Thursday, June 21

Elections 2012: Propositions and Measures

Election Day is coming up this Tuesday ““ but knowing which way to vote can get confusing. The Daily Bruin has broken down the key information for the measures and candidates appearing on the Los Angeles County ballot, so UCLA students can make informed decisions at the ballot box.

Proposition 30
Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed temporary tax increases to fund education and public safety services. The increases ““ on personal income taxes for upper-income payers for seven years, and a quarter cent on sales and use tax for four years ““ would raise about $6 billion annually in additional state revenues that would help balance the state budget. If the measure is rejected, state spending would be reduced by about $6 billion, which would primarily come from cuts to education.

Yes: temporarily increases taxes
No: taxes would not increase

Proposition 31
This measure would alter some of the responsibilities of local governments, the legislature and the governor, while also changing some operational aspects of state and local government. It would transfer up to $200 million in state sales tax revenues annually to local governments in counties that develop plans for coordinating how they provide services to the public. The state would in turn lose $200 million in revenue by funding these local government plans. The measure also restricts the legislature from passing certain bills that increase state costs or decrease revenues, and allows the governor to reduce state spending during certain state financial emergencies.

Yes: Local governments would receive increased state funding for plans, restricts the Legislature’s ability to pass certain bills and expands the govenror’s ability to reduce state spending
No: State revenue would not change, the legislature and governor’s power would not change

Proposition 32
This measure changes state campaign finance laws for prohibiting unions, corporations and government contractors from using funds deducted from payrolls for political purposes. Unions and corporations could also not directly or indirectly contribute to candidates and candidate-controlled committees. But employees could still voluntarily contribute to an employer-sponsored committee or union. It is estimated it could cost the state more than $1 million annually to implement and enforce the measure’s requirements.

Yes: campaign finance laws would change
No: campaign finance laws would not change

Proposition 33
This ballot measure would change existing law to let auto insurance companies set coverage prices based on whether drivers previously carried auto insurance with another company. Auto insurance companies could offer a “continuous coverage” discount for customers who have had uninterrupted insurance, and increase coverage costs for drivers who have not continuously carried auto insurance.

Yes: auto insurance companies could offer continuous coverage discounts and increase coverage for drivers with lapses in coverage
No: auto insurance companies could not base coverage prices off previous insurance history

Proposition 34
This ballot measure repeals the death penalty as maximum punishment for people found guilty of murder in the state, and replaces it with life imprisonment without parole. It also requires all people found guilty of murder to work while in state prison, and provides $100 million in state money to local law enforcement agencies in the form of grants distributed over the next four years. It is estimated that the measure would save the state millions in court costs and death penalty appeals.

Yes: repeals the death penalty
No: the death penalty stays in effect

Proposition 35
This measure expands the state’s definition of human trafficking and enforces more severe punishments for human trafficking. Under this proposition, the state would consider crimes related to the creation and distribution of “obscene materials depicting minors” human trafficking, and increase criminal penalties for human trafficking ““ including prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000. These fines would go toward victim services and law enforcement.

Yes: expands state’s definition of human trafficking and enforces stricter criminal penalties for human trafficking
No: existing law does not change, human trafficking would be considered committing certain felony crimes or obtaining forced labor and services, and offenders would serve five to eight years maximum in prison

Proposition 36
This measure revises the punishment for repeat offenders of felonies, known as the “three strike law,” by only allowing life sentence punishments to be imposed if the new felony conviction is serious or violent. It reduces life prison sentences for third strike offenders, if their third strike conviction was not serious or violent. It is estimated the measure would save the state up to $90 million annually in prison and parole operation costs.

Yes: revises “three strike law” and allows for resentencing of repeat felony conviction offenders
No: current “three strike law” stays in place

Proposition 37
Under this measure, state law would be altered to explicitly require the regulation of genetically engineered food. It mandates that raw or processed food products made from plants or animals with genetic material be labeled, and requires the Department of Public Health to regulate these foods for labeling purposes. Consumers would also be able to sue companies for violating the measure’s label requirement. It is reported that the cost of regulating the labeling of genetically engineered foods could cost the state a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 million annually.

Yes: requires labeling of genetically engineered food
No: genetically engineered food does not need to be labeled

Proposition 38
This measure calls for personal income tax increases on most California taxpayers for 12 years, starting at annual incomes of more than $7,000 and extending to incomes of more than $2.5 million. The increase would generate about $10 billion in additional state funds in 2013-2014, and total revenues would increase over time. The extra funds would go toward public schools, child care and preschool programs, and state debt payments.

Yes: personal income taxes would increase for early childhood programs
No: personal income taxes would not increase and additional funding would not be directed to early childhood programs

Proposition 39
This measure prohibits multistate businesses from choosing a formula for how their California income tax is determined that would give a favorable tax treatment for those with property or payroll outside the state. Some of these businesses may have to pay more state taxes as a result. Half of the estimated $1 billion in additional state revenues raised by this measure would go toward funding projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in California, and the remaining funds would likely be spent on public schools and community colleges.

Yes: tax treatment for multistate businesses would change; revenues partly dedicated to funding clean energy projects
No: tax treatment for multistate businesses would not change; no additional funding for clean energy projects

Proposition 40
This referendum would change state Senate district boundaries, drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Senate districts are revised every 10 years, following the federal census.

Yes: state Senate district boundaries would change according to the Citizens Redistricting Commission, until the next federal census in 2020
No: state Senate district boundaries would be adjusted by officials who are supervised by the California Supreme Court

Measure A
This Los Angeles County measure would let the Los Angeles County Assessor gain office by appointment, rather than election.

Yes: County would seek to have statewide voters decide if the Assessor’s position should be appointed by placing a constitutional amendment on a future ballot , and allow the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to place a Charter amendment on a future ballot that would let county voters decide if the Assessor’s position should be appointed
No: the Assessor’s position would continue to be determined by election

Measure B
This county measure would require adult film producers to get a public health permit from the Los Angles County Department of Public Health before production. It also specifies that condoms be used for anal and vaginal sex during the production of adult films. If producers violate the ordinance, they would be subject to both civil fines and criminal misdemeanor charges.

Yes: adult film producers would be required to get public health permits and enforce condom use during filming
No: public health permits and condoms would not be required on set of adult films

Measure J
This measure, proposed by the Los Angeles Country Metropolitan Transportation Authority, would extend Measure R ““ a measure adopted in 2008 that increased the county sales tax for 30 years to raise revenues for transportation projects. Under Measure J, sales tax would continue at its increased rate for another 30 years ““ from 2039 to 2069. These revenues would go toward completing Measure R transportation projects at a faster rate, and provide reduced fares to senior citizens, disabled individuals and students.

Yes: the county sales tax increase would continue at its current rate for transportation purposes
No: the country sales tax increase would not be extended, and would expire in 2039

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