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Proposition Voter Guide: What You Need to Know on California's Ballot Measures

To help you sort through the 11 state propositions in the November election, Patch has put together a proposition voter guide of California ballot initiatives.

With just a few days left before Election Day 2012, voters are being bombarded with political ads and statements.

Aside from presidential and local representative elections, voters will be asked their positions on several state propositions.

Confused on which proposition is which? Looking for nonpartisan information on each ballot measure? Want to know what people are saying about each proposition?

Patch has put together a Proposition Voter Guide, with links, briefs and local opinion about each proposition to help you make an informed decision at the polls on Nov. 6

Nonpartisan Websites

California Choices- Includes an endorsements table featuring where non-profits, newspapers, unions and political parties stand on each proposition.

Smart Voter

KQED 

Ballotpedia

Maplight.org - Includes in-depth campaign spending information.

Propositions

Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund State Programs

Voters will face two, some say conflicting, tax measures on this year’s ballot. The first is supported by Governor Jerry Brown and is also known as the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act. The measure is intended to help close the state’s budget gap and fund schools.

The act would raise the personal income tax rate for people who make more than $250,000 a year. Individuals who make less than $250,000 a year and couples who make less than $500,000 a year will not see an increase. The ballot measure would also raise the state sales tax by a quarter cent for the next four years.

The money raised from the tax hike is expected to generate $6.6 billion for education. If voters reject it, a series of trigger cuts that will result in a nearly $5.4 billion hit to education will be enforced.

Click here for more information on Proposition 30.

Patch Articles on Proposition 30:

Deciphering Prop. 30 vs. 38

Democratic Party Picks State Ballot Measures to Support

California Republicans Oppose Proposed Tax Measures

 

Proposition 31: State Budget

This proposition would allow local governments and school districts create plans to coordinate how public services are provided. These plans include areas of public health and safety, education, social services, and economic development. Governing boards for the county, school district and city must approve the plans. The proposition would allow local governments flexibility on how state-funded programs are administered and how property taxes are transferred.

The proposition would also place restrictions on Legislature’s ability to increase or decrease state revenue and when they can pass bills.

Click here for more information on Proposition 31.

Patch Articles and Local Voices on Proposition 31

Democratic Party Picks State Ballot Measures to Support

California Republicans Oppose Proposed Tax Measure

 

Proposition 32: Political Contributions

This measure seeks to reform campaign finance rules in three key ways. The first would ban employee paycheck reductions for “political purposes.” The second would prevent corporations and unions from making direct contributions to state and local candidates or the committees that fund them.

The third would forbid government contractors to contribute to elected officials who were involved in the process that awarded them the contract. This would keep the contractors from contributing while that contract is under consideration or is in effect.

Click here for more information on Proposition 32.

Patch Articles on Proposition 32

Poll: Should Labor Unions Lose Paycheck Deductions for Political Spending?

County Board of Supervisors Vote to Oppose Prop. 32

 

Proposition 33: Auto Insurance Rates

Prop. 33 would change state law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. Drivers who have not had prior, continuous coverage could be charge higher rates, while those who have had coverage could receive discounts.

Click here for more information on Proposition 33.

Patch Articles on Proposition 33

Insurance Industry-Backed Proposition on California Ballot

 

Proposition 34: Death Penalty Repeal

Prop. 34 would repeal the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. This would also affect individuals currently sentenced to death. According to the proposition, the measure would create a $100 million fund for law enforcement efforts.

Click here for more information on Proposition 34.

Patch Articles on Proposition 34

Voter Guide: Propositions 34 and 36

 

Proposition 35: Human Trafficking/Sex Offender

Proposition 35 would increase prison sentences and fines for human trafficking. A conviction for human trafficking would be require the offender to register as a sex offender.

Click here for more information on Proposition 35.

Patch Articles on Proposition 35

Democratic Party Picks State Ballot Measures to Support

California Republicans Oppose Proposed Tax Measures

 

Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law

This measure would change California's current "Three Strikes" law by imposing a life sentence only when the crime committed is a serious, violent crime. This could allow some offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions, and currently serving life sentences for nonserious, non-violent felony convictions, serve shorter prison terms. This would not affect felons with prior convictions of murder, rape, or the sexual abuse of children.

Click here for more information on Proposition 36.

Patch Articles on Proposition 36

Voter Guide: Propositions 34 and 36

 

Proposition 37: Genetically Modified Foods

Prop. 37 would require labeling alerting consumers of any raw or processed food made from genetically-modified plants and animals. Genetically engineered food cannot be marketed as "natural” under the measure, although certain foods are exempted from this measure.

Click here for more information on Proposition 37.

Patch Articles on Proposition 37

Prop. 37: Should Genetically Modified Foods Be Denoted in Labels?

 

Proposition 38: Molly Munger’s Tax Proposal

This second tax rate measure would increase the state income tax rates for most Californians on a sliding scale, resulting in projected increased revenues of about $10 billion a year, according to California Choices. Revenues would go to K-12 schools and early childhood programs, as well as some of the state’s debt. If voters pass both Propositions 30 and 38, the proposition with the most votes will pass. 

Click here for more information on Proposition 38.

Patch Articles and Local Voices on Proposition 38

Deciphering Prop. 30 vs. 38

Blog: Another Pop Quiz on Proposition 38

Democratic Party Picks State Ballot Measures to Support

California Republicans Oppose Proposed Tax Measures

 

Proposition 39: Multistate Business Tax

According to California Choices, Prop. 39 would throw out an existing law allowing multistate businesses to choose a “tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California.” Multistate businesses’ California income tax liability will be determined based on the percentage of their sales in California. Increased revenue is intended to fund energy efficiency projects and clean energy jobs.

Click here for more information on Proposition 39.

Patch Articles on Proposition 39

Prop. 39 Seeks to Close $1B Tax Loophole for Multi-State Corporations

 

Proposition 40: Redistricting

Prop. 40 is a referendum on the California State Senate redistricting plan approved by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. If the proposition does not pass, the districts will be determined by officials under the California Supreme Court.

Click here for more information on Proposition 40.

Patch Local Voices on Proposition 40

Craig and Lou at the ballot box: Proposition 40 – Director's cut ending

Michael November 06, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Well, in case you haven't noticed every school district in California is practically in debt. My dad is a teacher in TVUSD and gets pay cuts like 4 times a year. If you vote no on 30 my dad will get another pay cut, the school district is going to be more in debt, and the chance of my family going homeless is bigger. Don't look at how this will affect you look at how it will affect all those teachers and their families who have a chance of losing jobs and a house. I would rather raise taxes than go homeless.
Michael November 06, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Like I commented above before tomorrow tell people to tell people to tell people to educate people on prop 30. May me more taxes but would rather home school your child and NOT have any freedom. Or would you rather raise taxes and have a place where your children can spend the day, where you go out and have fun (date with sprouse, movie, shopping,etc), and where no teachers are getting fired. I like #2 better.
Michael November 06, 2012 at 12:21 AM
California is already broke. And now if it is yes on 34 then we are saving 100 million dollars. This is why America is 16 trillion dollars in debt, California is like something billion dollars in debt, and school districts are almost in debt and hundreds maybe thousands of teachers a year lose their jobs. Because voters care about themselves and would rather have people die and would rather have lower taxes. Think about others for once and maybe what our economy will look like and how many teachers will have jobs in a few years. Then you might change your mind.
kristin c November 06, 2012 at 12:49 AM
NO on 30 and 38!!!!!! Taxes have been raised to death. They need to make due with what we give them. Where is the lottery money promised to the schools? Also note these increases will go toward paying off state debt. Another solution to California's debt crisis is to quit paying for illegals to have free food, health care and education. Raising taxes is not the answer and it will only do more harm than good. Arnold raised everyone's car registration for 2 years and it did nothing for the state debt. Irresponsible spending is not my responsibility to pay for. I say charge illegal immigrants a special tax for living in our state for free.
kristin c November 06, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Michael, I home school and it is the best thing I've ever done. We already pay enough taxes. What we pay should be enough. With the high population of illegal immigrants, non taxpayers, why should I pay for them to receive free services? It was sacramentos decision to cut schools down to the bare bones... they should cut other programs like the ridiculous smog regulations, I mean really... we have to spend all this money on air pollution when other states dont participate. Kind of useless. And Michael, you don't want to homeschool because you want to have fun?? I hope you don't have kids. Another thing id like to see is people who don't have kids or use the public school system not having to pay any public school related fees, taxes or mello roos. I voted NO on 30 and 38 . You should too if you want to hold onto your money. Obama is going to steal enough already. One more thing... there is no guarantee funds from these props will go to schools. It says right in the description that revenue will be applied to state debt.
Only my thought November 06, 2012 at 01:50 AM
VOTE YES on 37 if you want to know whats in your food or you can VOTE NO and continue to eat what they choose to put in it.
Michael November 06, 2012 at 02:40 AM
I do see where you are coming from. I actually am only a high schooler and can't vote yet. But, I do want to have fun and you can have fun and have kids. Want to know how much fun my parents have had alone while me and my siblings have been born with the oldest being a senior me being a freshman and the youngest a 6th grader. We have fun together and they also have fun alone. So homeschooling can be good for some people. I know plenty of people home schooled and now are in high school and taking AP classes. Me personally have never wanted to be homeschooled. My parents have threatened because I have Aspergers and unlike most people who have Aspergers I am not shy and talk a lot and I usually get in trouble. So my parents don't know what to do and want to home school. But, I hope you understand your kids may be home schooled but for the people who can't home school and have jobs they probably want a place to leave their children. But, I don't like starting drama on this website (enough has been started on another page on Patch) so I respect your decision to home school and vote no on 30 and 38.
Michael November 06, 2012 at 02:44 AM
I agree. In AP Human Geo we had to vote for each Prop. Lets see I did. Yes on 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37, and 38. I don't know about 32, 36, 39, 40. Kinda weird didn't vote NO on any of them. Well that's just who I am.
kristin c November 06, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Michael.. I homeschool during the day while my hubby is at work so our fun is usually on the weekends. A great rule of thumb is to always vote no on tax increases. It always hurts the taxpayers and only benefits Sacramento if you can even call it a benefit. Raising taxes in the past hasn't helped. Its one thing to pay taxes but its another to keep raising them every few years. Its wrong and its unfair. You're young now but one day when you have a full time job and you support a family you will value your earnings and not want to see them go to the government.
Lash LaRue November 06, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Micheal Your dad and your family live off the Goverment teat. You dad is a non producer just a taker. Like it or not it is a fact.
Mr. Logical November 06, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Words to live by. Where is Ma Linger? Did you ever go to school with teachers or were you 'self taught'? Bitterness is a hard pill to swallow. Like it or not it is a fact. Here[s hoping things go better for you.
Cik Bast November 06, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Nope. Your a fool. You'll know what is in your dog food, which is what this offers, but will not know what is in the beef you consume.
Barbara R November 06, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Dog food contains a GMO grain and the cow is just beef.... unless you count once removed, fed GMO grain in the feed lot. That is not required to be labeled because the Proposition didn't want to create an expensive government oversight. It's straight forward labeling, just like the current allergy labeling. The reason we are hearing so much "No" on Proposition 37 is because the opposittion, mainly Monsanto (agent orange, DDT), is spending $40 million to protect thier monopoly on Corn seed. They own the patent to it. You cannot own the rights to a natural (created by nature, not science) seed. 90% of the corn now grown in the U.S. is geneticly modified to produce an insecticide in every cell of the plant. Yum! Here's the deal. I cannot afford to eat Organic to protect my health. It costs twice as much. The government subsidises GMO crops so the price is artificially low. TRADITIONAL crops are at fair market value. I have allergic reactions to GMO foods (agrobacterium used to create genetic link). I do not react to traditional foods.No foodstamps to help the costs. BUT YOU, yes YOU, are paying when I have to go for an ambulance ride. YOU pay when people suffer Kidney failure in record numbers. Anyone have breast/testicular cancer? Check this out: http://sustainablepulse.com/2012/09/19/criigen-study-links-gm-maize-roundup-premature-death-cancer/ Russia banned GMO corn after this study was released. Propoganda hurts you - not the corporations who pay for the commercials.
Barbara R November 06, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Dog food contains a GMO grain and the cow is just beef... unless you count once removed, fed GMO in the feed lot. That is not required to be labeled because the Proposition didn't want to create an expensive government oversight. It's straight forward labeling, just like the current allergy labeling. The reason we are hearing so much "No" on Proposition 37 is because the opposittion, mainly Monsanto (agent orange, DDT), is spending $40 million to protect thier monopoly on Corn seed. They own the patent to it. You cannot own the rights to a natural (created by nature, not science) seed. 90% of the corn now grown in the U.S. is geneticly modified to produce an insecticide in every cell of the plant. Yum! Here's the deal. I cannot afford to eat Organic to protect my health. It costs twice as much. The government subsidises GMO crops so the price is artificially low. TRADITIONAL crops are at fair market value. I have allergic reactions to GMO foods (agrobacterium used to create genetic link). I do not react to traditional foods.No foodstamps to help the costs. BUT YOU, yes YOU, are paying when I have to go for an ambulance ride. YOU pay when people suffer Kidney failure in record numbers. Anyone have breast/testicular cancer? Check this out: http://sustainablepulse.com/2012/09/19/criigen-study-links-gm-maize-roundup-premature-death-cancer/ Russia banned GMO corn after this study was released. Propoganda hurts you - not the corporations who pay for the commercials.
Barbara R November 06, 2012 at 05:43 AM
This is a comment from the link I provided above: "Debbie LeBlanc said on September 19, 2012 I feel every U.S. citizen should be up in arms to fight back against the poisoning of our food system, our environment, and our bodies by chemical companies looking only to make huge profits from our suffering. .....explain the appointment of Michael R. Taylor as the Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you don’t know his history with Monsanto, do some research. I don’t entirely dismiss GMO’s. However, I am angry that scientists who spoke out on the dangers of GMO seeds were discredited and silenced. I am angry that products containing GMO’s are not labeled. I am angry that President Bush in 1992, proclaimed the vaguely formulated and entirely unscientific ‘doctrine’ that GMO plants and non-GMO or ordinary plants were ‘substantially equivalent’ and hence needed no special testing before being released to the public. If they are truly the same, how can they be patented? And, finally, I am angered by the lie that U.S. consumers are more accepting of genetically modified foods compared with consumers in Europe and Japan." end part one.
Barbara R November 06, 2012 at 05:48 AM
part two: "It’s past time for U.S. citizens to demand the labeling of all products containing genetically engineered and genetically modified material. We need unbiased, honest, scientifically solid, long-term testing on the safely of all GE and GM foods, medicines, animals(!?!?). For myself, I don’t want anything to do with it until it’s been proven safe. Right now, every single boast that came with the introduction of GE crops has not materialized. They have not reduced costs, reduced agrochemical use, or increased yields. And, yet, there is a host of proven negative consequences that our government refuses to acknowledge as it continues to approve more and more GE crops." While I don't agree with her entire comment she does state facts that are indisputable. Fifteen years of eating what Mad Scientists have created but have not safety tested, is too long when I think of the people I love and the costs to health and happiness. I am not a lab rat, you are participating in the largest study every conducted on human beings, don't you want to know what your eating?
Barbara R November 06, 2012 at 06:35 AM
I agree, it's the reading, people do not want to make the effort. I have taken many naps in the name of political research, :D I will walk in my vote by mail ballot tommorow due to the research required to make an intelligent decision for the future of my family. Bless all of you too!
Lash LaRue November 06, 2012 at 08:37 PM
MALARIA VICTIMS: HOW ENVIRONMENTALIST BAN ON DDT CAUSED 50 MILLION DEATHS This is a story of triumph and tragedy. The triumph occurred in the middle part of the 20th century, when the larger part of mankind finally succeeded in overcoming the ravages of malaria, the deadly infectious disease that had afflicted the human race since the dawn of time (and which, by one estimate, had killed approximately half the people who had ever lived on earth). But within three decades, the triumph would give way to tragedy when leftist ideologues, professing concern for the integrity of the natural environment, collaborated to ban the use of the pesticide best known by the acronym DDT—the very substance that had made it possible to vanquish malaria from vast portions of the globe. By means of that ban, environmentalists effectively ensured that, over the course of the ensuing 30+ years, more than 50 million people would die needlessly of a disease that was entirely preventable.
Lash LaRue November 06, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Wherever DDT was used in significant quantities, the incidence of malaria declined precipitously. In South America, for example, malaria cases fell by 33 percent between 1942 and 1946. In 1948, there was not a single malaria-related death in all of Italy. After DDT was sprayed widely in India’s Kanara district (where some 50,000 people had typically contracted malaria in any given year during the pre-DDT era), the number of newly diagnosed malaria cases dwindled to about 1,500 per year by the late 1940s—a 97 percent decrease. Throughout the entire Indian nation, the number of malaria cases fell from about 75 million in 1951 to 50,000 in 1961. In Sri Lanka, DDT spraying was initiated in 1946, at which time approximately 3 million new cases of malaria were being diagnosed each year. By 1956, that figure had fallen to 7,300; eight years after that, in 1964, a mere 29 Sri Lankans contracted malaria.
Lash LaRue November 06, 2012 at 08:39 PM
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1259
Lash LaRue November 06, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Yet by the time he delivered a May 2, 1971 address to the Audubon Society, Ruckelshaus was professing considerable skepticism about the safety of DDT: “As a member of the Society, myself, I was highly suspicious of this compound, to put it mildly. But I was compelled by the facts to temper my emotions ... because the best scientific evidence available did not warrant such a precipitate action. However, we in the EPA have streamlined our administrative procedures so we can now suspend registration of DDT and the other persistent pesticides at any time during the period of review.” The Environmental Defense Fund and the Audubon Society jointly filed a lawsuit demanding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the EPA place a ban on DDT, Ruckelshaus ordered a hearing to consider precisely that course of action. After seven months of hearings in 1971, which produced 125 witnesses and 9,362 pages of testimony, EPA Judge Edmund Sweeney concluded that according to the evidence: “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man ... is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man ... [and the] use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.” But Ruckelshaus, who had never attended even a day of the EPA hearings and had never (by his own admission) read any of the transcripts of those hearings, overruled Sweeney and formally banned DDT on January 1, 1972.
Lash LaRue November 06, 2012 at 08:48 PM
In an April 26, 1979 letter to American Farm Bureau Federation President Allan Grant, Ruckelshaus acknowledged that his decision to ban DDT had been rooted in concerns that were more political than environmental: “The ultimate judgment [on DDT] remains political. Decisions by the government involving the use of toxic substances are political with a small ‘p.’ In the case of pesticides in our country, the power to make this judgment has been delegated to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.” The American environmental movement’s campaign against DDT paved the way for other, similar efforts all over the world. In 1975, for instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) jointly called for a greater emphasis on alternatives to the use of DDT and other insecticides for the control of vector-borne diseases such as malaria.
Lash LaRue November 06, 2012 at 08:51 PM
In 1998 the World Health Organization launched a “Roll Back Malaria” (RBM) campaign, where a consortium of aid agencies, international institutions, and environmentalist groups collaborated in an effort to reduce or eliminate the use of DDT around the world—in favor of pesticides and drugs that were known to be far less effective than DDT in terms of preventing malaria, but were reputed to be more “environmentally friendly.” Predictably, RBM was a colossal failure; the incidence of malaria infections and deaths worldwide increased by nearly 10 percent over the next seven years. One conclusion is inescapable: the environmental movement’s insistence on banning DDT from every part of the world in the latter decades of the 20th century led to a dramatic resurgence of malaria in many places where it previously had been eradicated. Moreover, the anti-DDT campaign prevented most of Africa, where the pesticide had never before been deployed on a scale grand enough to make a difference, from taking the measures necessary to save the multitudes of people who ultimately would die of malaria on that continent year after year.
Lash LaRue November 06, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Read more @ http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1259 DO NOT LET THE GREENIES AKA THE COMMUNISTS KILL ANYMORE PEOPLE THEIR LIES ARE CAUSINF GENOCIDE ARE THE WORLD.
N1smo2go November 06, 2012 at 10:24 PM
We should put a proposition on the ballot to change the core corriculum to match what needs to be learned in the digital age. We keep putting billions into schools and are not teaching what keeps ALL the kids interested of competitive. How do you continue to pander to education needs, when the kids are being taught information that is behind the times. I would support a measure that diverts funding to creating courses that utilize information technology as the core principal in teaching. completely get rid of text books, teach everything from a digital or information technology platform. English can be upgrading kids learn, Micosoft Office products once basic english skills are learned. Heck, they all have ipads and tablets, smartphones and etc anyway. Modify the curriculum to what works, Information technology is the best approach to get kids interested in engineering, computers, medicine and other core careers that have all been digitized in some fashion. it will probably keep them interested as well, but we cannot keep teaching the same thing, putting more money into it and expect different results. Where is the industrial arts classes, auto shop, welding, wood working, science that is based on lab environments from our american medical companies. My son just started kindergarten and I am teaching him how to build a pc already,hopefully, the classroom can catch up to what I teach him at home. Then I will gladly say yes to a tax increase.
Cik Bast November 06, 2012 at 11:52 PM
That's a pretty heavy word salad you tossed, Barbara R, which amounts to a foolish attempt at evading the point that beef which I consume is not included in this Prop, but food that my dog eats is. Nonsense is nonsense. Enjoy the next 4 years.
Barbara R November 07, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Let me simplify for you. The beef cow IS NOT geneticly engineered. The corn in dog food IS geneticly engineered. I imagine my next four years will be healthier than yours, thank you.
Michael November 07, 2012 at 05:06 AM
This is to reply to barbara. Your next four years may be healthier. But, sadly, with Obama being president junk food will be cheap and healthy food will be expensive. Healthier four years but no one will have jobs, gas will be 10 dollars a gallon, and we will be on the verge of being rebels and becoming like the hunger games (sorry for the fantasy but it could happen).
Michael November 07, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Hey, everyone. Since prop 30 didn't pass let's see how many teachers will get laid off in the next 10 years. Very few people will be getting an education. Our economy reminds me of so many things: Hunger Games, Libya, Germany, Russia, the country that had a bad president then everyone died because he was horrible and everyone lost their job (talking about future USA)
Barbara R December 12, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Micheal, Yeah, you are right. The North American Union is on track for some serious suffering. (north america comes up when searching on google places, instead of U.S.) Food freedom, the abliity to save and grow seed, feed ones family without patent infringement, is a primary freedom that we should at least be able to CHOOSE. Unfortunately, the polls changed as the NO on 37 adds hit the airwaves. A society educated by the television is definitely dumbed down, looks like we should go back to community based schools - then we pay the teacher what they are worth and they are accountable for the education they deliver. God help all of us is this continues.

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