Making sense of the California Propositions. Your Complete Primer for the California Propositions!

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[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by Kahscho via Flickr"]Vote No on Prop. 8[/caption]

Living in California comes with making big decisions about issues that relate to Californians. Here is your complete guide to all the California Propositions for Election 2008.

California Prop 1A - California High Speed Rail Bond. S.B. 1856.

"The proposition would allocate $9.95 billion to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Of that $9.95 billion, $9 billion will be used to construct the core segments of the rail line from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area and the rest will be spent on improvements to local railroad systems, which would feed into the high-speed rail mainline.

However, the project would still depend on federal matching funds, since a $9.95 billion bond issue would cover at most half of the estimated cost of the initial core segment. The money will be raised through general obligation bonds that are paid off over a time period of 30 years." [via Wikipedia]

California Prop 2 - Treatment of Farm Animals. Statute.

The California Secretary of State's summary from the Official Voter Information Guide of Proposition 2 is as follows:

  • Requires that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.

  • Exceptions made for transportation, rodeos, fairs, 4-H programs, lawful slaughter, research and veterinary purposes.

  • Provides misdemeanor penalties, including a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment in jail for up to 180 days.

Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

  • Potential unknown decrease in state and local tax revenues from farm businesses, possibly in the range of several million dollars annually.

  • Potential minor local and state enforcement and prosecution costs, partly offset by increased fine revenue. [via wikipedia]

California Prop 3 - Children's Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program. Statute.

California Proposition 3 authorizes $980,000,000 in bonds, to be repaid from state’s General Fund, to fund the construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of children’s hospitals. The annual payment on the debt authorized by the initiative would be about $64 million a year. Altogether, the measure would cost about $1.9 billion over 30 years out of California's general fund. [via wikipedia]

California Prop 4 - Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy. Constitutional Amendment.

California Proposition 4, or the Abortion Waiting Period and Parental Notification Initiative, also known to its supporters as Sarah's Law, is an initiated amendment that will appear on the November 4, 2008 ballot in California. It proposes a new amendment to the California Constitution.

The initiative would prohibit abortion for unemancipated minors until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent, legal guardian or, if parental abuse has been reported, an alternative adult family member. [via wikipedia]

California Proposition 5: or the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act (or NORA)

  • Requires California to expand and increase funding and oversight for individualized treatment and rehabilitation programs for nonviolent drug offenders and parolees.

  • Reduces criminal consequences of nonviolent drug offenses by mandating three-tiered probation with treatment and by providing for case dismissal and/or sealing of records after probation.

  • Limits court’s authority to incarcerate offenders who violate probation or parole.

  • Shortens parole for most drug offenses, including sales, and for nonviolent property crimes.

  • Creates numerous divisions, boards, commissions, and reporting requirements regarding drug treatment and rehabilitation.

  • Changes certain marijuana misdemeanors to infractions.

[via Wikipedia]

California Prop 6 - Criminal Penalties and Laws. Public Safety Funding. Statute.

California Proposition 6 would:

  • Require new state spending on various criminal justice programs, as well as for increased costs for prison and parole operations. This funding is equivalent to 0.3% of California's General Fund.

  • Authorize prosecution as an adult (rather than in juvenile court, if a juvenile court judge consents) of any youth 14 years old or older who has been convicted of a gang-related felony.

  • Require that all occupants who are recipients of public housing subsidies submit to annual criminal background checks and lose housing if convicted of a recent crime in order to free up housing for non-criminals.

  • Increase penalties for several crimes, including violating gang injunctions, using or possessing to sell methamphetamine, or carrying loaded or concealed firearms by certain felons.

  • Eliminate bail for illegal immigrants charged with violent or gang-related felonies.

  • Establish as a crime the act of removing or disabling a monitoring device affixed as part of a criminal sentence.

  • Change evidence rules to allow use of certain hearsay statements as evidence when witnesses are made unavailable due to actions by the defendant.

  • Requires a 3/4 vote to amend.

[via Wikipedia]

California Prop 7 - Renewable Energy. Statute.

California Proposition 7, would, if approved, require California utilities to procure half of their power from renewable resources by 2025. In order to make that goal, levels of production of solar, wind and other renewable energy resources will more than quadruple from their current output of 10.9%. It will also require California utilities to increase their purchase of electricity generated from renewable resources by 2% annually to meet Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements of 40% in 2020 and 50% in 2025. Current law AB32 requires an RPS of 20% by 2010.
[via Wikipedia]

California Prop 8 - Eliminates the Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Proposition 8 is an initiative state constitutional amendment on the 2008 California General Election ballot, titled Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. If passed, the proposition would "change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California." A new section would be added stating "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The measure was originally submitted for the ballot by petitioners with the title "California Marriage Protection Act." The title and summary were revised by Attorney General Jerry Brown to more "accurately reflect the measure." The Superior Court of California ruled in favor of these changes, stating, "The title and summary is not false or misleading because it states that Proposition 8 would 'eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry' in California. The California Supreme Court unequivocally held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry under the California Constitution."
[via Wikipedia]

California Prop 9 - Criminal Justice System. Victims' Rights. Parole. Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

This measure amends the State Constitution and various state laws to expand the legal rights of crime victims and the payment of restitution by criminal offenders, restrict the early release of inmates, and change the procedures for granting and revoking parole.
[via Wikipedia]

California Prop 10 - Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy. Statute.

Proposition 10 is one of two ballot initiatives focusing on alternative fuels that will appear on the November 4 ballot in California.

The Proposal will:

  • Help consumers and others purchase certain high fuel economy or alternative fuel vehicles, including natural gas vehicles, and to fund research into alternative fuel technology.

  • Provide funding for research, development and production of renewable energy technology, primarily solar energy with additional funding for other forms of renewable energy; incentives for purchasing solar and renewable energy technology.

  • Provide grants to cities for renewable energy projects and to colleges for training in renewable and energy efficiency technologies.

[via Wikipedia]

California Prop 11 - Redistricting. Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

If enacted this initiative would have the following effect:

  • Changes authority for establishing Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization district boundaries from elected representatives to 14 member commission.

  • Requires government auditors to select 60 registered voters from applicant pool. Permits legislative leaders to reduce pool, then the auditors pick eight commission members by lottery, and those commissioners pick six additional members for 14 total.

  • Requires commission of five Democrats, five Republicans and four of neither party. Commission shall hire lawyers and consultants as needed.

  • For approval, district boundaries need votes from three Democratic commissioners, three Republican commissioners and three commissioners from neither party

[via Wikipedia]

California Prop 12 - Veterans' Bond Act of 2008. S.B. 1572.

If this ballot proposition passes in November, it authorizes issuance of $900 million in bonds to create a fund that assist veterans who are purchasing farms, homes and mobile home properties.
[via Wikipedia]

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