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17 state propositions to consider on November ballot

 

Brace yourself. The sample ballots you'll receive in the mail starting Oct. 10 will have much more than just the candidates for president, Congress, state offices and local San Ramon Valley races.

In addition to Measure X on allowing a new 0.5% sales tax to fund transportation programs in Contra Costa County, San Ramon Valley voters -- like all Californians -- will face 17 measures to consider before mailing in or casting their ballots in the Nov. 8 election.

Of those, Proposition 51, school bonds, leads the list. It authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds: $3 billion for new construction and $3 billion for modernization of K-12 public school facilities; $1 billion for charter schools and vocational education facilities and $2 billion for California community colleges facilities.

Proposition 52 concerns state fees on hospitals and federal Medi-Cal matching funds.

Proposition 53 requires statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds can be issued or sold by the state for projects that are financed, owned, operated or managed by the state or any joint agency created by or including the state, if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion.

Proposition 54 prohibits the legislature from passing any bill unless it has been in print and published on the internet for at least 72 hours before the vote.

Proposition 55 extends by 12 years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings over $250,000 for single filers; over $500,000 for joint filers; over $340,000 for heads of household. It allocates these tax revenues 89% to K-12 schools and 11% to California Community Colleges, and allocates up to $2 billion per year in certain years for health care programs.

Proposition 56 increases the cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. It allocates revenues primarily to increase funding for existing health care programs.

Proposition 57 allows parole consideration for persons convicted of nonviolent felonies upon completion of full prison term for primary offense.

Proposition 58 repeals most of the 1998 Proposition 227 provision, the "English in Public Schools" initiative, effectively allowing non-English languages to be used in public educational instruction.

Proposition 59 would require the Secretary of State to ask voters whether California's elected officials should use all of their constitutional authority, including proposing and ratifying one or more amendments to the U.S. Constitution, to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and other applicable judicial precedents.

Proposition 60 requires performers in adult films to use condoms during filming of sexual intercourse.

Proposition 61 prohibits state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Proposition 62 repeals the death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. It also would apply retroactively to persons already sentenced to death.

Proposition 63 prohibits possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, and requires their disposal by sale to dealer, destruction or removal from state. It also requires most individuals to pass background checks and obtain Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition.

Proposition 64 legalizes marijuana and hemp under state law and imposes a state excise tax on retail sales of marijuana equal to 15% of sales price, state cultivation taxes on marijuana of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. It exempts medical marijuana from some taxation.

Proposition 65 redirects money collected by grocery and certain other retail stores through sale of carry-out bags, whenever any state law bans free distribution of a particular kind of carry-out bag. It requires stores to deposit bag sale proceeds into a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board to support specified categories of environmental projects.

Proposition 66 changes procedures governing state court appeals and petitions challenging death penalty convictions and sentences.

Proposition 67 would uphold State Senate Bill 270, a ban on single-use carryout plastic bags.

For more information on ballot measures, candidate filing requirements and election deadlines, sign on to the state elections website.

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Comments

14 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 19, 2016 at 8:55 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Here’s how you should vote on every state proposition: no, no, no, no….

Why?

Because every single one of these legislative “ideas” can be passed by the state legislature. That’s their job.

Laws are complex. You can’t expect the public to know about the nuances and unintended consequences of these propositions.

Making laws ain’t easy. Would you perform brain surgery on yourself? Some things are best left to the professionals.


6 people like this
Posted by YES on 53
a resident of Danville
on Sep 19, 2016 at 9:10 am

I agree that NO is the best decision for all the propositions EXCEPT FOR A YES ON 53. The legislature will never allow a public vote on 2-Billion -Dollar-or-more mega- projects such as the boondoggle high-speed rail and the boondoggle "twin tunnels". The legislators love the pork such projects provide for their campaign donors. YES ON 53 will give the public the right to make the final decision about the rare mega-projects that come up.


2 people like this
Posted by Quail Run Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 19, 2016 at 11:59 am

Quail Run Parent is a registered user.

@Herman
Have you looked at the approval ratings for the state legislators recently?

I'm going with an answer of NO.

'nuff said


3 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 19, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Herman Glates is a registered user.

I’ll look at Prop. 53.

Note, my advice was how YOU guys should vote. As for me, I’m smart enough to know the difference between a good and bad Proposition.

Most people, particularly Liberals, don’t know nothing about anything. I’m just trying to limit the damage they can do.

@Quail, yes the legislature stinks. But you know who else stinks? Voters. Most voters make their decisions based on the blurbs they read on the ballot. That’s scary.

Remember, high speed rail started out as a Proposition.

Liberals love state ballot measures because they can increase taxes by mere a majority of the vote.

In contrast, for Sacramento to raise taxes, 2/3rds of the legislature has to approve. That’s a high hurdle even in Commie Country.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 19, 2016 at 7:36 pm


Proposition 63 prohibits possession of large-capacity (more than 10 round) ammunition magazines, and requires their disposal by sale to dealer, destruction or removal from state.

Many semi-automatic hand guns prior to yr. 2000 had 15 to 17 round magazines; now the anti gun people want to restrict that to 10 rounds, with no grandfather clause. No criminal will discard his 17 round magazine, which means during a home invasion, the homeowner, if restricted to a 10 round magazine is at a severe disadvantage. Therefore the law abiding homeowner is the one being damaged by Prop. 63 which infringes on ability for self protection. Average police response time in San Ramon is 6 minutes & could be significantly longer if something else is happening in town. You're on your own when it's 3am & someone is kicking down the door.

Prop.63 also represents a taking of private property, namely the 15 to 17 round magazine that came with the semi-automatic handgun purchased prior to year 2000.


Like this comment
Posted by Quail Run Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 20, 2016 at 11:31 am

Quail Run Parent is a registered user.

I think telling votes to vote NO on any proposition is a total cop out and very very bad advice.
Voters seem to have a higher ave IQ than the (fill in the blank) state legislators.
Nuff said part II


Like this comment
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Herman Glates is a registered user.

It’s not a cop out.

America is not a democracy, it’s a representative democracy. It’s not your job to become a legislative expert. That’s why we have politicians. They write the laws. If we don’t like the laws they write, we vote them out. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Occasionally, some urgent matters might require voter input. For example:

Prop. 187 “Save Our State (SOS)” initiative won by 59% which was supposed to create a state-run citizenship screening system to prohibit illegal immigrants from using health care, public education and other social services in California. It died when Gov. Davis refused to support it.

Prop. 22 the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" initiative won by 61%, which changed California Family Code to formally define marriage in California between a man and a woman. Yes, that really was the title of the proposition and yes 61% of Californians voted for it in 2000.

Mostly, voters get duped by propositions.

Remember Prop. 71? It authorized the sale of $3 billion of state bonds to spend on stem cell research. The money has been spent on sleek buildings and labs, paid for lots of high salaries to lobbyists, advocates, administrators, etc. The result? No cures or even anything promising. It was sold to a gullible public via candy-coated images of Christopher Reeve walking again and Michael J. Fox cured of Parkinson's...The implication was that these miracles would happen if voters approved a $3-billion bond issue for stem cell research. California is $400 billion in debt, has the highest taxes of any state, we can’t pay our bills as it is, yet we issue bonds to pay for stem cell research??? No wonder California is broke.

Most voters don’t study the thick voter guidebook. They probably didn’t even study THIN guidebooks when they were compelled to in high school. They have no business voting yes on anything.

If you haven’t spent time studying the propositions, then vote no. Even if you have studied them, chances are you are still misinformed and you should probably still vote no.

That’s good advice.


2 people like this
Posted by Quail Run Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 20, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Quail Run Parent is a registered user.

Actually, I'm afraid I don't agree. If you don't study the literature (please note I didn't say TV or ads or mailers), then you shouldn't vote at all. Just remain naive. AND that means if don't vote you can never, ever, complain or whine or write comments in safe sand boxes about anything.
And above all else don't listen to others silly advice by default: vote with your own mind.
And one day we will vote for politicians who actually have an IQ......that is a hope.


Like this comment
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 21, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Another problem with propositions is that once passed, only voters can repeal them. This results in California being stuck with some really bad laws.

For example, even though everyone soon realized that the $3 billion of state bond funds spent on Prop. 71 was a complete waste of taxpayer money, there’s was very little anyone could do to stop it. California’s constitution prevents the legislature from repealing any voter-enacted measure unless the repeal measure itself is approved by voters.

You make a fair point that we should all be active participants in our democracy. But the reality is there are a lot of sneaky special interests out there trying to fool the public into voting for a proposition, and even if you think a proposition sounds like a good idea it could turn out to be a bad idea and your vote will prevent the legislature from fixing it.

Plus, the more you vote yes, the more the special interests will keep putting deceptive propositions on the ballot.

It’s a dumb idea to have average voters making laws when they have no legal training and no true understanding of how the legal and regulatory system actually works in practice.

If you’re really passionate about an issue and know a lot about it, like guns, or gay marriage, or billion dollar mega projects, fine, vote yes on those.

For everything else, vote no. Send a message to the special interests groups to stop wasting time and money trying to trick you.

Let the legislature do its job.


5 people like this
Posted by Annie Malover
a resident of Danville
on Sep 22, 2016 at 7:38 am

As usual, Glates makes an argument designed to perpetuate the status quo -- which serves him well. Clever Glates -- he knows that the legislature id bought-and-paid-for on many issues where the Public Will is exactly contra to the $pecial Interest$ (which I capitalize, because they have Money to burn).

It's also not easy to get a Prop on the ballot, so that suggests that only the most serious concerns make it there -- they're worth a sober review.

Case in-point from a few years ago: Prop 2 that mandates certain forms of decent treatment for laying hens and food animals had been proposed in bill form for over Twenty Years, but Sacramento is in the thrall, and the pocket, of Big Ag (for which cruelty is exceptionally profitable). Prop 2 passed overwhelmingly -- like 2-1 -- when put to The People. And it has spread to other states, as well. It would never have happened in the well-greased legislature.

The Proposition System is an important check on legislative and lobbying excess -- the best way to get the legislature to "do its job" is to maintain that system as a credible threat to do the right thing if they fail.


Like this comment
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 22, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Herman Glates is a registered user.

"only the most serious concerns make it there"

lol.


3 people like this
Posted by Anne Malover
a resident of Danville
on Sep 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Not surprised that you may favor cruelty if it saves you a nickel. Thankfully, that puts you out-of-step with the great majority of Californians


2 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 23, 2016 at 7:48 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

“Thankfully, that puts you out-of-step with the great majority of Californians” ...who voted to deny gays the right to marry and voted to block immigrant kids from attending public schools.

lol.


3 people like this
Posted by Anne Malover
a resident of Danville
on Sep 23, 2016 at 9:22 am

Did I say 'complete answer?' Thankfully as well, there's also that thing we call the Constitution.

She who lols last, lols best.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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