seriously this solidifies a ban on large capacity magazines and remove more guns from more bad guys. All for it.
64 Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.
Yes. Make it legal and tax it already. I’d do the same for all drugs. See also #57. We could have more tax revenue and fewer people in jail.
65 Carry-Out Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute.
No, see #67.
66 Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute.
No, see #62.
67 Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum.
Yes. Banning plastic bags has been a big success in San Francisco. Reusable bags are way more popular. This is an attempt by the disposable bag industry to fight back. Brace yourselves - other wasteful disposables must be next. Yes on 67 and no on 65.