Understanding California’s Propositions


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On November 6, Californians will cast their votes on 11 state propositions. These include a proposition to repeal the gas tax and a total of four different housing propositions. Propositions are a form of direct democracy in California and voters have voted on 1,253 propositions since 1912.

Proposition 1 would spend $4 Billion to give access to home loans and lower-cost housing to veterans and low-income families. Affordable housing in California is becoming harder and harder to find and Proposition 1 could help relieve the problem. On the other hand, Proposition 1 could bring California into more debt and that taxpayer would have to pay $170 million for 35 years.

Proposition 2 will divert $2 billion from the “millionaire tax” approved by Californians in 2004 to build housing for the homeless and mentally ill instead of services and programs. It would produce up to 20,000 permanent homes. Opponents want the money spent on treatment and services and believe that lawmakers won’t use the money to build housing.

Proposition 3 would allow California to sell $8.9 billion in bonds to pay for projects that would help prevent droughts and increase water conservation. Opponents say that the proposition was written by the people who would benefit from the proposition.

If approved, Proposition 4 will provide $1.5 billion to pediatric hospitals for renovations and expansions. The lack of funding for these hospitals makes it difficult for them to make improvements and to finance advances in medical technologies. Opposers point out it will only add to the state debt.

Proposition 5 will allow buyers, 55 or older, and disabled people to keep a special proposition 13 tax rate after buying a new house (passed in 1978) no matter how much their new house costs, where it is located, and how many times they move. The goal of this proposition is to encourage older people to buy new homes and make more available for new buyers.

Proposition 6 will repeal the gas tax passed last year by legislators. The gas tax adds 12 cents to every gallon of gas and generates $54 billion over the next decade. If Proposition 6 is approved it would end the gas tax and save drivers $5 billion. However, it would also end funding to 6500 projects to improve California’s roads financed by the gas tax.

Proposition 7 plans to use the Daylight Savings time year round. Even if Proposition 7 is passed, it still needs to be approved by federal law.

Proposition 8 wants to require dialysis clinics to pay back patients on revenue over 115% of the cost of care. Opponents to the proposition say it will force several dialysis clinics to close causing a crisis for the 66,000 Californians who use dialysis clinics.

Proposition 9 would have divided California into 3 separate states, however, the California Supreme court ruled that it be removed from the ballot in July. Similar propositions may appear on future ballots.

If approved, Proposition 10 will allow cities to have more control over rent. Supporters hope that Proposition 10 will allow cities to add new rent rules and improve existing ones to help bring the cost of rent down.

Proposition 11 will pay ambulance drivers to be on-call during a break. Police, firefighters, and other emergency service providers are already on-call during break.

Proposition 12 plans to ban the selling of meat and eggs from farms that keep animals in cages that are too small. Surprisingly, the Humane Society and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals oppose proposition 10. Farmers say that Proposition 12 will increase prices for consumers and result in shortages of food.

This ballot, Californians have a lot of controversial and radical propositions to vote on. These propositions cover almost everything from the gas tax, to the housing crisis, to daylight savings time. The deadline to vote is November 6th.

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