Nov 2016 California ballot
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WHAT IS THIS? My ballot research, with my vote and personal notes, and also a compilation of explanations and endorsements from a lot of different sites (partly inspited by Lee Abuabara, cited below).
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Ballot itemMy pickPersonal notes/researchLA TimesSF Chronicle
Mercury News
Sac Bee
Lee Abuabara
Cal MattersVoter's EdgeVoter's Edge list of endorsements/opponentsPolitifactSummary/excerpts
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State Measure 51 (School bonds)No, reluctantlyARRRRRRRRGH this is a confusing mess.

I'm in favor of the state helping to fund schools. Especially poorer K-12 schools, and community colleges. I'm worried about the idea that this will not be helpful to the schools that need it most, and be driven by areas with the best lobbyists. Although, what's the alternative? The LA Times and others point out that local school bond measures are approved with a very high rate of success. But that also would mean schools in richer areas get more money, right? Not the neediest, either.

Also, the price tag seems particularly insane, and the interest is basically as much as the borrowed amount?? I'm usually willing to spend lots of money for schools and other things I care about. But the fact that the people who usually propose & approve these measures did not do so here and are opposed (Governor and Legislative Analyst office) is worrisome. It looks like this was well-intentioned but not put together by people with the right economic backgrounds.

I think I'm going to have to side with all the newspaper editorials on this (except the Chron). The school funding isn't going to start tapering off until 2018-2019 fiscal year, possibly longer -- and there are different estimates about whether a school funding surplus or a deficit will follow at that point. So with a couple years to go, hopefully a saner measure that will be more equitable and more fiscally responsible will emerge in that time.

NoYesNoNoYesWhat would it do?
Prop. 51 authorizes $9 billion in bonds to build new schools and modernize existing ones. Most of the money would be for K-12 schools, with about $2 billion for community colleges.
What would it cost?
Borrowing the $9 billion would cost the state an extra $8.6 billion in interest. The state would likely pay off the debt over 35 years, at a cost of about $500 million a year.
Why is it on the ballot?
Usually school bonds land on the ballot because the Legislature puts them there. That hasn’t happened in recent years, so home builders, developers and school construction companies got together to put this measure on the ballot on their own.
What supporters say:
California’s aging campuses need safety repairs and tech upgrades, while growing neighborhoods want to build new schools. The bonds will provide students a better learning environment, without directly raising taxes.  
What opponents say:
Prop. 51 benefits suburban home builders without doing much to help schools in low-income communities. Bonds are expensive—costing almost as much in interest as the amount borrowed—and put the state further in debt.  
The way it is now
The state of California helps school districts and community college districts pay for construction projects. Districts can apply for state money, but usually have to contribute some of the money themselves. The state usually pays 50 to 60 percent of school construction costs. Money for these projects is separate from money used to hire teachers or pay for educational programs. Since 1998, state bonds have provided a total of $36 billion for K-12 facilities and $4 billion for community college facilities.

What if it passes?
Allow the state to sell $9 billion in new bonds for educational facilities. $7 billion would be marked for K-12 public school facilities and $2 billion for community college facilities. School districts could apply for funds to buy land, repair old buildings or construct new facilities. The money from Prop 51 could not be used to hire teachers or pay for educational programs.

Budget effect
The total cost to pay off the bonds plus interest would be $17.6 billion. Payments of about $500 million would be made each year for about 35 years.

People FOR say
Many of our schools need repairs and upgrades to make them safe for our children.
Prop 51 will improve education overall and help expand space at community colleges so more students can attend.
People AGAINST say
Prop 51 would add to the state’s debt, which is already more than $400 billion.
Bond measures should be passed locally, giving communities control of how money is spent.
In favor:
* Republican state Sen. Janet Nguyen makes the case in favor of Prop. 51, writing in The Orange County Register that the bonds will keep school districts from pursuing parcel taxes or property tax increases. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/state-711061-school-new.html
San Francisco Chronicle
California School Nurses Organization
California School Boards Association
California Retired Teachers Association
California Republican Party
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
Sacramento Bee
San Jose Mercury-News
Los Angeles Times
Orange County Register
San Diego Union-Tribune
Bakersfield Californian
Press Enterprise
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California
Libertarian Party of California
* Gov. Jerry Brown: http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-pol-sac-jerry-brown-school-bond-20160212-story.html
LA Times: "The system needs to be fixed rather than perpetuated, which is why voters should reject Proposition 51 and press for a revamped measure to come before them in the next election. Unlike all the other school-bond measures... since the State Facilities Grant Program began in 1998, this one wasn’t put there by the Legislature with the governor’s approval. [Gov. Brown & the Legislative Analyst's Office] argued that it would promote sprawl and continue an inequitable system based on which school districts get to the application line fastest, not which ones need it the most.... local districts are in better shape to raise their own money because, with only a 55% approval margin needed, some 80% of local school-bond measures are approved."

Merc: bankrolled by construction company; benefits builders at taxpayers' expense; squanders money that should be spent in low income areas

Sac Bee: insanely expensive (costs twice as much to pay off as initially borrowed); rewards districts with the best lobbyists

Chron: the state has not come through with extra school money as expected, so this is needed. it's not agreed by everyone that the most needy schools wouldn't get the money -- there's a good chance the money could be awarded by hardship. this is overdue.
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State Measure 52 (State fees on hospitals)Yesgoing with general consensus. needed money for Medi-Cal. YesYes YesYesYesWhat would it do?
Prop. 52 would extend the current fees hospitals pay to receive more matching Medicaid funds from the federal government. It would also make it harder for the state Legislature to divert the fees to other state programs.
What would it cost the government?
The measure’s fiscal impact is unclear because we don’t know if the Legislature would have extended the existing hospital fee if Prop. 52 were not on the ballot. If lawmakers had declined to extend the fee, Prop. 52 would have saved the state roughly $1 billion and increased funding for public hospitals in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Why is it on the ballot?
The California Hospital Association is sponsoring Proposition 52 in a bid to stabilize and protect state funding that hospitals receive for treating low-income patients. Although the Legislature established the hospital fee in 2009 as a means to reimburse hospitals, lawmakers have diverted some of the money into the state’s general fund. Prop. 52 is one of three measures on the ballot that will boost Medi-Cal funding.
What supporters say:
It will ensure California hospitals can continue to recover some of the money they spend to provide services to low-income patients, providing a stable revenue stream and drawing an estimated $3 billion in federal matching funds.
What opponents say:
It will divert millions of dollars away from patients and into a health-care bureaucracy with no oversight, no accountability and no guarantee it is spent on health care.
The way it is now
The Medi-Cal program provides health care benefits to more than 13 million low-income Californians. Last year, the program cost $95 billion. Private hospitals are required to pay a fee that helps cover the cost of Medi-Cal. This money is matched by the federal government which gives the state additional funds to help pay for Medi-Cal health care services. The hospital fee is approved by state lawmakers and is set to expire in 2018.
What if it passes?
Make the fee private hospitals pay toward Medi-Cal permanent. Because Prop 52 is a constitutional amendment, it would make changing the hospital fee more difficult in the future. Changes to the fee would require voter approval or support of 2/3 of the Legislature.
Budget effect
The effect of this measure is uncertain and would depend on what state lawmakers do before the current fee expires in 2018. If they decide to extend the current fee on private hospitals, there would be little to no change to the state budget. If they do not extend the fee, then the Prop 52 funds from hospitals would save the state budget about $1 billion each year. This savings is because the state could use less of its General Fund money to pay for Medi-Cal.  
People FOR say
* This guarantees funding for Medi-Cal which helps low-income children and families.
* Prop 52 makes sure that state lawmakers cannot use this money for any other purpose.  
People AGAINST say
* Prop 52 would give more than $3 billion to hospitals without a guarantee that it will help patients.
* Instead of helping low-income Californians, Prop 52 would give more money to hospital corporations.
In favor:
California Alliance of Child and Family Services
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
California Democratic Party
California Hospital Association
Sacramento Bee
Peace and Freedom Party
Los Angeles Times
Green Party of California

Opposed:
Libertarian Party of California
Lee: Endorsed by everyone except Libertarians

Merc: "Critical to the state’s ability to collect federal dollars to help pay for health care for the poor. Vote yes." Extends a sunsetting fee to guarantee funding for Medi-Cal, which covers 39M Californians, including poor. Dems, Repubs, and virtually every medical association in state endorses
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State Measure 53 (Revenue bond statewide voter approval)Nogoing with general consensus. could block major important projects like bridges, dams, prisons -- add to direct democrazy (haha Freudian slip) headache NoNoNoNoNoWhat would it do?
Proposition 53 would require voter approval before any revenue bond over $2 billion can be issued by the state for state-managed projects. Few projects require bonds of that amount, but the threshold would likely complicate both of Brown’s priority infrastructure projects by requiring a public vote.
What would it cost the government?
Analysts couldn’t determine the fiscal impact of this measure because it depends on how voters and governments respond. It could have no impact if voters approve bonds and a project proceeds as planned. It could save money if voters reject bonds and the government instead uses existing infrastructure or a less expensive financing mechanism. It could cost money if the government plans several smaller projects to avoid the $2 billion threshold or finances the large project with higher-interest loans.
Why is it on the ballot?
Stockton farmer Dean Cortopassi, who opposes the Delta tunnels project, put Prop. 53 on the ballot.
What supporters say:
It would give voters a say in major infrastructure projects and could limit growth of the state’s debt load. Government debt will burden future generations, who could see reduced services or increased taxes to pay it off.
What opponents say:
It could delay or block more public works projects than anticipated, like water storage or bridge repairs. By requiring a statewide vote, it could allow voters in faraway regions to shoot down a project supported by those in the community. The type of bonds at issue in this measure—revenue bonds—are paid back by users of the project that’s built, not by taxpayers at large.
The way it is now
To pay for major construction projects, such as roads, bridges, dams and prisons, the state often uses money collected from taxes. Another way the state pays for these projects is by selling a special kind of bond, called a “revenue” bond, to investors. Once a project is completed, fees, such as bridge tolls, are then used to pay back the bond. Under current law, the state may sell revenue bonds without voter approval.

What if it passes?
Voters would have to approve revenue bonds that add up to more than $2 billion for a specific state project. Bonds sold at the local level, for example by cities, counties, or school districts, would not be affected.

Budget effect
The effect is hard to predict. There probably won’t be very many projects using revenue bonds that cost $2 billion or more. Very large construction projects could be affected, such as high-speed rail or regional water systems. The cost will depend on whether voters approve specific bonds and, if they don’t, whether the state decides to pay for the project in a different way.

People FOR say
The state should be required to get voter approval before taking on expensive building projects.
Prop 53 would give voters a voice and hold the state accountable for its spending.
People AGAINST say
Having to wait for an election could make it hard for the state to respond to disasters and emergencies.
Voters from across the state should not be able to decide what is best for a project that affects a local community.
In favor:
Orange County Register
Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers
Sacramento Taxpayers Association
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
Libertarian Party of California
California Republican Party

Opposed:
California State Association of Counties
California Chamber of Commerce
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
San Diego Union-Tribune
Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles Times
California Professional Firefighters
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California
California Democratic Party
Lee: Would require all proposals to get reviewed by voters

Papers: could mean things like bridges and dams might not get funded
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State Measure 54 (Legislation & proceedings)YesMore transparency can sometimes have unintended side effects and be a mild pain, but on the whole this seems fairly promising and low risk, despite Dem Party's fears that it might be used particularly by certain special interests. I think having a min amount of time available to read the bill before voting makes sense, and not penalizing people for recording things is good.YesYesYesYesNoWhat would it do?
Prop. 54 tries to put a stop to last-minute law-making by requiring the Legislature to publish a bill in print and online for at least 72 hours prior to a vote on the bill. (The measure makes exceptions in cases of public emergency.) It also would require the Legislature to video record all its public sessions and make video archives available online.
What would it cost the government?
Roughly $1 million to $2 million initially for equipment, plus about $1 million annually for making the videos and storing them online.
Why is it on the ballot?
Charles Munger Jr., a prominent Republican donor from the Bay Area, paid to put this measure on the ballot.
What supporters say:
It would make government more transparent by giving the public time to review bills before they become laws.
What opponents say:
Advance notice could cause delicate political deals to unravel by giving interest groups ample time to lobby legislators before they vote.
The way it is now
State laws are introduced as “bills” and voted on in the state Legislature. Lawmakers debate and make changes to a bill. This process normally takes several days or weeks but sometimes there are sudden changes to a bill right before a vote. Many bills are available online. But, sometimes the bill will not be posted for the public to see until close to the time that lawmakers vote on it. Many, but not all, public meetings of the Legislature are recorded and posted online.

What if it passes?
The Legislature would be required to put bills in print and post them online at least 72 hours before voting on them. All public meetings of the Legislature would be recorded and posted online within 24 hours. Any person would also be allowed to record public meetings of the Legislature. Prop 54 would put these changes into the California Constitution.

Budget effect
There would be a one-time cost of $1 million to $2 million to put Prop 54 into effect. Recording public meetings and posting them online would cost the state around $1 million each year.

People FOR say
Posting bills and recordings of the Legislature online would make it easier for California residents to see what lawmakers are doing.
Prop 54 would give the public and lawmakers time to read new laws before they are passed.
People AGAINST say
Prop 54 would make it harder for the Legislature to pass bills. Any little change to a bill would require lawmakers to wait 72 hours before voting on it.
Prop 54 would give people and groups in positions of power extra time to try and block or change a bill before it can be voted on.
In favor:
The Orange County Register
San Francisco Chronicle
San Diego Union-Tribune
Libertarian Party of California
Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles Times
The Mercury News
California State Conference of the NAACP
California Chamber of Commerce
Green Party of California
Common Cause California
League of Women Voters of California
California Republican Party

Opposed:
California Labor Federation
California Nurses Association
California Federation of Teachers
California Democratic Party
Lee: promotes special interests (says Democratic Party & others)

LA Times: this will neither promote special interests nor clean up backroom deals etc. But it will slightly improve transparency in ways that can't hurt: (1) require bill be in print for 72 hrs before vote, meaning Legislature members will have time to read the law before voting (and so will public in theory, though it's unlikely to happen); (2) guarantee right to record & use audio & video in all ways; (3) require all public meetings be captured on video and posted online within 24 hours. Various good gov't groups agree.

Sac Bee: slows last minute surge of bills that nobody reads; allows video; one should usually be wary of bills bankrolled by a single person, but it's hard to see how this will make things any worse. and it's cheap for taxpayers
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State Measure 55 (Tax extension)Yes, with some hesitationMeh. I'm in favor of progressive taxation and school funding. But man, this system seems broken, and 12 years is a long time to put off fixing it. I wish there were more consensus about whether there would still be incentive for legislators to fix things.

OTOH, while the amount of money this will raise is predicted to range from $4-9B, and is way overly tied to the markets, $4B isn't peanuts. Getting the schools some money is a good plan.
NoNoYesYesYesWhat would it do?
Prop. 55 would extend the 2012 voter-approved tax increase on high-income earners for 12 more years, to 2030. The tax applies to earnings over $250,000 a year for individuals, or over $500,000 for couples. Most of the revenue would continue to go to K-12 education, with the remaining set aside for community colleges and low-income health care programs.
What would it cost state government?
Nothing; Prop. 55 would reap billions for the state. The state could see increased revenues ranging from $4 billion to $9 billion a year from 2019 through 2030, depending on the economy and the stock market.
Why is it on the ballot?
The California Teachers Association and the California Hospital Association are bankrolling Prop. 55 and their constituencies stand to benefit from it passing. Revenues from this income tax are targeted for public schools and healthcare for low-income children. Those programs would likely see cuts if the 2012 tax increases expire.
What supporters say:
Prop. 55 maintains taxes on the wealthiest of Californians, and would prevent billions of dollars of cuts to public education needed to hire teachers and reduce class sizes. Funding for community colleges would make more classes available and keep tuition rates stable while low-income children would see improved access to health care.
What opponents say:
This measure is a broken promise to taxpayers who voted in 2012 for a temporary tax. Extending the tax by another 12 years is a power grab by labor unions that will send the state’s economy into a tailspin, forcing more businesses and jobs to leave California.
The way it is now
Income taxes collected by the state of California mostly go into the state’s General Fund. Most of the money in the General Fund goes toward education and health care services. In 2012, voters approved a higher, temporary tax on California residents making more than $250,000 per year. Money from this tax provides about $7 billion for the state each year. The tax is scheduled to expire at the end of 2018. There was a temporary increase in the sales tax which expires at the end of 2016.

What if it passes?
The 2012 income tax increase would be extended until the end of 2030. People earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 per year would pay between 1 and 3 percent higher taxes on income over those amounts. The money collected from these taxes would provide more money for schools and community colleges. Prop 55 would also provide extra money to the Medi-Cal health care program in some years. The temporary increase in the sales tax would expire.

Budget effect
Prop 55 would raise between $4 billion and $9 billion in taxes each year for the state. Roughly half of this money will go toward schools and community colleges. Medi-Cal could receive up to $2 billion dollars extra annually, depending on the taxes collected and other factors.

People FOR say
Prop 55 would provide billions of dollars for schools and community colleges.
Prop 55 would only affect California residents who can afford to pay more in taxes.
People AGAINST say
Voters should respect their decision from 2012. Current taxes should expire in 2018.
Prop 55 will hurt small businesses and eliminate jobs. It will also take money away from people who have worked hard to earn it.
In favor:
The Mercury News
Sacramento Bee
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California
ACLU of California
California Federation of Teachers
AFSCME
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
Orange County Register
California Taxpayers Association
California Chamber of Commerce
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
San Francisco Chronicle
San Diego Union-Tribune
Los Angeles Times
Libertarian Party of California
California Republican Party
The Yes on 55 campaign claimed in recent ads that "Prop 55 prevents $4 billion in new cuts to our schools."

There would certainly be less money for schools if the tax extension fails.

But the advertisements say nothing about the fact that Prop 30 was a temporary measure, and that its revenue was not promised forever. Nor do they mention that school budgets will continue to go up for several years until the Prop 30 revenue runs out after 2018.

Supporters of 55 point to an estimated $4 billion school funding deficit by the 2019-2020 fiscal year, if the measure fails. They also cite a separate $4 billion operating shortfall for all its services by the same year.

Another respected financial outlook, however, projects a $2 billion operating surplus for California that same year. That estimate paints a very different picture.

If the ads had said Prop 55’s failure could lead to eventual school funding hardships, years from now, they would have been more accurate.

But they leave the impression that the measure’s failure will lead to deep school cuts much sooner. And that’s not the case.
Lee: more progressive taxing to fund schools

LA Times: This is a cowardly move that extends the current planned redesign of the state budget mess by 12 years, so none of the current legislators have to deal with it. It sounds like a good progressive tax, but it ties revenue for schools, healthcare, & more too closely to the volatile Wall Street markets by only taxing the investing class. This bit California schools in the ass in 2008. We need to instead rely on a mixture of revenue that is progressive but less volatile, and force the legislature to actually address the current mess.

Merc: it's a band-aid, not a real fix, but it's targeting essential stuff (mostly school), and it leaves incentive for the legislature to create a longer term fix.

Sac Bee: very reluctant yes, for reasons cited by LA Times... but schools need money: "If there were even a faint hope that the Legislature might summon the political will to overhaul this state’s dysfunctional tax structure, we would not be endorsing the Proposition 55 extension."

Chron: a false promise to schools that they'll continue to get money till 2030, when really it all depends on the market -- need a better fix, faster
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State Measure 56 (Cigarette tax)NoMeh. I like personal liberty and find sin taxes morally obnoxious and regressive. Economic incentives to reduce behavior that costs taxpayers money down the line (treatment of disease) is a sensible model on the surface... except that I don't actually want to pay more taxes because I don't exercise enough or eat the perfect diet or drink soda -- or because I am more at risk of certain health conditions (like smokers are with heart disease and cancer). And I feel this especially strongly because, demographically, the burden of sin taxes falls disproportionately on the poor and the less educated.

I think trying to reduce smoking among young people and raise money for disease research are decent goals. But this is not the best way to do that.
YesYesYesYesNoWhat would it do?
Prop. 56 would add a $2 tax to cigarettes, electronic cigarettes containing nicotine, and other tobacco products to primarily increase funding for existing health care programs.
What would it cost the government?
Nothing; this measure would add revenue to the state budget. It would provide an estimated $1 billion to $1.4 billion in 2017-18, with potentially lower revenues in future years.
Why is it on the ballot?
Prop. 56 is sponsored by a coalition of healthcare groups that could stand to see a boost in Medi-Cal funding if it passes. The measure is one of three on the November ballot that would increase Medi-Cal funding, which healthcare advocates say has yet to recover from cuts the Legislature made during the recession.
What supporters say:
Prop. 56 is a user fee paid only by smokers to help pay for healthcare, cancer treatment, smoking prevention, and research to cure cancer and tobacco-related diseases. Taxing tobacco saves lives with a proven reduction in youth smoking. California’s current tax on cigarettes—87 cents per pack—is low compared to most states.
What opponents say:
This measure is a tax grab by insurance companies, labor unions and hospitals, with just a fraction of the money set aside for smoking prevention. More pressing problems like the drought, education, road repairs and violent crime should benefit from any tax increases.
The way it is now
Special taxes, called excise taxes, are collected on cigarettes and some other tobacco products. The state does not currently charge a special “excise tax” for electronic cigarettes. Currently, the tax on cigarettes is 87 cents per pack, with slightly higher taxes on other tobacco products. Money from these special taxes is spent on a range of programs, including tobacco education and services for young children.

What if it passes?
The excise tax on tobacco products would go up by $2 per pack of cigarettes. The tax would apply to cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine liquid, or “e-juice.” Money from the tax would help pay for several healthcare and education programs.

Budget effect
The state would collect between $1.3 and $1.6 billion in the first year of the tax. In future years, the money collected could be lower if people buy fewer tobacco products. Most of the money would be used to pay for tobacco education, extra training for doctors, and the state’s health care program for low-income Californians.

People FOR say
Raising taxes on tobacco products will help prevent people from smoking.
Prop 56 would provide millions of dollars for important healthcare programs.
People AGAINST say
Prop 56 does not provide enough money to help people quit using tobacco.
Prop 56 would spend too much money enforcing the tobacco tax.
In favor:
American Lung Association in California
American Heart Association
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles Times
Green Party of California
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
Orange County Register
California Black Chamber of Commerce
California Retailers Association
California State Fraternal Order of Police
Peace and Freedom Party
Libertarian Party of California
Lee: Regressive, nanny-state

Newspapers: CA tax is way lower than most states. This goes to fund research & treatment of smoking-related problems, and toward education. There's evidence that such taxes reduce youth smoking.
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State Measure 57 (Earlier parole)YesYes, please. I'm in favor of massive prison and incarceration reform; this is a good start.

I understand the fears of the opponents who say this is too sloppy in various ways. But parole boards still have to approve release of all the non-violent offenders who are now eligible, and the state already has policies in place that will continue to prevent sex offenders & others from early release. I don't think we're gonig to be dealing with mass release of a bunch of dangerous folks who were sloppily classified. It sounds like a much better approximation of the policy I want than our current one.
YesYesNoYesYesWhat would it do?
Prop. 57 would increase the number of nonviolent inmates eligible for parole consideration and enable inmates to earn credits for good behavior. It also lets judges decide whether to try a juvenile as an adult, likely resulting in fewer young offenders being placed in the adult system.
What would it cost the government?
Reductions in prison population would lead to a savings for state government likely in the tens of millions of dollars each year, according to the state legislative analyst. Meanwhile, counties might incur a cost of a few million dollars a year.
Why is it on the ballot?
Gov. Jerry Brown put Prop. 57 on the ballot, arguing that the tough sentencing laws he once embraced have had unintended consequences that over-burdened the criminal justice system. The measure is a piece of his bigger plan to reduce the prison population and save the state money.
What supporters say:
Prop. 57 is a long-term solution that stops wasting costly prison space on non-violent offenders who can be rehabilitated, while keeping dangerous criminals behind bars. It gives judges—instead of prosecutors—the power to decide whether a minor should be tried as an adult, which will improve juvenile justice by reducing racial bias and the number of minors sent through adult courts.
What opponents say:
Prop. 57 is a deceptive measure that could endanger public safety with the early release of inmates convicted of violent crimes such as rape and assault with a deadly weapon. Though the initiative says it only applies to “nonviolent” offenders, the term is broadly defined under California law and applies to certain rapes and assaults.
The way it is now
The State of California has been making changes in sentencing and procedures for different kinds of crimes in order to prevent prison overcrowding. Before they can be eligible for parole, people with felony convictions must serve a minimum sentence for their main crimes and may serve additional time for lesser charges. Most inmates can reduce their sentences by earning credits for education, job training and good behavior. When someone is accused of a crime, court procedures are sometimes different based on whether the person is under the age of 18. Depending on the seriousness of the crime and their criminal history, youth 14 to 17 may be tried either as juveniles or as adults. In some cases, prosecutors can choose whether the case should be tried in juvenile or adult court.

What if it passes?
Make changes to the State Constitution about sentencing and court procedures for two kinds of situations. Adults convicted of non-violent felonies would be eligible for parole after serving time for their main crimes. Inmates may also have more opportunities to reduce their sentences through credits for good behavior and approved educational activities. Changes would also be made to youth court procedures. Youth accused of a crime who are 14 to 17 years old could not be tried in adult court unless it was decided by a juvenile court judge.

Budget effect
By reducing the adult prison population, the state could save money in the tens of millions of dollars each year. Moving youth offenders to juvenile courts would save an additional few million dollars. Counties would need to spend additional money in the short term to supervise a larger number of felons on parole. Moving youth out of adult court would likely cost counties a few million dollars each year.

People FOR say
Prop 57 would reduce overcrowding in state prisons and save money spent on non-violent offenders.
Prop 57 would encourage inmates to take advantage of educational and rehabilitation opportunities.
People AGAINST say
Prop 57 would release a greater number of convicted felons onto the street.
Prop 57 would weaken crime laws and fail to honor the original sentence ordered by a judge.
In favor:
California Labor Federation
California Federation of Teachers
American Civil Liberties Union
Orange County Register
San Francisco Chronicle
Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles Times
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
California Homeowners Association
California District Attorneys Association
California Police Chiefs Association
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Mercury News
California Republican Party
The Stop 57 campaign claimed "Brock Turner’s early release will be a regular occurrence if Prop. 57 passes."

There are plenty of offenders who could be eligible for early parole under the ballot measure. California has a category of nonviolent offenders, many of whom committed heinous crimes and could be eligible for, though not guaranteed parole.

Under its early release policy for second strike prisoners, however, the state corrections department excludes sex offenders from even being considered for early parole.

That policy is not a state law. But the state corrections agency says it expects to continue this practice.
Lee: Early parole for nonviolent felons only; reduce overcrowding. Also requires judge (in addition to current prosecutor) to decide if a juvenile should be tried as an adult

Merc: it's a good idea but too sloppily written; most DAs oppose it due to lack of clarity and overly narrow definition of violent crimes

Sac Bee: felons don't just get released -- still have to pass parole board.
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State Measure 58 (Multilingual education)YesThis pits my desire for effective policies against my belief in freedom of choice. >:( (Interesting that the Libertarian party is actually against this, despite it increasing parental freedom.) I generally do think it's good if we factor proficiency of English acquisition into our policies around language teaching, and it appears that Prop 227 -- while flawed in some ways -- actually did strongly improve English proficiency [oh, okay, that's according to the Merc, but reading the Sac Bee, it seems that those findings are not unanimous]. But it also seems 227 was way overly limiting and harsh not just on immigrants, but on anyone who wants choice about when and how their kids learn foreign languages. And it didn't allow adapting to individual needs.

Hopefully there will be further study of what is most effective in teaching both English and other subjects, and schools will continue to pay close attention to what classroom programs help students the most (sometimes parents don't actually have true beliefs about what is most helpful with second language acquisition -- as I know well from having studied language). But individual students' needs and parents' desires should matter, and there should be flexibility. Getting rid of 227 seems like the sanest move.
YesYesNoYesYesWhat would it do?
Prop. 58 would remove restrictions voters put in place in 1998 with Prop. 227. It would allow public schools to decide how to teach English learners – choosing among English-only, bilingual, or other types of programs. It would also open the door for native English speakers to learn a second language.
What would it cost the government?
The state legislative analyst found no notable fiscal effect on school districts or state government.
Why is it on the ballot?
The Legislature put Prop. 58 on the ballot; State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) is spearheading the initiative.
What supporters say:
Prop. 58 removes decades-old barriers to student learning and allows educators to use a variety of teaching methods to help the approximately one-fifth of California students who are not native English speakers. Schools also could more easily provide programs for native English speakers in a second language, readying them for the global economy.
What opponents say:
The current system is working, with more California Latinos gaining admission to college and universities. Prop. 58 will force children back into Spanish-only instruction, which will hinder their ability to quickly learn English and prosper as adults.
The way it is now
More than 20 percent of California students are considered English learners. These students have a hard time reading, writing or speaking in English. Under current law, the state requires schools to teach these students mostly in English. State law limits the use of bilingual programs, which teach students using English and their native language. As a result, very few schools offer bilingual programs.

What if it passes?
Schools would no longer be required to teach English learners in English-only programs. Schools would be allowed to use bilingual programs to teach English based on the needs of their students. School districts would have to get feedback from parents about how English learners should be taught.

Budget effect
Prop 58 would have no effect on the state budget. Costs for school districts and county governments would be small. Schools might need to develop new programs or train teachers, but these costs would likely be paid for within current budgets.

People FOR say
English learners should be educated in whatever way best meets their learning needs.
Prop 58 would give parents and school districts more control over the way children are educated.
People AGAINST say
Since the state has required instruction primarily in English, student test scores have improved.
Prop 58 would hurt some students’ chances of learning English by creating classrooms that primarily teach in Spanish.
In favor:
California Association of School Administrators
California Language Teachers Association
California Teachers Association
San Francisco Chronicle
Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles Times
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
The Orange County Register
San Diego Union-Tribune
The Mercury News
Libertarian Party of California
California Republican Party
Lee: "repeal the cruel and hideous Proposition 227 of 1998, which basically made it illegal for CA schools to teach kids who weren’t fluent in English."

Merc: "Before Prop. 227, many English learners were stuck in a multiyear system that failed to teach them English. Parents couldn’t get them into immersion classes that blend more than one language. The education hierarchy insisted they be taught subjects in their native languages first to keep them from falling behind. One reason we feared Prop. 227 at the time was the prospect of kids who don’t speak English being dropped in classes taught entirely in English, with no help catching up. That would have been terrible, but apparently it did not happen. Look at Prop. 227 through the lens of student outcomes, which is the measure that counts: In just five years after its passage, the English proficiency of limited-English students tripled. And, not coincidentally, the math scores of the English-immersion students rose. It demonstrably helped students."

Sac Bee: give students and parents more choice. Supported by entire education system. "Studies are not definitive on whether Proposition 227 worked for Spanish-speaking students.... This ballot measure isn’t only about how best to help native Spanish speakers become proficient in English. It’s also about giving more options to parents, often affluent parents who want their kids to be in dual immersion programs for Mandarin and other languages, as well as Spanish."
12
State Measure 59 (Corporation political spending)Nohttp://www.effectivism.net/2016/10/citizens-united-non-binding-proposition/NoYesYesYesNoWhat would it do?
Not much, in the short term at least. Prop. 59 is an advisory measure—it’s an opportunity for Californians to give their opinion but it doesn’t directly change any laws. The measure asks if voters want California’s elected officials to take steps to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United. Amending the Constitution is a lengthy process that generally requires, among other things, support from at least 38 states nationwide.
What would it cost state government?
Nothing.
Why is it on the ballot?
The Legislature’s Democratic majority placed Prop. 59 on the ballot after lobbying by groups that oppose both Citizens United and the prevalence of money in politics. It was originally supposed to be on the ballot in 2014, but was delayed by a lawsuit challenging whether lawmakers can ask voters to weigh in on non-binding measures. The California Supreme Court ruled advisory questions are permissible.
What supporters say:
As one piece of a passionate nationwide movement, this measure takes a step toward undercutting big-money politics. Similar measures have already passed in Montana and Colorado, and voters in the state of Washington face one in November. Even if these non-binding measures don’t lead to a Constitutional amendment, approval of Prop. 59 could influence Supreme Court justices in the future if they reconsidered Citizens United.
What opponents say:
The measure doesn’t actually do anything but clog the ballot and potentially confuse voters. Citizens United isn’t the only ruling that governs campaign finance issues—and overturning it would still allow a lot of money to gush through the political system, including campaign spending by wealthy individuals, and corporate and union donations directly to politicians.
The way it is now
Before 2010, unions and corporations had limits on the amount of money they could spend on political campaigns. In 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled that corporations are the same as individuals when it comes to political spending (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission). This court decision allows unions and corporations to spend unlimited money on political advertisements before an election. Supreme Court decisions can be changed by amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If the U.S. Congress starts the process of making an amendment, at least 38 state Legislatures need to agree with it.

What if it passes?
A “yes” vote on Prop 59 asks California’s state lawmakers to do everything in their power to reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Because Prop 59 is an advisory question, it only provides lawmakers with public feedback. Voting “yes” or “no” does not guarantee that the U.S. Congress or state lawmakers will move to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Budget effect
Lawmakers may or may not take any specific action. This measure would have no effect on the state budget.

People FOR say
Prop 59 would send a message that California does not support the Citizens United decision.
Corporations and billionaires should not be able to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.

People AGAINST say
Prop 59 is a waste of time. Propositions should be used for real laws, not advisory questions.
This does nothing to reduce campaign spending or help us get better information about political donations.
In favor:
California Labor Federation
California Federation of Teachers
Sierra Club of California
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
Sacramento Bee
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California
California Democratic Party
Loretta Sanchez, U.S. Representative for California's 46th District
Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California
Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator for Vermont

Opposed:
The Orange County Register
San Diego Union-Tribune
Los Angeles Times
California Republican Party
Tom McClintock, U.S. Representative for California's 4th District
Me/Effectivism: "TL;DR: an amendment is not likely to be an effective approach for addressing the downsides of Citizens United, because amendments are way too hard to pass. It’s also difficult to craft well, and some organizations like the ACLU oppose such an amendment (others, like the L.A. Times, object to committing to an amendment without knowing the specifics). There are many other campaign finance reforms suggested that seem more plausible, and important. Additionally, this non-binding resolution seems unlikely to be all that effective at persuading CA lawmakers to shift much due to the current political situation."

Lee: "This sounds good... Here’s the catch: California’s elected officials have no constitutional authority to overturn Citizens United."

Merc: "It’s not going to affect the court; it’s just a chance to vent." [but it won't hurt and that's worth doing]

Sac Bee/Chron: non-binding, but sends a strong message on an issue too important to skip endorsing. Avoid sending the wrong message by not showing representatives this matters
13
State Measure 60 (Adult films health requirements)Noseems unnecessary, and penalizes some people who shouldn't be penalized. almost everyone is against it.NoNoNoNoNoWhat would it do?
Prop. 60 would require porn actors to use condoms when filming intercourse. It would create a system for people to make complaints and file lawsuits if they see a sex scene that does not include a condom. It would require that adult film producers pay for performers’ vaccinations, testing and medical exams related to sexual health.
What would it cost state government?
Additional regulations on adult film production would cost more than $1 million annually. In addition, state and local tax revenue would probably drop by several million dollars a year if productions move out of state or go underground to evade the condom mandate.
Why is it on the ballot?
The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation put Prop. 60 on the ballot after failing to persuade the Legislature to pass a statewide condom requirement
What supporters say:
State law already requires adult performers to use condoms on the job, but they are exposed to disease because the provision is rarely enforced. Prop. 60 strengthens existing law by adding new enforcement mechanisms that protect workers in the porn industry.
What opponents say:
Viewers don’t want to watch sex involving condoms, so porn producers will leave California or go underground if this measure passes. The state’s adult film industry already minimizes disease transmission by frequently testing performers. This measure would lead to new lawsuits.
The way it is now
Many adult films and other types of pornography are made in California. The state has laws in place to make sure that people are safe and protected while at work. These laws also apply to adult film producers and actors. Safety regulations currently require performers to use condoms during sex on adult film sets to prevent HIV, AIDS and other diseases. If the state office of workplace safety gets a complaint, companies that do not follow this rule may be fined. In 2014, Los Angeles also passed a local law requiring condoms in adult films.

What if it passes?
Adult film producers would be required to make sure condoms are used while filming vaginal and anal sex. Adult film producers would be required to get a license and provide information to the state about their film shoots. These requirements would apply to pornography produced by film studios, as well as by individual performers or couples. The state’s workplace safety agency would have more time to investigate and fine adult film producers that do not use condoms. California residents would also be allowed to sue adult film producers for not using condoms if the state failed to take action.

Budget effect
It is difficult to say exactly what would happen if the law passes. If companies and individuals making pornography decide to move out of California, state and local governments would likely lose several million dollars in taxes. The cost to enforce the law would be around $1 million each year. This cost would mostly be paid for by fees on adult film producers.

People FOR say
The current law requiring condoms is not being followed by adult film producers.
Prop 60 would protect adult film performers from harmful diseases like HIV and AIDS.

People AGAINST say
Adult performers are already tested frequently for diseases. Prop 60 is not necessary.
Married couples who film in their own homes could be sued.
In favor:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Santa Monica Democratic Club
The Bakersfield Californian
Peace and Freedom Party

Opposed:
Equality California
Los Angeles County Democratic Party
The Bay Area Reporter
The Orange County Register
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
San Diego Union-Tribune
Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles Times
Libertarian Party (California)
California Republican Party
California Democratic Party
Opponents of California’s Prop 60, which would require condom use in adult films, recently claimed it would put "workers in the adult film industry at risk for lawsuits and harassment."

The statement is partially accurate: Some adult film workers, and perhaps a growing share, could face lawsuits if they have a financial interest in the content they work on. But Prop 60 does not specify what constitutes a financial interest. Ultimately, it may be up to the courts to decide.

Importantly, the claim by the opponents makes no mention that only workers with a monetary stake in the films would be liable and only after a complaint process plays out. Those who are independent contractors would face no legal action.

The statement leaves out this key context and gives the impression that any or all workers could face lawsuits.

Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, a sociologist who studies the adult film industry, said the percentage of workers who have a financial stake in adult content they contribute to "is certainly very high," though she said there’s no accepted estimate. Advances in technology and distribution, she said, have allowed more workers to share in the financial success of their content.
Lee: Opposed by Dems, Repubs, Libs, ~all the newspapers, and ~everyone else.
14
State Measure 61 (State prescription drug purchases)NoIt's messily written & unclear what the actual impact would be, but could be bad for poor people and veterans. Few endorsements.NoNoNoNoNoWhat would it do?
Prop. 61 would cap the amount the state pays for prescription drugs—generally prohibiting the state from paying any more for drugs than the lowest price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which pays the lowest prices in the nation.
What would it cost?
Prop. 61 could save the state some money, but it’s hard to say for certain. If drug makers responded to the measure by raising prices for the Department of Veterans Affairs, that would negate any potential savings to the state. Because the drug market reaction is unpredictable, the state’s legislative analysts concluded that the fiscal impact is unknown.
Why is it on the ballot?
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles—which runs pharmacies and health clinics around the world—paid to put Prop. 61 on the ballot.
What supporters say:
Prop. 61 will rein in soaring drug prices and fights back against pharmaceutical companies that reap profit from people’s illnesses.
What opponents say:
It would limit prices only for people in certain government health plans, but could make medication more expensive for others—especially veterans—if drug companies hike prices to make up the difference.
The way it is now
The state of California spends approximately $3.8 billion on prescription drugs each year. These drugs are purchased for Medi-Cal patients, state employees and prisoners. Medi-Cal is the program that provides health benefits to low income Californians. Medi-Cal and other state agencies negotiate with drug companies to try and make sure the state is getting a good deal. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) buys prescription drugs for military veterans. The national VA often gets a better deal on drugs than the state of California.

What if it passes?
Limit the amount the state could pay for prescription drugs. State agencies would not be allowed to pay more than the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for a particular medication. Prop 61 would apply to most state agencies, except the state’s “managed care system,” which covers 75 percent of people on Medi-Cal. The state would also regularly check to make sure drug costs weren’t higher than those paid by the VA.

Budget effect
How much the state could save depends on many factors. It is not always clear exactly how much the VA pays for medication. Sometimes the VA works out special pricing with drug companies that is not made public. The state may not be able to find some of this information. Drug companies also might raise prices on the VA in response to Prop 61, or refuse to offer the state the lowest price.

People FOR say
Prop 61 would make sure California is not paying too much for prescription drugs.
Prop 61 could save the state millions or billions of dollars in healthcare costs.

People AGAINST say
Prop 61 would not apply to 88 percent of state residents, including most people on Medi-Cal.
Prop. 61 would remove discounts the state currently receives and would increase healthcare costs, not reduce them.
In favor:
Pharmaceutical Action Network for Disadvantaged Americans
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
California Nurses Association
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California

Opposed:
California Medical Association
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California
California Chamber of Commerce
The Orange County Register
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles Times
Libertarian Party of California
California Republican Party
Lee: no clear reason to vote yes; poorly conceived; maybe not implementable; might raise prices for veterans

Sac Bee: "The initiative comes with too many uncertainties and not enough guarantees that things won’t get worse. We’re loath to admit the industry is right when it says this is an all-too-simplistic solution to a complicated issue."
15
State Measure 62 (Ban death penalty)YesRegardless of whether one believes the death penalty is morally acceptable in some cases, we're not nearly good enough at making sure we're right about who is guilty (and our system is biased such that minority populations suffer egregiously more than others). Bonus: save money!YesYesYesYesYesWhat would they do?
The dueling campaigns of Propositions 62 and 66 seek to address California’s broken death penalty system—but in two very different ways. Prop. 62 would abolish the death penalty, and all current death row inmates would be resentenced to life in prison without parole. Prop. 66 attempts to reform capital punishment by shortening the time of legal challenges. It would also allow the state to house condemned men outside San Quentin, currently the only prison that has a death row for men.
What would they cost the government?
Prop. 62 would save the state and counties around $150 million a year, with fewer costs related to prisons, murder trials and legal challenges to death sentences, according to the state legislative analyst. Under Prop. 66, the cost to state courts for processing legal challenges to death sentences is unknown. The measure could save tens of millions a year in prison costs.
Why are they on the ballot?
Former "M*A*S*H" actor Mike Farrell authored Proposition 62, and he has amassed celebrity support to abolish what critics describe as a failed system that doesn’t protect the innocent. Former NFL player Kermit Alexander—whose mother, sister and two nephews were murdered by a man now on death row—filed Prop. 66, the competing measure to expedite the death penalty process, and gained the support of law enforcement. Alexander was among the key critics of a failed 2012 ballot initiative that sought to abolish the death penalty.
If both Propositions 62 and 66 pass, the one with the most votes will prevail.
What death penalty opponents say:
(yes on Prop. 62 and no on Prop. 66)
Prop. 62 ensures convicted murderers serve a strict life sentence and abolishes a failed and biased death penalty system that has cost the state $5 billion to date. It ensures not a single innocent person would be wrongfully executed.
Prop. 66 will cost taxpayers millions of dollars, add layers of government bureaucracy that will lead to more delay, and increase the risk that California executes an innocent person.
What death penalty supporters say:
(no on Prop. 62 and yes on Prop. 66)
Abolishing the death penalty under Prop. 62 would allow the most brutal murderers to stay alive on the taxpayer dime. Prop. 62 jeopardizes public safety, denies justice and closure to victims’ families, and rewards the most horrible killers.
Prop. 66 fixes California’s flawed death penalty system and ensures due process protections for those sentenced to death. It promotes justice for murder victims and their families.
The way it is now
Under current law, some prisoners convicted of first-degree murder may be sentenced to death. Because of legal challenges to the current method of execution by lethal injection California has not executed a prisoner since 2006. There are 748 prisoners currently waiting to be executed on “death row.” Almost all prisoners are involved in different kinds of appeals to their death sentences, leading to multiple court proceedings after their original conviction.

What if it passes?
The death penalty would be eliminated. The maximum penalty for first-degree murder would be life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prisoners currently on death row would have their sentences changed to life in prison. All prisoners convicted of murder, including those serving life in prison, would be required to work. The amount of money that could be deducted from inmates’ pay would also increase from 50 to 60 percent. This money would be used to pay any debts owed to victims and their families.

Budget effect
There would be cost savings from changes to murder trials, court appeals and getting rid of death row at state prisons. The state would save around $150 million annually within a few years, including $55 million spent fighting death penalty appeals each year.

People FOR say
Getting rid of the death penalty would save the state millions of dollars in costs.
This is the only way to make sure that no innocent person is ever executed in California.
People AGAINST say
We need the strongest possible punishment for the most serious first-degree murderers.
The pay that inmates would put toward victims’ families cannot make up for the lost life.
In favor:
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
League of Women Voters of California
NAACP California
The Orange County Register
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
Peace and Freedom Party
Los Angeles Times
Libertarian Party of California
Green Party of California
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
California Professional Firefighters
California District Attorneys Association
Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs
California Republican Party
Lee: "Sometimes bigotry isn’t even why we can’t have nice things; sometimes it’s why we can’t have really morally dubious and kind of awful things. We clearly can’t be trusted with the death penalty, so let’s get rid of it."
16
State Measure 63 (Guns and ammo)YesThese are mostly sensible measures; they may be somewhat redundant and don't seem perfect -- but as the Merc points out, there's room to easily tweak them. And the proposed restrictions are some of the most effective forms of gun control (https://gimletmedia.com/episode/gun-control/)YesYesYesYesYesWhat would it do?
The two parts of Prop. 63 that are similar to newly-approved state laws are provisions that would require criminal background checks for people purchasing ammunition and prohibit possession of large-capacity magazines (those that hold more than 10 bullets).
Other pieces of Prop. 63 would make new requirements for reporting lost or stolen firearms and ammunition to authorities; prohibit people from possessing firearms if they’re convicted of stealing a firearm; establish new ways for authorities to remove guns from people who are prohibited from owning them; change theft of a gun worth $950 or less from a misdemeanor to a felony; strengthen the national criminal background check system by requiring the state to share information about people who are prohibited from owning firearms.
What would it cost the government?
Tens of millions of dollars a year related to new processes for removing firearms from people who are not allowed to own them because they’ve been convicted of a crime. Millions of dollars annually to regulate ammunition sales and jail those facing stiffer penalties for certain gun crimes.
Why is it on the ballot?
Newsom, who is running for governor in 2018, put forth Prop. 63 after consulting with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco.
What supporters say:
Something must be done about gun violence, which injures or kills more than 300 Americans each day. Even in California’s Democratic-controlled statehouse, the gun lobby has successfully blocked efforts to pass some policies aimed at keeping guns and ammunition out of the wrong hands. This initiative takes those questions directly to voters.
What opponents say:
Criminals, by definition, don’t obey the law, so putting more restrictions on guns and ammunition won’t stop them—it will just burden law-abiding gun owners. This measure is a way for Newsom to boost his image before running for governor in two years.
The way it is now
State and federal laws prevent certain people from owning guns. This includes people who have committed felonies and some other crimes, as well as certain people with mental illness. People buying a gun must also get a background check through the Department of Justice. Right now, no background check is required to buy ammunition, such as bullets or shotgun shells. A background check will be required to buy ammunition beginning in January 2017.

What if it passes?
Prop 63 would create a new court process to make sure people convicted of felonies and some other crimes do not have guns. Probation officers would be required to make sure these people have given up their guns. People could turn their guns into the police, store them with a gun dealer, or sell them to a gun dealer. Prop 63 would also make it illegal to possess certain types of gun 'magazines' or clips that hold a large number of bullets.

Budget effect
New court procedures could cost in the tens of millions of dollars annually. Costs for prisons, jails, parole and probation would probably not be more than a few million dollars each year. Some of the costs would be paid for by fees on ammunition sellers or gun buyers.

People FOR say
Prop 63 would make sure that violent criminals and people with mental illnesses don’t have access to guns.
This strengthens existing gun laws and prevents dangerous people from buying ammunition.
People AGAINST say
This would make it harder for people who follow the law to buy ammunition.
The costs for Prop 63 could be better spent training police, hiring more officers and getting violent criminals off the street.
In favor:
California Federation of Teachers
California Medical Association
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Mercury News
Sacramento Bee
San Francisco Chronicle
Los Angeles Times
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
California Police Chiefs Association
California Correctional Peace Officers Association
California State Sheriff’s Association
The Orange County Register
Peace and Freedom Party
Libertarian Party of California
California Republican Party
Lee: Background checks + no guns for current felons & abusers; establishes enforcement procedures

Sac Bee: closes dangerous loopholes

Merc: "We normally are leery of legislating by ballot on complex matters like this because laws often have unintended consequences, and going back to the voters to fix them is cumbersome and costly. But Proposition 63 permits the Legislature to amend it with 55 percent approval, as long as changes stay within the spirit of the law. It’s a very good idea that we’d like to see become a staple for initiatives."

The argument against is that this is redundant with existing laws, but clunkier/less efficient, and doesn't include necessary exemptions for police officers and others (e.g.: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/need-732210-election-strictest.html )
17
State Measure 64 (Marijuana legalization)YesYay, personal liberty and improvement to the sad, ineffective state of War on Drugs + overloaded criminal justice system. Plus it's turning out to be an effective medication for several conditions, but lots of doctors are still waiting on legality to start prescribing.YesYesYesNoYesWhat would it do?
Prop. 64 would allow people 21 and older to grow up to six pot plants at home, possess up to an ounce of marijuana and use it for recreational purposes. It would allow the state, as well as cities and counties, to regulate and tax the growing and sale of non-medical marijuana.
What would it cost the government?
It all depends on how state and local governments choose to regulate and tax marijuana, whether the federal government enforces federal marijuana laws, and the price and use of marijuana. The state’s legislative analyst concluded that taxes generated could eventually reach more than $1 billion a year. Local and state governments also could save tens of millions of dollars a year in jail costs because marijuana use would no longer be a state crime.
Why is it on the ballot?
Legalization advocates are trying again after California voters shot down their last initiative to sanction marijuana in 2010. This time they’ve got an influx of cash from technology moguls and political heft from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
What supporters say:
It would bring the state’s booming and unregulated recreational marijuana market under the rule of law, protecting consumers and the environment. It is a recognition that decades of prohibition and aggressive enforcement of criminal laws hasn’t worked.
What opponents say:
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Prop. 64 would lead to an increase in marijuana smoking, causing more cases of cancer, heart attacks, strokes and other health issues. Children will be exposed to marijuana advertising and the roads will be less safe.
The way it is now
Since 1996, it has been legal for California residents to grow and use marijuana for medical purposes if they have a doctor’s recommendation. It is not legal to grow, process, possess or use marijuana for non-medical (recreational) purposes. Penalties for growing, possessing or selling marijuana range from fines to long prison sentences.

What if it passes?
Make it legal to grow, possess or use marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older. Businesses growing and selling non-medical marijuana would be regulated. There would be limits on the amount a person could possess for individual use. Taxes would be set for retail sales and on growers of non-medical marijuana. Money from these taxes would pay for things like for youth programs, environmental protection and drug education efforts.

Budget effect
The costs of Prop 64 and how much money it would raise are unclear. The amount coming in from taxes depends on how much non-medical marijuana is grown and purchased through the new legal system. Over time, state and local governments could earn taxes in the hundreds of millions of dollars or more than $1 billion each year. The state and local governments could also save tens of millions of dollars on court and law enforcement costs each year.

People FOR say
Prop 64 would set up a safe, legal system that allows adults to use recreational marijuana.
Prop 64 would bring in more than $1 billion each year and lower state court costs.
People AGAINST say
Prop 64 would increase the illegal drug trade and hurt low income communities.
Prop 64 allows marijuana to be grown near schools and puts youth at risk of addiction.
In favor:
California Medical Association
ACLU of California
East Bay Times
The Orange County Register
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
Los Angeles Times
Green Party of California
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
California Hospital Association
California Peace Officers Association
California District Attorneys Association
Sacramento Bee
Libertarian Party of California
California Republican Party
Feinstein's statements about how this will lead to advertising pot to kids unlikely/mostly false: http://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2016/aug/05/dianne-feinstein/feinsteins-claim-about-prime-time-marijuana-tv-ads/Sac Bee: more about business than social justice (because nobody is currently in prison for weed); should take time and do this more carefully because of public health risks

Others: end ineffective and senseless prohibition
18
State Measure 65 (Don't ban plastic bags)NoUnhelpful obfuscation by Big Plastic Bag ---vote 67 instead.NoNoNoNoNoWhat would they do?
Prop. 67 supports the 2014 ban signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, and authorizes retailers to charge shoppers 10 cents for other carryout bags—a fee the stores get to keep. Prop. 65 would redirect the bag fee money to an environmental fund administered by the state Wildlife Conservation Board.
If both measures pass, Prop. 65 would only be enacted if it receives more votes than Prop. 67. If voters reject Prop. 67, then Prop 65 does not apply.
What would they cost the government?
A plastic bag ban wouldn’t mean much financially for state and local governments, the state legislative analyst found. If Prop. 65 passes, tens of millions of dollars a year could flow into environmental programs.
Why are they on the ballot?
Both were placed on the ballot by plastic bag manufacturers. After Brown signed the plastic bag ban two years ago, the plastics industry exercised a provision in the state Constitution that allows a popular vote on a law before it takes effect—that became Prop. 67. The same companies also crafted Prop. 65 to take money generated by the bag fee away from retailers and move it instead into an environmental fund.
What the plastic industry says
(no on Prop. 67 and yes on Prop. 65):
Prop. 67 unfairly targets plastic, an inexpensive, versatile material that is convenient for shoppers. Banning plastic bags will do little to help the environment.
Prop. 65 puts money from shopping bag fees into projects that benefit the environment rather than corporate grocery chain profits.
What grocers and environmental groups say
(yes on Prop. 67 and no on Prop. 65):
Prop. 67 upholds the Legislature’s decision to create one statewide policy on plastic bags, which were banned because they threaten marine wildlife, pollute oceans, litter streets and damage recycling equipment.
Prop. 65 was put on the ballot by the plastic industry to confuse voters and penalize grocery stores for supporting the bag ban.
The way it is now
Many cities and counties have laws preventing grocery stores and some other retail stores from handing out single-use plastic bags. Some of these laws require stores to charge for paper and reusable bags, and allow the stores to keep the money made from selling the bags. In 2014, a law was passed that would ban single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and some other retails stores across the state, but it has not gone into effect. Voters will decide if the ban should go into effect across the whole state when they vote on Prop 67, a different proposition on this ballot. If Prop 67 passes, stores would also be required to charge 10 cents for other types of carry-out bags made of paper, or thicker, reusable plastic. Under Prop 67, stores would get to keep the money made from selling these 10-cent bags.

What if it passes?
Prop 65 could change the way money from selling carry-out bags is used. Instead of keeping the money made from each 10-cent bag, stores would be required to put the money into a state account. This money would be used for many different environmental projects, including recycling and clean drinking water. Money would also go toward cleaning up beaches and improving parks.

Budget effect
This measure could produce tens of millions of dollars for environmental programs. It is not clear what will happen until after the election. The effect on the state budget will depend on whether Prop 67 passes. If both propositions 65 and 67 pass, and 65 gets the most votes, then the money would go to the state account.

People FOR say
Grocery stores should not get to keep the money made from selling bags.
Prop 65 would make sure the money collected from selling bags goes to help the environment.
People AGAINST say
Voters should support Prop 67 instead. The most important thing is getting rid of plastic bags.
Prop 65 will not make very much money for the state because people will start bringing their own bags.
In favor:
California Republican Party

Opposed:
California Nurses Association
Clean Water Action
Sierra Club of California
Sacramento Bee
The Orange County Register
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
Peace and Freedom Party
Los Angeles Times
Libertarian Party of California
Green Party of California
Lee: "There’s a real plastic bags measure on the ballot: it’s measure 67. 65 was put on the ballot by Formosa Plastics, Superbag, etc. to confuse the issue. Simply vote No on this and move on."
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State Measure 66 (Make death penalty more efficient)NoRoughly converse of 62, and could supersede itNoNoNoNoNosee #62The way it is now
Prisoners sentenced to death may fight the sentence before the California Supreme Court and then the federal courts. This process can take multiple decades and cost the state millions of dollars. Of the 930 people who have received a death sentence since 1978, 15 have been executed and 103 have died while waiting to be executed. Under current law, inmates sentenced to death must be housed at specific prisons.

What if it passes?
Change the court appeals process for death sentences to shorten the time it takes. One type of legal challenge would be handled first by local courts before it could be handled by the California Supreme Court. A five-year time limit would be placed on legal challenges to death sentences. Additional lawyers could be made eligible to represent death row inmates. Inmates sentenced to death could be housed at any state prison.

Budget effect
Long-term costs are not clear. State costs would increase in the short-term, possibly in the tens of millions of dollars, due to court costs from the new shorter time limits. The measure could save money for state prisons.

People FOR say
The appeals process for death row inmates needs to be quicker and less complicated.
Prop 66 would save money and ensure that justice is carried out in a timely manner.
People AGAINST say
Prop 66 would cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in legal and lawyer fees.
Shortening the appeals process increases the risk of executing an innocent person.
In favor:
California Taxpayer Protection Committee
California Professional Firefighters
California District Attorneys Association
California Republican Party

Opposed:
The Mercury News
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
ACLU of California
California Federation of Teachers
Libertarian Party of California
Orange County Register
San Diego Union-Tribune
Sacramento Bee
San Francisco Chronicle
Los Angeles Times
California Democratic Party
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California
Lee: opposite of 62
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State Measure 67 (Ban plastic bags)Yeshttp://www.effectivism.net/2016/10/plastic-bag-ban/YesYesYesYesYessee #65The way it is now
Many local communities have laws that prevent some stores from handing out single-use plastic bags. Some of these laws require stores to charge for paper and reusable bags, and allow the stores to keep the money made from selling the bags. In 2014, the Legislature passed a law that banned single-use plastic bags at certain stores across the whole state. The law also requires stores to charge customers 10 cents for other types of carry-out bags made from paper or thicker plastic, and allows stores to keep the money. Because Prop 67 qualified for the ballot, the law the state passed in 2014 has never gone into effect. Prop 67 is a “referendum” that asks voters to decide if the state’s ban on single-use plastic bags should go into effect or not.

What if it passes?
Voting “yes” on Prop 67 would allow the 2014 state law to go into effect. Across California, single-use plastic bags would not be allowed at grocery stores, convenience stores, large pharmacies, and liquor stores. These stores would be required to charge for paper or thicker plastic carry-out bags and they would get to keep the money. Voting “no” on Prop 67 would prevent the law from going into effect across the state.

Budget effect
Costs would be relatively small. State costs for overseeing the law would be less than a million dollars. These costs would be paid for by fees placed on companies that make plastic bags.

People FOR say
Single-use plastic bags are bad for the environment and harmful to wildlife. Prop 67 protects animals and saves the state millions of dollars in clean-up costs.
Many communities have already banned single-use plastic bags. It’s time to extend the ban across the state.

People AGAINST say
Prop 67 would require stores to charge 10 cents for bags that can be reused, instead of offering them for free.
Prop 67 would allow grocery stores to keep millions of dollars from selling these bags.
In favor:
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Mercury News
Sacramento Bee
San Francisco Chronicle
Los Angeles Times
Peace and Freedom Party
Green Party of California
California Democratic Party

Opposed:
The Orange County Register
California Republican Party
Libertarian Party of California
Lee: "San Francisco already has this ban, and it’s fine. I mean, by “ban” it means that if you really need a plastic bag the store charges you $0.10, and we contribute a little less to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, so vote Yes."

Effectivism (me): "plastic bag bans are very good at one of the things they set out to do (dramatically reducing plastic bag litter), and they mostly get replaced not by paper but by either reusable bags or no bag. There are predicted substantial energy savings from this shift, but from what I can tell there’s not enough data to be sure of that. And some of the side effects/potential downsides are not as well quantified.... The California ban is not my ideal formulation of a plastic penalty (I’d rather offer plastic bags also — possibly at a higher fee — for rainy days, messy purchases, etc… I suspect there would still be a strong deterrent effect. And it would be great if it was a more progressive fee structure). And before making a decision here, I wish I could see more data on the actual energy expenditure on ALL bags for their whole lifecycle, factoring in actual reusage stats — as well as more info about how much of a pain this is. But based on my limited knowledge, my own personal value matrix says that the reduction of litter in cities and harm to the marine ecosystem is probably worth the inconviences and what I expect would probably be a small economic penalty/energy penalty based on the sources below — especially given that, if we don’t say yes to a ban, I don’t expect a better formulation to then immediately show up on the ballot next time."
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State ballot initiatives
Other stuff on the Mountain View ballot