November 8, 2016, Statewide Ballot Measures

{NOTE: GOC has taken official positions on those propositions which have a direct bearing on firearms, crime, the legislative process and our ability to function as a grassroots political organization.}

Proposition 51:
School Bonds. Funding for K–12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

School Bond Borrowing: This proposition seeks to borrow $9 billion in school bonds, to be utilized for K-12/community college construction and modernization.  These are new funds because past school bond money has been fully distributed.

  • “yes”vote supports the state issuing $9 billion in bonds to fund improvement and construction of school facilities for K-12 schools and community colleges.
  • “no”vote opposes the state issuing $9 billion in new debt to fund the improvement and construction of education facilities.

gocstarGOC Comments:  Some have calculated the costs to be far greater – as much as $18 billion when Wall Street interests costs are included.

Proposition 52
Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. (PDF)

Medi-Cal Program – Protection Thereof: Promoted by the California Hospitals Association, it places obstacles in the path of the Legislature from redirecting Medi-Cal funds to other state programs.

  • “yes”vote supports requiring voter approval to change the dedicated use of certain fees from hospitals used to draw matching federal money and fund Medi-Cal services. The initiative was also designed to require a two-thirds majority vote of the California Legislature to end the hospital fee program.
  • “no”vote opposes this initiative, allowing the legislature to change, extend, or eliminate the hospital fee program with a majority vote.

Proposition 53
Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. (PDF)

Voter Approval Required for More Bonds: would need voter approval: Requires future statewide votes on any revenue bond that’s bigger than $2 billion for government projects. “Revenue bonds are repaid by revenue generated by the particular project.  Unlike general obligation bonds, they do not require voter approval. Supporters of Proposition 53 refer to it as the “No Blank Checks Initiative.”

  • “yes”vote will be a vote in favor of requiring voter approval before the state could issue more than $2 billion in public infrastructure bonds that would require an increase in taxes or fees for repayment.
  • “no”vote will be a vote against the voter approval requirement and in favor of continuing to allow the state to issue new debt without voter approval.

Proposition 54                    gocstarGOC SUPPORTS
Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. (PDF)

Legislative Transparency: This measure makes dramatic changes in how the Legislature passes bills; it will prohibit the practice of last-minute amendments (“gut and amends”) and fast-tracking bills to the Governor.

  • “yes”vote will be a vote in favor of prohibiting the legislature from passing any bill until it has been in print and published on the Internet for 72 hours prior to the vote and also expands the amount of live video required of legislative action at the state Capitol, and it would allow that video to be used in political campaigns.
  • “no”vote will be a vote against prohibiting the legislature from passing any bill until it has been in print and published on the Internet for 72 hours prior to the vote.

gocstarGOC Comments:  Legislative transparency and openness of the process is essential to liberty.  Prop. 54 will greatly assist our efforts at the Capitol, because it will thwart last minute legislative shenanigans.

Proposition 55
Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. (PDF)

Extends “High-Income Tax” Rates: Just four years following the 2012 passage of Proposition 30, Prop. 55 adds an additional 12 years to the life of current income tax rates. Roughly 89 percent of this revenue would go towards K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. An additional $2 billion would be allocated in certain years to Medi-Cal and other health programs.

Proposition 56
Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. (PDF)

$2 Per Pack Tobacco Tax Increase:  Defeated in 2012, proponents (i.e. billionaire Democrat activist Tom Steyer) are trying again to raise taxes on tobacco and electronic cigarette products containing nicotine for healthcare and tobacco-control programs.

  • “yes”vote favors increasing the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with equivalent increases on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.
  • “no”vote opposes increasing the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with equivalent increases on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.

gocstarGOC Comments: Some have expressed concern that only 13% of the tax monies will be spent on smoking reduction.

Proposition 57                     gocstarGOC OPPOSES
Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. (PDF)

Prisoner Early-Release: This is Governor Brown’s attempt to alter a system where prison sentences have become less flexible and creating a large California inmate population.

  • “yes”vote supports increasing parole and good behavior opportunities for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes and allowing judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults in court.
  • “no”vote opposes increasing parole and good behavior opportunities for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes and favors keeping the current system of having prosecutors decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults in court.

gocstarGOC Comments:  Early release of incarcerated felons due to prison overcrowding will guarantee more crimes – which will create more victims.  This is a misguided approach by the Governor which if passed, will likely follow in the path of 2014’s Proposition 47, which has resulted in significant increases in crime throughout the state.

Proposition 58
English Proficiency. Multilingual Education. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

Repeals Bilingual Education Ban:  Removes key provision of the ban on bilingual education passed by California voters in 1998 as Proposition 227 and would permit county offices of education and school districts to make the final decision.

  • “yes”vote is a vote in favor of repealing most of the 1998 Proposition 227, the “English in Public Schools” Initiative, thus effectively allowing non-English languages to be used in public educational instruction.
  • “no”vote is a vote against repealing most of the “English in Public Schools” Initiative, which was designed to prohibit non-English languages from being used in public schools.

Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-33) developed Proposition 58 as Senate Bill 1174.

Proposition 59                    gocstar GOC OPPOSES
Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections. Legislative Advisory Question. (PDF)

Citizens United – Attempt to Overturn:  Federal campaign spending and limitations thereof.

The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) held that political contributions and spending were protected as “free speech” under the First Amendment.

gocstarGOC CommentsThis would put a chilling effect on political contributions and organizations such as GOC.  It would give an overwhelming advantage to political parties and unions and has the strong potential to greatly hinder the ability of small contributors to cooperatively make donations.

Proposition 60
Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

Adult film star protections: Requires the use of condoms in adult film productions.

  • “yes”vote would be a vote in favor of requiring the use of condoms and other protective measures during the filming of pornographic films, as well as requiring pornography producers to pay for certain health requirements and checkups.
  • “no”vote would be a vote against requiring the use of condoms and other safety measures during the filming of pornographic films.

Proposition 61
State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

Prescription Drugs and State Agency Pricing: Bans agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for that same drug. This ballot measure was put on the ballot through a citizen signature petition drive.

  • “yes”vote supports regulating drug prices by requiring state agencies to pay the same prices that the S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) pays for prescription drugs.
  • “no”vote opposes regulating drug prices by requiring state agencies to pay the same prices that the S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) pays for prescription drugs.

Proposition 62                    gocstarGOC OPPOSES
Death Penalty. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

Repeals the Death Penalty in California: Repeals the 1978 law that enacted execution for the most heinous crimes. If passed, death row sentences would become life without parole and would send increased amounts of money earned for prison work to victim restitution efforts. In 2012, a similar proposal was turned down by the voters. Actor Mike Farrell is the chief proponent.

  • “yes” vote supports repealing the death penalty and making life without the possibility of parole the maximum punishment for murder.
  • “no” vote opposes repealing the death penalty.

gocstarGOC CommentsThe death penalty is an important element to our system of justice; GOC believes if used appropriately, is an effective deterrent.

 [Proposition 66, on the same ballot also pertains to the death penalty.  If both measures pass, the one with the most “yes” votes would supersede the other.]

Proposition 63                    gocstarGOC OPPOSES
Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

2nd Amendment Restrictions: Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s attempt to ban the sale and possession of standard capacity ammunition magazines and impose background checks for purchasing ammunition, in spite of similar legislation signed by Governor Brown in June 2016. The Los Angeles Times reports that Newsom is “gearing up for a major campaign that could boost his visibility in advance of the 2018 race for governor.”

  • “yes”vote supports prohibiting the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring certain individuals to pass a background check in order to purchase ammunition.
  • “no”vote opposes this proposal to prohibit the possess  ion of large-capacity ammunition magazines and require certain individuals to pass a background check in order to purchase ammunition.

gocstarGOC Comments:  This is a blatant violation of the 2nd Amendment, a waste of state dollars given its duplicative nature (of bills already signed by Governor Brown) and is being used as a “bully pulpit” for Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s bid for governor.

Proposition 64                    gocstarGOC OPPOSES
Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

Legalizes Marijuana and Hemp: Although this proposal would make recreational use legal under state law, the federal government would still classify it as illegal. Sales would be limited to those over the age of 21. State taxes would be collected from buyers, and local taxes would be allowed. Most of the tax revenues would go toward law enforcement and marijuana education programs.  Gavin Newsom’s fingerprints are on this initiative, too.

  • “yes” vote supports legalizing recreational marijuana and hemp under state law and establishing certain sales and cultivation taxes.
  • “no” vote opposes this proposal legalizing recreational marijuana and hemp under state law and establishing certain sales and cultivation taxes.

gocstar GOC CommentsLegalizing more forms of impairment does not make sense; also creates conflicts with federal law.

Proposition 65
Carryout Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

Redirecting Plastic Bag Fees: Dedication of the revenue from disposable bag sales would go to environmental programs.

  • “yes”vote is a vote in favor of redirecting money collected from the sale of carry-out bags by grocery or other retail stores to a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board.
  • “no”vote is a vote against redirecting money collected from the sale of carry-out bags by grocery or other retail stores to a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board.

*Another measure relating to grocery bag consumption, Proposition 67, will appear on the same ballot. Approval of the measure would uphold the ban on plastic grocery bags and allocate revenue from state-mandated charges on bags to grocers for covering costs and education. If both are approved, but Proposition 67 receives more “yes” votes, this allocation provision would supersede Proposition 65’s allocation provision.

Proposition 66                   gocstarGOC SUPPORTS
Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute. (PDF)

Death Penalty Acceleration: This initiative would hasten the death penalty’s legal process by setting new time limits on the review of convictions by the courts; also mandates that death row inmates work and pay victim restitution.  Former NFL player Kermit Alexander is the official proponent; his mother, sister and two nephews were murdered in their Los Angeles home in 1984, yet 32 years later, the killer remains on death row.

  • “yes” vote supports changing the procedures governing state court appeals and petitions that challenge death penalty convictions and sentences.
  • “no” vote opposes changing the procedures governing state court appeals and petitions that challenge death penalty convictions and sentences, and would keep the current system for governing death penalty appeals and petitions.

Proposition 66 is designed to shorten the time that legal challenges to death sentences take to a maximum of five years.

gocstarGOC CommentsWe agree with the “mend – don’t end California’s death penalty” statement.  Justice delayed is indeed, justice denied.

*The other death penalty related measure is Proposition 62; if both measures pass, the one with the most “yes” votes would supersede the other.

Proposition 67
Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum. (PDF)

Plastic bag referendum: This is a chance for voters to either uphold or overturn the law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014 to impose a statewide plastic bag ban.

  • “yes”vote is a vote in favor of upholding or ratifying the contested legislation banning plastic bags that was enacted by the California State Legislature under the name Senate Bill 270.
  • “no”vote is a vote in favor of overturning Senate Bill 270.

*The other measure on the ballot relating to grocery bag consumption, Proposition 65, would allocate revenue generated from the sale of disposable carryout bags, specifically paper bags, to the Wildlife Conservation Fund. If the measure receives more “yes” votes, this allocation provision would supersede Proposition 67’s allocation provision.