Propositions are proposed laws presented to the public to vote on. You do not have to vote on everything. Choose what is important to you, and learn more about that.
Proposition 1A: Local Government Funds State Constitutional Amendment
Local governments count on property taxes, sales taxes and vehicle license fees to help pay for local services. The state has a lot of control over this local tax money. To help balance the state budget, the state sometimes uses local tax money or delays payments too local governments for state mandates.
Local governments put another measure, Prop 65, on the ballot to change this situation. Prop 1A was added later by the State Legislature.
What Prop 1A would do: Change the State Constitution to reduce state control over local tax money. The state could not reduce the taxes that local governments are now getting. The state’s ability to use local tax money would be very limited. The state would have to pay local governments for mandates or drop the requirements.
Proposition 59: Public Records State Constitutional Amendment
California has laws that give the public the right to see government records and attend government meetings. Some records, such as medical testing and law enforcement, are not made public to protect people’s privacy. These laws are not part of the state Constitution.
What Prop 59 would do: Make it part of the State Constitution that government meetings and the writings of public officials and agencies be open to the public, To limit the access to the public, the government would have to show a reason why.
Proposition 60: Politic al Parties in Elections State Constitutional Amendment
California has a two-step election for many elected offices. The Primary election in the spring lets political parties choose which candidates they want to run for each office in the November General Election. In the Primary election, voters can only choose candidates from their own party. In the General Election, voters can choose a candidate from any party.
There is another proposition in this election, Prop 62, that would change primary elections.
What Prop 60 would do: Make sure that the November ballot will include the winning candidate from each party that was in the Primary Election. This is the current law and Prop 60 makes it part of the State Constitution.
Proposition 60A: Surplus Property: State Constitutional Amendment
When the state has land or buildings it no longer needs, it can sell this “surplus property.” The money usually goes into the state’s General Fund and can pay for any state program.
What Prop 60A would do: Direct all money from selling state property towards paying off prop 57 bonds. These bonds were approved by voters in March 2004 to pay for past state deficits. Once the Prop 57 bonds are paid off, sales of state property would go into the General Fund.
Proposition 61: Bonds for Children’s Hospitals Initiative
Children’s hospitals provide health care for children and infants with serious illnesses.
What Prop 61 would do: The state could sell $750 Million in bonds and use the money to build or expand children’s hospitals in California, or to buy medical equipment for them.
Proposition 62: Primary Elections: Initiative / State Constitutional Amendment
California has a two-step election for many elected offices. The Primary Election in the spring lets political parties choose which candidates they want to run for each office in the November General Election. In the Primary Election, voters can only choose candidates from their own party. In the General Election, voters can choose a candidate from any party.
What Prop 62 would do: Change the State Constitution so that voters in the Primary Election get a ballot with candidates from all parties (except candidates for President and party central committee).
Proposition 63: Tax on Mental Health Services: Initiative
People needing mental health services use private insurance or get that care through counties. The counties pay for service for the mentally ill with a mix of local, state and federal money.
What Prop 63 would do: People with incomes over $1 million would pay an additional 1% tax on the part of their income above $1 million. This new tax would pay for new and expanded services for the mentally ill children, adults, and seniors. It could not be spent for current mental health services or any other programs.
Proposition 64: Lawsuits About Unfair Business Practices:Initiative
Companies or people can be taken to court for misleading advertising or for breaking laws that protect the public’s health or safety. These lawsuits about unfair business practices can be filed by the government or by any individual. Anyone can file this kind of lawsuit on behalf of the public.
What Prop 64 would do: Change the rules about who can file lawsuits about unfair business practices. Only government lawyers could file these lawsuits on behalf of the general public. Privet individuals could sue only if the had been injured and lost money and property.
Proposition 65: Local Government Funds: Initiative / State Constitutional Amendment
Local governments count on property taxes, sales, and vehicle license fees to help pay for local services. The state has a lot of control over this local tax money.
The State Legislature put another measure, Prop 1A, on the ballot to change this situation.
What Prop 65 would do: Change the State Constitution to require voter approval for any reduction in money to local governments from sales taxes, vehicle license fees, or property taxes. Prop 65 would also let local governments ignore state mandates if they are not paid by the state to follow them.
Proposition 66Changes to “Three Strikes” Law: Initiative
In 1994, California voters passed the “Three Strikes” law. If some one has already been convicted of a serious or violent felony, they get a longer sentence when convicted of any new felony, even if it is not violent. Examples of violent felonies are murder and robbery.
What Prop 66 would do: Only serious or violent felonies would make repeat offenders get the “Three Strikes” sentencing, not any felony. Prop. 66 also cuts back the number of crimes that are considered a serious or violent felony.
“Three Strikes” inmates convicted of non violent felonies would go back to court to get shorter sentences. There would also be longer sentence for sex crimes against children.
Proposition 67: Tax for Emergency Medical Services:Initiative / Constitutional Amendment
State and U.S. laws say that any person who needs emergency medical care must be given care even if they could not pay. Sate and county governments cover only parts of those unpaid costs. California hospitals and doctors reported that unpaid emergency medical services cost them about $540 million a few years ago. The cost now is unknown.
What Prop 67 would do: Provide new money for emergency services by adding a 3% tax on in-state phone calls. Most of this money would go to hospitals and doctors, and some would support urgent care clinics and other emergency services. The phone tax would be limited to 50 cents each month for residential phones. There would be no limit for businesses phones and cell phones.
Proposition 68: Slot Machines: Initiative / Constitutional Amendment
California only allows slot machines on Indian lands. The state has gaming agreements with about 70 Indian tribes. Most of these agreements allow only 2,000 slot machines per tribe. In 2004, nine tribes made new agreements that let them have more slot machines. In return, they are making payments that could bring hundreds of millions of dollars each year into the state’s General Fund. More tribes are expected to ask for new agreements.
What Prop 68 would do:Keep slot machines on Indian lands if the tribes with slot machines agree to pay 25% of what they take in to a new special fund. If all of these tribes do not agree, then 5 racetracks and 11 card rooms not on Indian lands would be allowed to operate 30,000 slot machines. They would pay 30% of what they take in on slot machines to the new fund plus 3% more to local governments.
Proposition 69: DNA Sample Collection: Initiative
DNA is used by law enforcement to identify and convict criminals. It can also be used to prove people are innocent of a crime. Current law requires DNA samples from anyone convicted of a serious felony. This DNA information is added to state and FBI databanks.
What Prop 69 would do: Collection of DNA samples would be expanded to include people convicted of any felony plus those convicted or arrested for some other offenses. Criminal penalties, such as fees for traffic tickets, would go up to help pay for keeping track of more DNA samples.
Proposition 70: Indian Gaming Agreements: Initiative / Constitutional Amendment
The state has agreements with about 70 Indian tribes allowing them to have casions with slot machines and card games like Twenty-one. Most tribes have agreements lasting until 2020 that limit how many slot machines they can have. In 2004, the Governor and nine tribes made new agreements that let tribes have more slot machines in return for new payments to the state’s General Fund and local governments. These new agreements end in 2030. Indian tribes are not required by U.S. law to pay taxes.
What Prop 70 would do: Let each Indian tribe choose to change to a gaming agreement that would last for 99 years. In new agreements, the state could not limit the number of slot machines, the number of casinos or the types of gambling on Indian land. In return, a tribe would make payments to the state’s General Fund at the current business tax rate (now about 9 percent of net income). If the state allowed anybody but the Indian tribes to have the same types of gambling, the tribes could stop making the payments to the state.
Proposition 71: Bonds for Stem Cell Research:Initiative / Constitutional Amendment
Many scientists believe that stem cell research will lead to new treatments for a variety of diseases. The University of California spends millions of dollars each year on this type of research, and the U.S. government spent $180 million in2002.
What Prop 71 would do: A new state medical research institute would be created to give out grants and loans for stem cell research in California. The money would come from the sale of $3 billion in state bonds. The right to do stem cell research would be added to the State Constitution.
Proposition 72: Health Care Coverage: Referedum
Employers in California can choose whether they want to provide health care coverage for their employees and their dependents. In 2003, a law was passed by the State Legislature to expand health care coverage for workers at large and medium-sized employers. This law has not gone into effect yet. Prop 72 is a referendum, which means the voters have to approve this law, not just the State Legislature.
What Prop 72 would do: Require large and medium-sized employers in California to either provide health care coverage or pay into a state program to purchase health coverage. Employers of 200 or more would have to start in 2006. Employers with 50 up to 200 employees would start in 2007.
Employees would pay no more than 20% of their health plan premium. Low-income employees would have their contribution limited to 5% of wages. The measure would help employees who are eligible for Medi-Cal and Healthy Families pay their premiums and receive additional medical services.