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A Look At Measures On November’s Ballot

Evening Edition

Thad Kousser, a UC San Diego professor of political science, and Carl Luna, a professor of political science at Mesa College, talk to KPBS about state propositions on the November ballot.

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:


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Avatar for user 'ChrisBernstien'

ChrisBernstien | September 13, 2012 at 12:29 p.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

The arguments in support of Pro. 34, the ballot measure to abolish the death penalty, are exaggerated at best and, in most cases, misleading and false. Proposition 34 is being funded primarily by a wealthy company out of Chicago and the ACLU. It includes provisions that would make our prisons less safe for both other prisoners and prison officials. It significantly increases the costs to taxpayers due to life-time medical costs, the increased security required to coerce former death-row inmates to work, the money to pay those inmates to work, etc. The amount “saved” in order to help fund law enforcement is negligible and only for three years. (The money is taken from the general fund irregardless of whether Prop 34 actually saves any money.) Prop. 34 also takes away funds inmates could use to actually fight for their innocence, increasing the risk that innocent people will spend the rest of their lives in jail. The dollars Prop. 34 takes away ensure both that innocent people are not executed or spend the rest of their lives in jail. Get the facts and supporting evidence at and

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Avatar for user 'astrofan'

astrofan | September 14, 2012 at 10:42 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago


Yeah right, first politicians will do everything they can to make the taxes permanent. Second the money goes to cover the pension short falls, not to "the children." If you really wanted to make sure that money goes to "the children" you would vote for Molly Munger's ghastly tax plan.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | September 14, 2012 at 11:11 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

@BERNSTIEN, you are concerend about prisons being "less safe" yet you don't want "life-time medical costs."

You contradict yourself.

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Avatar for user 'DG'

DG | September 14, 2012 at 12:37 p.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

Peggy, I was very confused when I heard you say "organic food CAN BE genetically engineered." Is that really true? And is it at all common? If it is, I have a LOT of questions, starting with which local organic food suppliers are supplying organically engineered food in San Diego? And which national ones? Actually, this is beyond confusing to me. It's shocking.

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Avatar for user 'Peggy Pico'

Peggy Pico | September 17, 2012 at 2:45 p.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

DG, yes it's a bit of a shock to discover organic food can be genetically engineered.
However, it's mostly because organic farmers can't fully prevent natural /cross pollination from other nearby GE crops. But, USDA standards require organic food not be artificially engineered. Here is an exert from the UC Davis (Agricultural department) on the issue. Also, a link that may be helpful.

The use of genetically engineered (GE) crops is specifically prohibited in certified organic production systems. Section 205.105 of the USDA National Organic Program standards states: “To be sold or labeled as ‘100 percent organic’... the product must be produced and handled without the use of excluded methods including a variety of methods used to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and develop- ment by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes and are not considered compatible with organic production. Such methods include cell fusion, microencapsulation and macroencapsulation, and recombinant DNA technology (including gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes when achieved by recombinant DNA technology). Such methods do not include the use of traditional breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertilization, or tissue culture.”

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Avatar for user 'DaleProp37'

DaleProp37 | October 6, 2012 at 6:44 p.m. ― 4 years, 4 months ago

Nearly 50 countries require labels on Genetically Engineered food (GMOs), and many of these also have severe restrictions or bans against GMO food production or sale. For political (not scientific) reasons the U.S. and Canada are two of the only developed nations in the world without GMO labeling.

PROPOSITION 37 (The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act) is a common sense initiative that would require non exempt foods and beverages sold in California retail stores to be labeled if they are produced with Genetic Engineering or contain Genetically Engineered ingredients. The initiative simply requires that a notation be added either on the front or back package stating that the food is "Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering", or "May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering". For whole foods that are not packaged, such as sweet corn or fresh fish, store shelves would be required to post a sign or label stating the phrase "Genetically Engineered". In addition to this disclosure, Genetically Engineered foods would be prohibited from being advertised as ‘Natural’. This makes sense since Genetically Engineered food by definition of their creators is not natural.

Packaged foods already have labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts consumers want to know. Contrary to the misrepresentation of corporate opponents, PROP 37 is easy to comply with and does not create new bureaucracies, force manufactures to change ingredients or ban the use of genetic engineering.

The most common Genetically Engineered crops are Corn, Soy, Canola, Sugar Beets, Cotton, Hawaiian Papaya, Alfalfa, and Squash (zucchini and yellow). However GMOs are also processed into common food ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins and Yeast Products.

PROPOSITION 37 will make it easier for consumers to know if the food they buy contains GMOs without having to make sense of a long list of unfamiliar ingredients.

The founder of PROP 37, a Grandmother from Chico, is joined by thousands of Californian citizens fighting for honesty and transparency in our food labeling. Unlike the multinational chemical and junk food manufactures who oppose PROP 37 because they fear loss of profits from the rejection of their GMOs we have nothing to financially gain or loose by the outcome of PROP 37. We fight for the belief that we have the right to know what’s in the food we’re eating and feeding to our families and that we all deserve to make a fully informed choice.

Read the proposed law and learn more about PROP 37 and the biological and environmental hazards of Genetically Engineered Food at

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Avatar for user 'DaleProp37'

DaleProp37 | October 6, 2012 at 6:46 p.m. ― 4 years, 4 months ago

One of the most worrisome issues associated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in our food supply is that long term human safety studies are neither required nor conducted in the United States (for politically motivated, not scientific reasons).

Most Americans are unaware of the existence of Genetically Engineered ingredients in the food they eat and that they are untested for long term safety on children, adults or humans of any age. Monsanto and other biotech corporations have actively suppressed several legislative efforts to mandate labeling of GMOs to intentionally keep Americans uninformed to protect their profits. At best GMO developers might conduct a 42 day chicken study and/or 90 day rat study but these self serving studies presented to FDA are carefully constructed to limit or hide negative data. These safety studies are never peer reviewed by independent scientists making them highly questionable for scientific validity. In contrast, pharmaceuticals must undergo human safety testing for FDA approval whereas Genetically Engineered food does not. It is unethical and dangerous for an unproven, unnatural, manmade substance to be secretly sold and unknowingly consumed over a lifetime by Americans, especially by our children.

For something as vital to our biological survival as food . . . supporters for GMO Labeling seek ingredient disclosure to protect themselves and their children from being human guinea pigs unknowingly consuming a manmade laboratory substance developed solely for the financial benefit of huge multinational biotechnology and chemical companies.

Current Genetically Engineered crops are developed to be grown in conjunction with dangerous proprietary chemical herbicides or designed to produce their own internal pesticide in every cell of the plant, including the part that is consumed by children and adults. There is no evidence showing any nutrition benefit for Genetically Engineered crops grown in the United States yet there is a growing body of scientific evidence these crops and use of their associated chemical herbicides and internal pesticides are causing significant biological and ecological harm. Roundup, the herbicide that over 50% of all Genetically Engineered crops are engineered to tolerate, is not safe as has been claimed by Monsanto. Animal and Human epidemiological studies have found an association between Roundup exposure and miscarriage, birth defects, neurological development problems, DNA damage, and certain types of cancer.

The report, “GMO Myths and Truths, An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops”, presents a large body of peer-reviewed scientific and authoritative evidence of the hazards to health and the environment posed by Genetically Engineered crops (GMOs). Read the summary and full report here:

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