Proposition 51

Proposition 51 seems as if it would be a positive move for schools, authorizing billions in bonds for new construction and modernization, but then it becomes rather complicated with how the initiative would allocate funds and levy fees. Further, local school districts have been diligent and successful in getting their own initiatives passed to fund such projects.

Vote No on Proposition 51.

Proposition 52

Proposition 52 would increase the required vote to two-thirds for the Legislature to amend existing law that imposes fees on hospitals (for the purpose of obtaining federal Medi-Cal matching funds) and that directs those fees and federal matching funds to hospital-provided Medi-Cal health-care services, to uncompensated care provided by hospitals to uninsured patients, and to children’s health coverage. 

Forcing the legislature to get more people on board to get legislation amended seems counterproductive. Also, these sorts of nuanced issues should not be left in the hands of the voters to complicate things further.

Vote No on Proposition 52.

Proposition 53

Proposition 53 would mandate voter approval for state projects that cost more than $2 billion. This is a direct democracy bill to further take control away from of our legislators and gives it to the voters. We need to have some faith that our legislators have our best interests in mind.

Vote No on Proposition 53.

Proposition 54

Proposition 54 would prohibit the state legislature from passing any bill unless it has been in print and published on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the vote, except in cases of public emergency. It will cost about $2 million to implement. For the sake of transparency, we feel it’s worth the cost.

Vote Yes on Proposition 54.

Proposition 55

Proposition 55 would extend 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 would allocate these tax revenues of 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to California Community Colleges and allocates up to $2 billion per year in certain years for health-care programs. While taxing the rich to give to the poor better education and health care services may not be exactly what some may call “fair,” it’s critical for a thriving society.

Vote Yes on Proposition 55.

Proposition 56

Proposition 56 would increase the cost of a pack of cigarettes by $2 to fund health-care services, 82 percent of which will go to general health-care services that also include tobacco-related issues. The rest will go to tobacco-related prevention efforts and research. While some may argue it’s an unfair tax on smokers, the reality is, California has one of the lowest excise taxes on cigarettes at 87 cents a pack. New York’s tax is $4.35. Further, increasing the cost of any commodity has been proven to reduce consumer usage. Take, for instance, when gas prices spike. And knowing how bad smoking is, isn’t that really the point?

Vote Yes on Proposition 56.

Proposition 57

Proposition 57 rewards good behavior on inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes, gives incarcerated youth a second chance by allowing the judge and not the prosecutor to decide if the accused will be tried as an adult, and focuses more on rehabilitation measures rather than punishment with sentence credits. Simply put, we reward good behavior rather than default to punishment.

Vote Yes on Proposition 57.

Proposition 58

Proposition 58 would bring back bilingual education, mainly designed to help advance English learners by allowing them to learn English at a steady pace but also to grow academically by learning other subjects in their native Spanish language. It would be great if we all spoke the same language, which was actually the basis of the English immersion law originally passed in 1998, even if it passed with anti-immigrant sentiment. And so we tried for the last 18 years, and non-English speakers have continued to struggle and have fallen behind, i.e., it didn’t work. We need to focus on helping all California students succeed.

Vote Yes on Proposition 58.

Proposition 59

Proposition 59 is simply a civil protest by California voters that shows disapproval of the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision, which allowed secretive and unregulated spending in elections by giving citizen rights to corporations.

Vote Yes on Proposition 59.

Proposition 60

Proposition 60 would require porn actors to use condoms when performing. We feel that adults should be able to make their own decisions on their safety. This is simply a morality initiative to chase the porn industry out of California. Even worse, it gives the state, performers or any state resident the ability to enforce violations. Giving just any old resident the ability to enforce this law is reason enough to vote no. Stop worrying about the actors so much and start looking at why there is so much demand. 

Vote No on Proposition 60.

Proposition 61

Proposition 61 seems like a no-brainer in setting pricing standards of state-bought pharmaceuticals by prohibiting state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Even with the negative outcome of inflating prices of the EpiPen with tremendous public outcry, there, however, seems to be some inherent flaws in capping the prices straightaway versus being able to negotiate prices. Also, pharmaceutical companies will probably look to make up for those losses by hitting the private market. We understand the good intention of this bill, but capping prescription costs needs to be a concerted effort of the president, Congress and state lawmakers. 

Vote No on Proposition 61.

Proposition 62

Proposition 62 would overturn the death penalty. Gandhi once said, “Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” The death penalty is archaic, barbaric and not characteristic of a civilized society. Plus it has been proven to give no relief to the families of victims.

Vote Yes on Proposition 62.

Proposition 63 

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.

We understand that Second Amendment rights should ensure gun advocates access to whatever accessories they want for their guns but we are unclear about the obsession with large magazines. And if a law-abiding citizen wants to ensure that bullets stay out of the hands of criminals, requiring Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition seems like a good way to do it. Understandably, this could create a black market for ammunition. We, however, are willing to take that chance if it means there are fewer casualties in the end.

Vote Yes on Proposition 63.

Proposition 64

Proposition 64 would legalize marijuana and hemp under state law. With 58 percent of recently polled Californians in favor of legalization, according to the Los Angeles Times, the time has come. Not addressing this now allows an underground market serving 15 percent of all adults to do as it pleases with no benefits for the general public. Yes, it’s an underground financial market as of today (due to most financial institutions not banking with this industry due to Federal FDIC rules) and we acknowledge that the bill is not perfect but can be amended in the future. This future is now.

Vote Yes on Proposition 64.

Proposition 65

Updated: Proposition 65 would redirect money through the sale of carryout bags to a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board. That seems rather appropriate, given the harm these carryout bags have already caused our wildlife. And given we already voted to ban bags in California and four years later, they are still in our stores, it seems like some good will is better than … none. But it’s a trick. It’s not good. 

Vote No on Proposition 65.

Proposition 66

Proposition 66 would expedite death-penalty punishments by bypassing certain appeal processes, i.e., let’s hurry up the process so we can kill faster.  We understand the logic and disagree with it.

Vote No on Proposition 66.

Proposition 67

Proposition 67 is a referendum on a bill that California voters already passed in 2012 to ban single carryout bags. This bill essentially asks voters again if they feel the same as they did in 2012. The answer is yes — we want to eliminate these single-use bags from our environment. Besides, PLASTIC SUCKS. And what did people do before 1960? They did fine.

Vote Yes on Proposition 67.