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Voter Guide - State Ballot Initiatives 2012
YES on Prop 30 — TEMPORARY TAX FOR EDUCATION AND PUBLIC SAFETY
This measure takes an important step to providing a long-term budget solution to California’s structural deficit. It would raise about $6 billion a year between 2012 and 2017, and provide revenue for programs such as children’s education, CalWORKs, childcare, and other human services that are critical to the economic security of women and families and the long-term economic recovery of California. It temporarily increases personal income taxes for seven years on the wealthiest Californians. (See below). It increases sales taxes by ¼ cent for every dollar for four years. It also guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments. If this measure does not pass, the current budget will be slashed by $6 billion causing automatic cuts to programs that benefit women and children.
$250,000-$300,000–ADDITIONAL 1 %
OVER $500,000–ADDITIONAL 3%
$600,000-$1 MILL ION–ADDITIONAL 2%
OVER $1 MILL ION–ADDITIONAL 3%
NO on Prop 31 — TWO-YEAR BUDGET CYCLE
This measure amends the constitution and gives the Governor unchecked authority to make budget cuts during fiscal emergencies. It restricts the Legislature’s ability to make necessary expenditures for social services and education. This measure could weaken important programs for low-income women and children and allow end runs around state law.
NO on Prop 32 — PAYROLL DEDUCTION FOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS
This measure sounds fair because it prohibits unions, corporations and government contractors from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. However 99% of corporations don’t use payroll deductions to fund political activity—they use profits. So this measure unfairly impedes union political speech. While it prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees, it does not limit contributions to independent expenditures and business super PACs.
NO on Prop 33 — AUTO INSURANCE
This proposition allows insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. It allows insurance companies to increase the cost for drivers without a history of continuous coverage and who may have stopped driving for legitimate reasons.
YES on Prop 34 — DEATH PENALTY REPEAL
This proposition repeals the death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Repealing the death penalty will protect the wrongly accused and save the state and counties millions of dollars related to murder trials, death penalty appeals and corrections. The cost of housing and supervising a death row inmate is generally more than an inmate incarcerated for life without the possibility of parole. The measure directs $100 million to law enforcement agencies for investigations of homicide and rape cases.
Prop 35 — HUMAN TRAFFICKING [ No position ]
The issue of human trafficking, which encompasses both sex and labor exploitation, is very important to us. However we are concerned that this measure will actually have negative impacts on both prosecuting traffickers and survivors of trafficking. The measure makes the definition of human trafficking constitutionally vague and overbroad. The measure expands the role of law enforcement agencies in raids against sex workers, which can lead to criminalization and victimization of sex workers. It wrongly makes penalties for sex trafficking more severe than penalties for all human trafficking. All human trafficking is heinous.
YES on Prop 36 — THREE STRIKES REFORM
This measure would revise the three strikes law to impose a life sentence only when the new felony conviction is serious or violent. This measure would make the punishment fit the crime. It would still require life sentences for dangerous criminals who commit serious or violent crimes. State savings could be as high as $90 million over the next two decades.
YES on Prop 37 — GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD LABELING
This measure would require that most genetically engineered foods be labeled as such. It allows individuals to sue—without proving that they suffered damages—food manufacturers who violate the measure’s labeling provisions. Retailers would be primarily responsible for ensuring they are selling properly labeled products. It exempts foods sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant, among other things. While this proposition is not perfect, we feel that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Prop 38 — TAX FOR EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS [ No position]
This measure earmarks revenues for K-12 schools, early childhood and debt reduction. It increases taxes on earnings using a sliding scale for twelve years, with the wealthiest taxpayers paying more. It is estimated that this measure will result in roughly $10 billion annually. However, by mandating where these revenues go, this measure does not adequately address California’s structural deficit, and so will likely to result in continued severe cuts to unprotected programs such as Cal Grants, community colleges, higher education, CalWORKs and Medi-Cal—all programs that serve low–income women and children.
YES on Prop 39 — SINGLE SALES FACTOR
This measure requires multistate businesses to pay income tax based on a percentage of their sales in California. It dedicates revenues for five years to clean and efficient energy projects and is expected to bring in about $1 billion annually in increased state revenues.
YES on Prop 40 — REDISTRICTING REFERENDUM
In 2008 and 2010, voters approved measures that transferred the power to establish district boundaries from legislators to a commission of citizens, the Citizens Redistricting Commission. After an extensive process including public input, the Commission approved new state senate districts, which are currently in effect. A Yes vote maintains these new senate districts. A No vote would give redistricting power to the State Supreme Court. The State Supreme Court has already indicated that the current Commission-drawn districts best meet constitutional requirements.