LOS ANGELES—Local voters will make a lot of decisions on November 8. In addition to casting their votes in the presidential, congressional, and statehouse races voters will decide on a large list of state ballot initiatives. An overview of the 17 initiatives shows a number of contentious issues will be considered in what is sure to be a historic and consequential ballot for California.
Proposition 64, or the Adult Use or Marijuana Act, would legalize recreational marijuana in the state and set up a system of regulations and taxes around it. Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona, and Nevada are voting on similar laws.
The yes campaign has raised almost $18 million compared to the no campaign’s $2 million. Famed internet billionaire Sean Parker is the biggest support donor having given over $8.5 million. The top donor to the opposition has been Jill Schauer who has given $1.364 million.
Supporters are currently leading in the polls. A September Public Policy Institute of California poll showed the initiative with 60 percent support and 36 percent opposed with 4 percent undecided. A SurveyUSA poll conducted October 13-October 15 shows 51 percent in support of and 40 percent opposed with 9 percent undecided.
The Death Penalty
Two measures relating to the death penalty will appear on the ballot.
Proposition 62, or the Repeal of the Death Penalty Initiative, would end the death penalty in the state. The initiative would retroactively apply to those already on death row.
Proposition 66, also known as the Death Penalty Procedures Initiative, is the other.
Jazmine Ulloa of the Los Angeles Times reported on September 16 that, “Proposition 66 would keep the death penalty, limiting the number of petitions prisoners can file to challenge their convictions and sentences, and providing new deadlines intended to expedite appeals.”
In the event that both pass, the one with the highest amount of votes will displace the one with the lower amount.
Proposition 62 supporters have raised over $8.8 million with those opposed raising over $4.2 million. Nicholas McKeown and Thomas Steyer have been the biggest support donors with each giving $1.5 million. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association Truth in American Government Fund has raised the most for the opposition with a total of over $498 thousand.
Over $4.8 million has been raised in support of Proposition 66, and over $10 million has been raised to oppose it. The biggest support donor has been The California Correctional Peace Officers Association Truth in American Government Fund has with a total of over $498,000. Nicholas McKeown and Thomas Steyer have been the biggest opposition donors with each giving $1.5 million.
Proposition 62 is opposed by the majority of voters according to recent polls. A September SurveyUSA poll puts the initiative at 36 percent support and 52 percent opposed with 12 percent undecided. Another September poll from USC Dornslife/Los Angeles Times puts it at 40 percent support and 51 percent opposed with 9 percent undecided.
Proposition 66 is supported by 48 percent of the voters according to a December 2015/January 2016 Field Poll.
Proposition 63, or the Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban Initiative, would prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines, create new background checks and procedures around the purchase of ammunition, and put in place other gun control measures.
Supporters have raised over $4.5 million in comparison with those opposed donating over $700,000. The largest donor supporting the initiative is currently the California Democratic Party having given over $1.1 million. The National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action has given the most to the opposition totaling $95,000.
Supporters have a wide lead in the polls. A September SurveyUSA poll puts support at 63 percent with opposition at 29 percent and 9 percent undecided. A September USC Dornslife/Los Angeles Times poll puts support at 64 percent and opposition at 28 percent with 8 percent undecided.
Proposition 57, or the California Parole for Non-Violent Criminal and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative, would place the decision to try juveniles as adults with judges instead of prosecutors. It would also increase good behavior and parole opportunities for non-violent felons.
Supporters have raised over $10 million. Those opposed have raised over $550,000. Governor Brown’s Ballot Measure Committee has raised the most out of the supporters with over $4 million. The biggest donor to the opposition has been the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers’ Association Independent Expenditure Committee totaling $150,000.
A September USC Dornslife/Los Angeles Times poll has the initiative showing 66 percent support with 26 percent opposed and 8 percent undecided.
Proposition 56, also known as the Tobacco Tax Increase, would levy an additional $2 tax on cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and other tobacco products. This would add to the current 87 cent excise tax currently in place.
The Support campaign as raised over $28 million while the opposition has raised over $66 million. The California Hospitals Committee on Issues has been the biggest donor to the support campaign giving over $10 million. Service company Altria Client Services LLC (which belongs to Phillip Morris USA Inc.) and Phillip Morris’ affiliates have given the most to the opposition totaling over $35.5 million.
A Public Policy Institute of California poll released in September puts support for the initiative at 59 percent, 36 percent oppose it, and 5 percent are undecided.
Proposition 60, or the Condoms in Pornographic Films Initiative, would require performers in adult films to wear condoms in addition to adult film producers covering the costs of performers work related medical expenses such as Sexually Transmitted Disease tests.
Supporters of the initiative have raised over $4.9 million while those opposed have raised over $400,000. The Aids Healthcare Foundation provided all of over $4.9 million to support the campaign. The opposition’s biggest donor is Wicked Pictures whose donation totals $44,000.
A September poll by USC Dornslife/Los Angeles Times shows the initiative with 55 percent support, 32 percent opposed, and 13 percent undecided.
Proposition 58 is known as the California Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education Act. It would repeal the majority of 1998’s Proposition 227. This would allow public schools to use languages other than English for instruction.
Over $3.5 million has been raised in support of the campaign, with the biggest donation being the California Teachers Association PAC’s $1 million. No political action committees are registered in opposition.
Two initiatives revolving around carry out bags are on the ballot.
Proposition 65, or the Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation Fund Initiative, would take revenue raised from the sale of carry out bags and direct it towards a special fund under the administration of the Wildlife Conservation Board.
Proposition 67, also known as the California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum, would uphold Senate Bill 270 that banned plastic bags in the state. This bill would end the practice of retailers providing single use carry out bags to customers at the point of sale. Reusable and recyclable paper bags would be allowed.
Plastic bags have been banned in Los Angeles with single use paper bags having a 10 cent fee since 2014.
Proposition 65 supporters have raised over $6 million with no political action committees registered in opposition. Hilex Poly Co. LLC is the largest support donor having given over $2.7 million.
Proposition 67 has had over $3.5 million raised in support and $6 million raised in opposition. The biggest support donor has been Albertsons Safeway having given $150,000. The biggest donor to the opposition has been Hilex Poly Co. LLC having given over $2.7 million.
If both pass the one with the highest number of votes overrules the other.
Proposition 61, or the Drug Price Standards Initiative, would require state agencies to pay the same rate for prescription drugs as the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Supporters of the initiative have raised over $14 million. Those opposed have raised over $86 million. The Aids Healthcare Foundation has given the most to support the initiative to a total of over $14 million. Merck & Co. Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson have given the most of those opposed totaling $7.212 million each.
A September USC Dornslife/Los Angeles Times poll shows the initiative with 66 percent support, 23 percent opposed, and 12 percent undecided.
Proposition 54, also known as the Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote proposition, would require the legislature to post a bill in print and online for 72 hours before it can pass said bill.
Over $10.5 million has been raised in support of the initiative. The biggest donor in support of the initiative has been Charles T. Munger, jr. who has donated over $10.5 million. Munger is son of billionaire and Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles Munger. No spending has been reported by those opposed to the initiative.
Proposition 55, or the California Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase Initiative, extends the 2012 tax increase on those making over $250,000 a year. The funds from this extension would go towards education and healthcare.
Supporters of the proposition have raised over $56 million with the largest donor being the California Hospitals Committee On Issues, CHCI Sponsored by California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (CAHHS) who have raised over $33 million. The opposition has raised only $3,000 with Martin Schwartz, Paul Wick, and Franklin Antonio each donating $1,000.
A September Public Policy Institute of California poll shows the initiative standing at 54 percent support, 38 percent in opposition, and 8 percent undecided. A September USC Dornslife/Los Angeles Times poll found the initiative had 57 percent support, 35 percent opposition, and 8 percent are undecided.
Proposition 52 is also known as the Voter Approval to Divert Hospital Fee Revenue Dedicated to Medi-Cal.
According to the official voter guide certified by the California Secretary of State the initiative, “Extends indefinitely an existing statute that imposes fees on hospitals to obtain federal matching funds. Uses fees to fund Medi-Cal health care services, care for uninsured patients, and children’s health coverage. Requires voter’s approval to change use of fees or funds. Permits other Amendments or repeal by legislature with two-thirds vote. Declares fee proceeds do not count as revenue toward state spending limit or Proposition 98 funding requirement.”
Over $60 million has been raised in support of the initiative with over $11.5 million being raised in opposition. The biggest support donor has been California Health Foundation and Trust who has given over $11.5 million. The biggest donor to the opposition is currently SEIU- United Healthcare Workers West (Nonprofit 501(c)(5)) who has given over $6.7 million.
Two bond initiatives are on the ballot.
Proposition 51, also known as the California Public School Facility Bonds Initiative, would support the state funding facilities improvement and construction in community colleges and K-12 schools by way of $9 billion in bonds.
Proposition 53, or the California Voter Approval Requirement for Revenue Bonds Above $2 Billion Initiative, would require the approval of voters for the state to issue public infrastructure bonds in amounts over $2 billion in which repayment would have to come through an increase in taxes or fees.
No financial giving has been reported in opposition to Proposition 51, while over $11 million has been raised in support. The biggest support donor has been the Coalition for Adequate School Housing Issues Committee who have given over $2 million.
Supporters of Proposition 53 have raised over $5.5 million while those opposed have raised over $7 million. The biggest support donor is Stockton resident, former CEO, and co-founder of Stanislaus Food Products Company Dean Cortopassi who has given over $4 million. The biggest donor to the opposition is Brown for Governor 2014 totaling $1.7 million.
A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California poll done in September has Proposition 51 standing at 47 percent support, 43 percent opposed, and 10 percent undecided.
A January poll from the Public Policy Institute of California shows Proposition 53 with 70 percent support, 22 percent opposed, and 8 percent undecided.
Proposition 59 is also known as the California Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question. If the initiative were to pass it would encourage California’s elected officials to overturn the supreme court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission if need be through a constitutional amendment.
Over $177,000 has been raised to support the measure. The largest donor to the support cause is NextGen California Committee who has raised over $61,000. No political action committees have been registered to oppose the initiative.
For those looking to make their voices heard the deadline to register is Monday, Oct. 24.
Correction: This story originally claimed the deadline to register to vote was Friday, October 21. It is instead Monday, Oct. 24. The story was updated on Saturday, Oct. 22 to reflect this change.