What does dinner-table talk as a college student entail? This year, it’s been all about national and international politics. It’s been a difficult conversation to wrestle with, and at times, it has been very ambiguous in terms of what political decisions mean for us as students and how those decisions directly affect us here in sunny Santa Clara.
There are many monumental propositions in California that have just been voted on in the elections that took place before November 8, 2016. These props affect our daily lives directly. There are over 15 propositions that either passed or failed (all equally as important), but here are a few highlights.
- Prop 51
Proposition 51 is a bill that requires the allocation of $9 billion in general obligation bonds to schools and their construction projects (the distribution being $7 billion to K-12 public schools, and $2 billion to community colleges). The supporting arguer believes that schools need the funding in order to build and maintain resources for their students. The opposing arguer believes that we do not have the budget (as the allocation will add to our debt) and the money is better spent elsewhere. Proposition 51 was passed.
- Prop 53
Proposition 53 requires that, in the case of a state infrastructure project that costs over $2 billion in spending, projects would need to be voted on by the general public in order to get approved. This is to ensure that a high-cost project does not produce a crippling debt (as a result of the public not using that project, and therefore, not producing revenue). Proposition 53 failed.
- Prop 63
Proposition 63 transforms existing ammunition checks into more strict laws. These laws include a mandatory background check when ordering ammunition, buying permits, and criminalizing the sale of ammo without a license, among other things. The supporter of this prop believes that more restrictions means that guns and their power will be less likely to fall into the wrong hands. The opposition believes that since there was already an increase in strict gun laws in July of 2016, their freedoms are continuing to get reduced. Proposition 63 passed.
- Prop 64
If you’ve heard about any of the California Propositions, you’ve heard about Prop 64. Proposition 64 legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for people over the age of 21 in California. This makes it legal to grow, sell, purchase, and use marijuana. Proposition 64 passed.
- Prop 67
Proposition 67 is the bill that outlaws the use of plastic bags in the state of California. If the prop passes, it would ratify an already existing ban that was enacted by state legislature in 2014. If the prop fails, the existing ban would disappear. Opponents argue that the ban would cost consumers more money, while supporters argue that the ban would help to protect the environment by reducing that amount of litter. Proposition 67 passed.
To learn more about the way the rest of the propositions affect you, you can visit these source sites: