November ballot propositions

-- Madera County Elections Division

October 4, 2012 

Below are brief descriptions of the 11 propositions that will be before California voters on the Nov. 6 general election ballot:

Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to fund Education:

Increases taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools. Guarantees public safety realignment funding.

Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues through 2018-2019, averaging about $6 billion annually over the next few years. Revenues available for funding state budget. In 2012-2013, planned spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would not occur.

Proposition 31: State Budget:

Establishes two-year state budget. Sets rules for offsetting new expenditures, and governor budget cuts in fiscal emergencies. Local governments can alter application of laws governing state-funded programs.

Fiscal impact: Decreased state sales tax revenues of $200 million annually, with corresponding increases of funding to local governments. Other, potentially more significant changes in state and local budgets, depending on future decisions by public officials.

Proposition 32: Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction -- Contributions to Candidates:

Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Applies same use prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees.

Prohibits government contractor contributions to elected officers or their committees.

Fiscal impact: Increased costs to state and local government, potentially exceeding $1 million annually, to implement and enforce the measure's requirements.

Proposition 33: Auto Insurance Companies -- Prices based on driver's history

Changes current law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. Allows proportional discount for drivers with some prior coverage. Allows increased cost for drivers without history of continuous coverage.

Fiscal Impact: Probably no significant fiscal effect on state insurance premium tax revenues.

Proposition 34: Death Penalty:

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.

Proposition 35: Human Trafficking Penalties:

Increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions. Requires convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders. Requires registered sex offenders to disclose Internet activities and identities.

Fiscal Impact: Costs of a few million dollars annually to state and local governments for addressing human trafficking offenses. Potential increased annual fine revenue of a similar amount, dedicated primarily for human trafficking victims.

Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law -- Repeat Felony Offenders Penalties:

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.

Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods -- Labeling Initiative:

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.

Proposition 38: Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs:

Increases taxes on earnings using sliding scale, for 12 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 year -- 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.

Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Business -- Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding:

Requires multistate businesses to pay income taxes based on percentage of their sales in California. Dedicates revenues for five years to clean/efficient energy projects.

Fiscal Impact: Increased tax revenues of $1 billion annually, with half of the revenues over the next five years spent on energy efficiency projects. Of the remaining revenues, a significant portion likely would be spent on schools.

Proposition 40: State redistricting:

A "Yes" vote approves, and a "No" vote rejects new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. If rejected, districts will be adjusted by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court.

Fiscal Impact: Approving the referendum would have no fiscal impact on the state and local governments. Rejecting the referendum would result in a one-time cost of about $1 million to the state and counties.

The Sierra Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service