Overview of November Ballot Measures

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specialreporballotFollowing are brief summaries of the measures that will appear on the November 8 General Election ballot. When the California Chamber of Commerce has taken a position, the reasons for that position are summarized. Print-friendly PDF

The CalChamber encourages employers to share this information with their employees. Businesses are within their rights to do so—just remember: NO PAYCHECK STUFFERS, no coercion, no rewarding or punishing employees (or threatening to do so) for their political activities or beliefs.

For more guidelines on political communications to employees, see the August 12 Alert story or the brochure at www.calchamber.com/guidelines. Note the distinction between internal communications (to employees, stockholders, and their families) and communications to external audiences (such as nonstockholder retirees, outside vendors, customers and passersby).

For more information on the ballot measures, see the links listed below or visit the website of the Secretary of State at www.sos.ca.gov.


16894Proposition 51

School Bonds. Funding for K–12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute.

Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernizing K–12 public school, charter schools and vocational education, and California Community Colleges facilities.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: Support

Reasons for Position

The state should continue the School Facility Program and its use of general obligation bonds to support school facilities because the alternative—forcing local governments to raise property tax rates significantly and levy much higher developer fees—will limit the development of new affordable housing. CalChamber has supported all 41 education facilities bond measures placed on the ballot since 1949.

More Information: www.yeson51.com


16894

Proposition 52

Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Extends indefinitely the existing law imposing fees on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal health care services, care for uninsured patients and children’s health coverage.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: Support

Reasons for Position

Extending the current fee program provides certainty about the availability of federal matching funds (more than $3 billion a year) for hospitals and health care services for children, seniors and low-income families. By requiring a two-thirds vote, the proposition increases the difficulty for the Legislature to make any changes. The measure also prohibits the Legislature from diverting the money for other purposes without voter approval.

More Information: www.yesprop52.org


16895Proposition 53

Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Requires statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds can be issued or sold by the state for projects that are financed, owned, operated or managed by the state or any joint agency created by or including the state, if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: Oppose

Reasons for Position

Will stop or delay vital public works construction projects, including those involving water security and highway improvements, by adding an unnecessary level of cost, bureaucracy and delay to a process already bogged down. Will take a widely used and fiscally responsible financing mechanism off the table. Also would encourage litigation and increase the ability of special interests to leverage major infrastructure projects for their own purposes. Will impede the ability for emergency repairs to be made after a natural disaster.

More Information: NoProp53.com


16894

Proposition 54

Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Prohibits the Legislature from passing any bill unless published on the Internet for 72 hours before vote. Requires Legislature to record its proceedings and post on Internet.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: Support

CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg signed ballot arguments in support of the measure.

Reasons for Position

Requiring the Legislature to post each bill online, in its final form, for at least 72 hours before voting on it would give the legislators time to review the legislation, hear from their constituents, and be held accountable for the laws they pass. In addition, requiring the Legislature to post online a complete video record of every legislative meeting that is supposed to be open to the public would allow citizens to watch legislative proceedings and keep informed. By ensuring the video records would be kept online, freely available for public viewing, for at least 20 years, the act will provide a valuable resource for the public, the press, and the academic community.

More Information: www.YesProp54.org


16895

Proposition 55

Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Extends by 12 years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings over $250,000, with revenues allocated to K–12 schools, community colleges, and, in certain years, healthcare.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: Oppose

Reasons for Position

CalChamber did not oppose the original Proposition 30 tax increase in 2012 because the measure was supposed to be temporary and the state was in the midst of a dire financial situation. An extension of Proposition 30 would make the tax virtually permanent, even when the state’s budget is balanced.

The state currently has in excess of $3 billion in reserves and has a balanced budget that pays down debt and saves even more for future economic downturns. Also, revenue from the personal income tax is highly volatile and any anticipated revenue from Proposition 55 might be significantly reduced when California is faced with future recessions.

Passing an extension now is premature, because Proposition 30 taxes do not expire until the end of 2018.

More Information: www.hjta.org


NOPOSITIONProposition 56

Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Increases cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say Proposition 56 works like a user fee, taxing tobacco to help pay for smoking prevention and health care so smokers pay their fair share for costs. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network sponsored Proposition 56 to prevent kids from smoking and save lives.

More Information: YesOn56.org

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say this $1.6 billion tax increase gives $1 billion to special interests. Only 13% of the revenue goes for smoking prevention and the rest goes to Med-Cal provider rate increases.

More Information: www.NoOnProposition56.com


NOPOSITION

Proposition 57

Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Allows parole consideration for nonviolent felons. Authorizes sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior and education. Provides juvenile court judge decides whether juvenile will be prosecuted as adult.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents point out that California public safety leaders and victims of crime support Proposition 57—the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016—because it focuses resources on keeping dangerous criminals behind bars, while rehabilitating juvenile and adult inmates and saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed the ballot arguments in support of the measure.

More Information: Vote4Prop57.com

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say the proposition authorizes early release of violent criminals, including those who rape unconscious victims; authorizes immediate release for 16,000 dangerous criminals, even convicted murderers; amends the California Constitution; takes rights away from victims; and grants more rights to criminals.

More Informationwww.StopEarlyRelease.com


16894

Proposition 58

English Proficiency. Multilingual Education. Initiative Statute.

Amends and repeals portions of Proposition 227, the initiative approved by voters in June 1998 to mandate that all children in California public schools be taught English by being taught in English unless parents have gone through a waiver process. Repeals existing law giving parents/guardians standing to sue for enforcement and making public school administrators and teachers personally liable for failing to provide an English-only curriculum.

Placed on Ballot by: SB 1174 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens), Chapter 753, Statutes of 2014.

CalChamber Position: Support

Reasons for Position

California’s economic success depends on its ability to prepare a workforce educated to compete in a global economy. Top education systems in the world all require students to learn multiple languages. Yet California, with its natural reserve of diverse linguistic resources has failed to develop a multilingual workforce. The right to sue has had the effect of doing away with most bilingual programs/classes.

Sixty-six percent of people around the world speak more than one language while only 20% of people in the U.S. speak multiple languages. Students with a strong proficiency in English who also speak another language are better equipped to compete in the global workforce and offer California employers a more prepared and educated workforce.

More Information: www.SupportProp58.com


NOPOSITION

Proposition 59

Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections. Legislative Advisory Question.

Asks whether California’s elected officials should use their authority to propose and ratify an amendment to the federal Constitution overturning the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The decision ruled that laws placing certain limits on political spending by corporations and unions are unconstitutional.

Placed on Ballot by: SB 254 (B. Allen; D-Santa Monica), Chapter 20, Statutes of 2016.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say vote “yes” to send a message to Congress to get big money out of politics and to overturn misguided Supreme Court ruling saying unlimited campaign spending is free speech and that corporations have the same constitutional rights as people.

More Information: www.yesonCAProp59.com

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say the Legislature should stop wasting taxpayer dollars by putting do-nothing measures on the ballot that ask Congress to overturn the Supreme Court. Instead, politicians in Sacramento should focus on transparency and bringing jobs to California.

More Information: info@gbacampaigns.com


NOPOSITION

Proposition 60

Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.

Requires adult film performers to use condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. Requires producers to pay for performer vaccinations, testing, and medical examinations. Requires producers to post condom requirement at film sites.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say Proposition 60 protects California adult film workers from disease. Porn producers refuse to provide a safe workplace for their performers. As a result, thousands of workers have been exposed to serious and life-threatening diseases. It is time to hold the pornographers accountable for worker safety and health in California’s adult film industry.

More Information: Voteyesprop60.com

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say Proposition 60 is a 13-page measure that is so poorly drafted that it is the only initiative opposed by the California Democratic Party and the California Republican Party. The proponent wants you to believe this is about worker safety, but this disguises the real impact of the measure: the creation of an unprecedented lawsuit bonanza that will cost taxpayers “tens of millions of dollars” and threatens the safety of performers.

More Information: DontHarassCa.com


16895

Proposition 61

State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute.

Prohibits state from buying any prescription drug from a drug manufacturer at price over lowest price paid for the drug by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). Exempts managed care programs funded through Medi-Cal.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: Oppose

Reasons for Position

The CalChamber opposes this measure because it will increase what most Californians must pay for health care premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs by shifting the cost of prescription drugs from government purchasers to private payers, including employers. The initiative ignores why the USDVA is able to negotiate lower drug prices and instead uses the discounts to establish an artificial market cap for one group of purchasers. The approach will simply shift costs to other payers in the system.

More Information: NoProp61.com


NOPOSITION

Proposition 62

Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.

Repeals the death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to existing death sentences. Increases the portion of life inmates’ wages that may be applied to victim restitution.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say California’s death penalty system has failed. Taxpayers have spent more than $5 billion since 1978 to carry out 13 executions—a cost of $384 million per execution. Proposition 62 replaces a costly failed system with a strict life sentence and zero chance of parole. Instead of being housed in expensive private cells on death row, murderers will be kept with other maximum-security inmates.

More Information: Yeson62.com

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say we all know California’s death penalty system is broken. Death row inmates are now able to file one frivolous appeal after another, denying justice. The answer is to mend, not end California’s death penalty laws. Prosecutors, law enforcement, and the families of murder victims oppose Proposition 62 because it jeopardizes public safety, denies justice and closure to victims’ families, and rewards the most horrible killers.

More Information: noprop62yesprop66.com


NOPOSITION

Proposition 63

Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute.

Requires background check and Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition. Prohibits possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines. Establishes procedures for enforcing laws prohibiting firearm possession by specified persons. Requires Department of Justice participation in federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say more than 300 Americans are shot each day, more than 80 of them fatally. Proposition 63 will save lives by closing loopholes to prevent dangerous criminals, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill from obtaining and using deadly weapons. The measure keeps guns and ammo out of the wrong hands, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Californians to own guns for self-defense, hunting, and recreation.

More Information: safetyforall.com

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say Proposition 63 is overwhelmingly opposed by the law enforcement community and civil rights groups because it will burden law-abiding citizens without keeping violent criminals and terrorists from accessing firearms and ammunition. The measure would divert scarce law enforcement resources away from local law enforcement and overburden an already-overcrowded court system with the enforcement of flawed laws that will turn harmless, law-abiding citizens into criminals. In fact, New York recently abandoned its enforcement of a similar proposal after it was passed, finding that it was impossible to implement and effectively maintain.

More Information: stoptheammograb.com


NOPOSITION

Proposition 64

Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.

Legalizes marijuana under state law, for use by adults 21 or older. Imposes state taxes on sales and cultivation. Provides for industry licensing and establishes standards for marijuana products. Allows local regulation and taxation. Provides that employers will be able to continue to require a drug-free workplace.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say it’s time to implement proven reforms so marijuana will be safe, controlled and taxed. The measure incorporates best practices from states that already legalized adult marijuana use, and adheres closely to the recommendations of California’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, which included law enforcement and public health experts. By collecting unpaid taxes from marijuana, Proposition 64 will bring in more than $1 billion of revenue every year to help California. And it could save tens of millions of dollars annually in reduced law enforcement costs. Together, that is a benefit of $11 billion over the next decade.

More Information: yeson64.org

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say Proposition 64 has five huge flaws that affect Californians: doubles highway fatalities; allows marijuana growing near schools and parks; increases black market and drug cartel activity; could roll back the total prohibition of smoking ads on TV; and is an all-out assault on underprivileged neighborhoods already reeling from alcohol and drug addiction problems. The measure is radically different from legalization measures in other states, and may weaken countless consumer protections just passed last year and signed into law by Governor Brown.

More Information: NoOn64.net


NOPOSITION

Proposition 65

Carryout Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute.

Redirects money collected by grocery and certain other retail stores through mandated sale of carryout bags. Requires stores to deposit bag sale proceeds into a special fund to support specified environmental projects.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say Proposition 65 is needed to stop grocery stores from keeping all the money collected from carryout bag taxes as profit instead of helping the environment. Grocery stores stand to gain up to $300 million in added profits each and every year unless voters say yes on Proposition 65. That money should be dedicated to the environment, not more profits for corporate grocery chains.

More Information: SayYesOn65.com

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say Proposition 65 is without real significance, designed to distract from the issue at hand: phasing out plastic shopping bags. All 65 would do is direct funding from the sale of paper bags (an option under the plastic bag ban) to a new state fund. The money for this fund is a drop in the bucket and will shrink over time as people adjust to bringing reusable bags.

More Information: cawrecycles.org


NOPOSITION

Proposition 66

Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute.

Changes procedures governing state court challenges to death sentences. Designates superior court for initial petitions and limits successive petitions. Requires appointed attorneys who take noncapital appeals to accept death penalty appeals. Exempts prison officials from existing regulation process for developing execution methods.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say Proposition 66 was written by frontline death penalty prosecutors who know the system inside and out. They know how the system is broken, and they know how to fix it. Proposition 66 was written to speed up the death penalty appeals system while ensuring that no innocent person is ever executed. Proposition 66 means the worst killers receive the strongest sentence. The measure would bring closure to victims’ families, protect public safety, and save taxpayers money because heinous criminals will no longer be sitting on death row at taxpayer expense for 30+ years.

More Information: noprop62yesprop66.com

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say Proposition 66 is a poorly written initiative that will add more layers of government bureaucracy, causing more delays, cost taxpayers money, and increase California’s risk of executing an innocent person. Evidence shows more than 150 innocent people have been sentenced to death, and some have been executed because of poorly written laws like this one. According to nonpartisan analysis, Proposition 66 could cost “tens of millions of dollars annually” with “unknown” costs beyond that. Instead of adding new layers of government bureaucracy and increasing costs, we deserve real reform of our justice system. Proposition 66 is not the answer.

More Information: NoonCAProp66.org


NOPOSITION

Proposition 67

Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum.

A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, a statute that prohibits grocery and other stores from providing customers single-use plastic or paper carryout bags, but permits sale of recycled paper bags and reusable bags.

Placed on Ballot by: Petition signatures.

CalChamber Position: No Position

Ballot Arguments For

Proponents say this measure will help keep discarded plastic bags out of the mountains, valleys, beaches and communities, and keep them beautiful. The law also will save the state and local communities tens of millions of dollars in litter clean-up costs. Nearly 150 local cities and counties have banned single-use plastic bags. These laws have already been a success; some communities have seen a nearly 90% reduction in single-use bags, as well as strong support from consumers.

More Information: cayeson67.com

 

Ballot Arguments Against

Opponents say Proposition 67 is a $300 million per year hidden tax increase on California consumers who will be forced to pay a minimum 10 cents for every paper and thick plastic grocery bag they are given at the checkout. Not one penny goes to the environment. Instead, the Legislature gave all $300 million in new tax revenue to grocers as extra profit.

More Information: No website listed.

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