A Look At Measures On November’s Ballot
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Aired 9/13/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Thad Kousser, UC San Diego professor of Political Science
Carl Luna, professor of political science, Mesa College
Voters will decide on state and local propositions this November ranging from tax increases for public safety and education, a repeal of the death penalty, rules governing medical marijuana dispensaries and labeling genetically modified foods.
Thad Kousser, a political science professor at UC San Diego, said Governor Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 will raise California sales taxes by "a quarter of a penny" for four years. That money would go to fund schools.
The second part of the tax initiative, "the so-called millionaires' tax," Kousser said, would apply to single people with incomes over $250,000 a year, or over $500,000 a year for a family. The initiative would increase their income taxes by between 1 and 3 percent, depending on how much money they make. The initiative would bring in $6 billion a year in new taxes, he said.
Carl Luna, a political science professor at San Diego Mesa College, said the bulk of that tax money would go to fund K-12 education. Some would also go to law enforcement and public safety initiatives.
Luna said if the measure doesn't pass, schools will face "hundreds of millions of dollars in mid-year reductions," despite already swallowing severe cuts.
"You've heard about the fiscal cliff in Washington, well we have the fiscal crevasse here in California," he said.
Here is more information on the other state and local propositions, sourced from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters:
PROPOSITION 30: TEMPORARY TAXES TO FUND EDUCATION. GUARANTEED LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDING. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
Increases taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by 1/4 cent for four years, to fund schools. Guarantees public safety realignment funding. Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues through 2018-19, averaging about $6 billion annually over the next few years. Revenues available for funding state budget. In 2012-13, planned spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would not occur.
More on Prop 30 from BallotPedia
PROPOSITION 38: TAX TO FUND EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Increases taxes on earnings using sliding scale, for twelve years. Revenues go to K-12 schools and early childhood programs, and for four years to repaying state debt. Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues for 12 years---roughly $10 billion annually in initial years, tending to grow over time. Funds used for schools, child care, and preschool, as well as providing savings on state debt payments.
More on Proposition 38 from Ballot Pedia.
PROPOSITION 36: THREE STRIKES LAW. REPEAT FELONY OFFENDERS. PENALTIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Revises law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. May authorize re-sentencing if third strike conviction was not serious or violent. Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state correctional savings of around $70 million annually, with even greater savings (up to $90 million) over the next couple of decades. These savings could vary significantly depending on future state actions.
More on Proposition 36 from Ballot Pedia.
PROPOSITION 34: DEATH PENALTY INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Repeals death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to existing death sentences. Directs $100 million to law enforcement agencies for investigations of homicide and rape cases. Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state and county criminal justice savings of about $130 million annually within a few years, which could vary by tens of millions of dollars. One-time state costs of $100 million for local law enforcement grants.
More on Proposition 34 from Ballot Pedia.
PROPOSITION 37: GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS. LABELING. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as “natural.” Provides exemptions. Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Additional, but likely not significant, governmental costs to address violations under the measure.
More on Proposition 37 from Ballot Pedia.
From San Diego County's ballots, we'll discuss these propositions:
Sourced from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters
School bond measures require 55 percent of the vote to pass.
PROPOSITION C: Cajon Valley Union School District
To increase student computer/technology access; continue renovating, repairing, equipping and constructing elementary classrooms/school facilities; improve energy efficiency; and reduce overall borrowing costs, shall $88,400,000 of Cajon Valley Union School District bonds, previously approved by voters in February 2008, be reauthorized through issuance of new bonds, with no increase in total authorized District debt, interest rates below legal limits, independent citizen oversight, no money for administrator salaries, and all funds spent locally and not taken by the State?
PROPOSITION D: Dehesa School District
To increase student computer/technology access; repair, equip and construct classrooms/science lab/library/school facilities; and reduce overall borrowing costs, shall $3,000,000 of Dehesa School District bonds, previously approved by voters in November 2010, be reauthorized through issuance of new bonds, with no increase in total authorized District debt, interest rates below legal limits, independent citizen oversight, no money for administrator salaries, and all funds spent locally and not taken by the State?
PROPOSITION E: Chula Vista Elementary School District
“To repair, renovate, construct, and upgrade classrooms and school facilities; increase student access to computers and modern technology; replace temporary classrooms; upgrade heating systems; and make energy cost-saving improvements, shall School Facilities Improvement District No. 1 of the Chula Vista Elementary School District be authorized to issue $90 million of bonds with legal interest rates, annual audits, independent citizens’ oversight, and all funds spent locally and no money used for administrative salaries or taken by the State and spent elsewhere?”
PROPOSITION G: Mountain Empire Unified School District
“Mountain Empire Safe and Modern Classrooms Measure. To improve local schools (Campo, Clover Flat, Descanso, Jacumba, Pine Valley, Potrero and Mountain Empire High School) by upgrading classrooms/science labs/school facilities; improving student safety and accessibility for disabled students; providing computers/instructional technology; and renovating, constructing and equipping schools, shall Mountain Empire Unified School District issue $30.8 million in bonds, at legal rates, with independent oversight, annual audits, no funds for administrators’ salaries and all funds benefiting local schools?”
PROPOSITION R: Ramona Unified School District
“To improve the quality of education; repair/replace leaky roofs; increase student access to computers and modern technology; construct/modernize classrooms, restrooms, and school facilities; make health, safety and handicapped accessibility improvements; replace deteriorating portable classrooms; and improve energy efficiency; shall Ramona Unified School District acquire, construct, repair, equip school facilities by issuing $66,000,000 of bonds at legal rates, with independent citizens’ oversight and NO money for employee salaries and all funds spent only on Ramona schools?”
PROPOSITION V: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
East County, Grossmont College and Cuyamaca College Students, Active Military and Veterans Affordable Education and Job Training Measure. “To prepare local students/veterans for college/career success, shall Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District upgrade career training facilities for science, medical, public safety, in- demand fields, create a Veterans Support Center on each campus, modernize technology in classrooms, libraries, science labs, improve disabled persons access, upgrade, construct, acquire classrooms, facilities, sites/equipment, by issuing $398,000,000 in bonds, at legal rates, with independent citizen oversight, no money for pensions/administrators, and all money staying local, benefiting East County community colleges?”
PROPOSITION Y: South Bay Union School District
To continue elementary classroom/school renovations; safety improvements; computers/technology access; roof, plumbing, heating/air-conditioning repairs; and reduce overall borrowing costs, shall $26,000,000 of South Bay Union School District General Obligation Bonds, previously approved by voters in November 2008, be reauthorized through issuance of new bonds, with no increase in total authorized District debt, interest rates below legal limits, independent citizen oversight, no money for administrator salaries, and all funds spent locally and not taken by the State?
PROPOSITION Z: San Diego Unified School District
San Diego Neighborhood Schools Classroom Safety and Repair Measure. To repair neighborhood schools and charter schools with funding the state cannot take away by: Repairing deteriorating 60-year-old classrooms, libraries, wiring, plumbing, bathrooms and leaky roofs; Removing hazardous mold, asbestos, and lead; Upgrading fire safety systems/doors; Upgrading classroom instructional technology, labs and vocational education classrooms; Shall San Diego Unified School District issue $2.8 billion in bonds at legal interest rates with citizen’s oversight, independent financial audits, no money for administrators’ salaries and all funds spent locally?
The following propositions require a majority of the votes, 50 percent plus 1.
Ballot Propositions H, T and W are sponsored by Citizens for Patients Rights
PROPOSITION H: City of Del Mar
Shall the ordinance which proposes the regulation of medical marijuana compassionate use dispensaries and alters the City’s sales tax laws be adopted?
More on Proposition H from the Del Mar City Attorney.
PROPOSITION T: City of Lemon Grove
Shall the Lemon Grove Marijuana Dispensary Authorization Ordinance be adopted?
PROPOSITION S: City of Imperial Beach
Shall the ordinance permitting medical marijuana dispensaries of any size in any commercial, mixed use or industrial zones, setting regulations for their operation, and repealing the City’s prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries with more than three members be adopted?
Proposition S is sponsored by The San Diego Chapter of Americans For Safe Access
PROPOSITION W: City of Solana Beach
Shall the proposed ordinance amending the Solana Beach Municipal Code to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in nonresidential zones in the City of Solana Beach be adopted?
Claire Trageser contributed to this report.
To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.