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Your Guide to the Initiatives on the California Ballot

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Whatever your personal feelings are about the presidential election, your vote is particularly important for statewide measures that will be on the California ballot this November. Here’s a list of the 17 initiatives on the ballot and what you need to know about them.

1. Proposition 51: A bipartisan measure that allows the state to borrow nine billion dollars in bonds for the improvement and construction of K-12 schools and community colleges.

2. Proposition 52: Supported by both parties, this measure would require voter approval before diverting hospital funds away from their original purpose.

3. Proposition 53: Both Democrats and Governor Brown oppose this initiative, which would require voter approval before investing in public infrastructure. Republicans, worried about debt, support it.

4. Proposition 54: “Yes” on this proposition would mean that the Legislature would not be allowed to vote on a bill until it has been made available to the public, on the internet, for 72 hours prior to voting. Democrats oppose this initiative, arguing it would increase tax payer costs and serve special interests.

5. Proposition 55: This measure would extend Prop. 30, which passed in 2012. It taxes those who make over $250,000 to fund education and healthcare. Around 90% of the revenue would go to K-12 schools and the rest will go to health programs.

6. Proposition 56: The “Tobacco Tax Increase” will raise taxes on tobacco products to two dollars a pack. Some of the money will go towards physician training and school programs for tobacco prevention.  

7. Proposition 57: Backed by the governor, this proposal would allow prisoners serving time for non-violent crimes to become eligible for early-release. The Republican party opposes the measure, while the Democrats and Libertarians support it.

8. Proposition 58: If passed, this law would repeal the “English in Public Schools” initiative which prohibited non-English languages from being spoken in public schools. The teachers, firefighters, and nurse’s associations all back the measure.

9. Proposition 59: This measure would allow the state’s elected officials to overturn Citizens United. Bernie Sanders argues it would limit excessive political spending. However, opponents are worried that there is no explanation for what the Constitutional Amendment would say if it was repealed.

10. Proposition 60: Would mandate that condoms be used in pornographic films. However, the Republican and Democratic party oppose the measure because they believe there are loopholes that could lead to lawsuits and damage the privacy of performers. They also believe that it would unnecessarily cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

11. Proposition 61: A “yes” vote would ban state agencies from paying more than the price U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for the exact same drug, according to The Los Angeles Times. Proponents believe it would provide better access to medication and save taxpayers money. Those against argue it would increase drug prices for veterans.

12. Proposition 62: A “yes” vote on this measure would repeal the death penalty and change sentences for those on death row to life without possibility of parole. Convicted murderers would be required to work to pay off debts to victim’s families. Democrats and Libertarians support the measure, while Republicans oppose.

13. Proposition 63: If passed, it would prohibit the sale and possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines. And, it would impose background checks and make gun theft a felony in order to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Democrats support, while Republicans oppose.

14. Proposition 64: A “yes” vote would legalize marijuana usage (while establishing taxes on sales) in California.

15. Proposition 65: This would reallocate money collected from the sale of plastic bags to a special fund for environmental protection.

16. Proposition 66: This initiative is designed to speed up the legal process of carrying out the death penalty. Courts would have time limits to review convictions and death row inmates would be required to work to compensate victim’s families. However, if Prop. 62 passes, this initiative will be null and void.

17. Proposition 67: Would uphold the Legislature’s ban on plastic bags. If this measure receives more yes votes than Prop. 65, bags will be banned in California.

The measures on the ballot this year are hotly contested and likely to have a lasting impact on California’s politics and citizens. It’s important to vote and make your voice heard on these issues, as your vote could be the deciding factor for these items on the ballot. For more information, check out this site!

*These images are not the property of the author or Her Campus.

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