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2012 California Ballot Measures for Los Angeles Voters

Propositions, Measures, Ballot Initiatives in the California 2012 Election


Browse short descriptions of ballot initiatives, measures and propositions up for approval in November, and discover which California election issues mean the most to you. If you haven't already done so, take this opportunity to register to vote in LA.

This year's November 6th California election proposes such controversial ballot measures as 'Repeal the Death Penalty' (Proposition 34).

Further Reference for Proposition 34:
California Capital Punishment History and Laws

Proposition 30

Jerry Brown's Sales and Income Tax Increase Initiative

Financial ramifications: Temporary tax increases for the wealthiest Californians

Pro: Will help close the budget gap, bringing in funds for local public safety programs and schools, will pay down the state's debt and balance the budget, prevents an additional $6 billion in school cuts and sources new funding for education

Against: There are no assurances that any more funds actually go to schools, and the initiative rewards the risky behavior of spending more than the state has by giving politicians billions more with no solid reforms

Proposition 31

State Budget Reform Initiative

Financial ramifications: Formulates a two-year budget cycle, places restrictions on the state legislature's ability to tax and spend, and gives local government more control over public programs

Pro: It will force politicians to live within their means, and give taxpayers vital information so they can hold politicians accountable, doesn't raise taxes, increase costs to taxpayers or set up any new government bureaucracy

Against: It will result in “fiscal regionalism” run by a committee which will drain revenue from cities and suburbs, and move $200 million from education and other important functions to fund experimental county programs

Proposition 32

The Paycheck Protection Initiative

Financial ramifications: Increased implementation and enforcement costs to state and local government which could exceed $1 million annually

Pro: It will stop donations from special interests, and guarantee that every dollar donated for politics is voluntary by stopping special interests from using payroll deductions for political gain

Against: It promises political reform but is actually designed by special interests to help themselves and harm their opponents, and it unfairly targets one set of big campaign donors while giving other donors unlimited power

Proposition 33

Automobile Insurance Persistency Discounts

Financial ramifications: A significant fiscal effect on state insurance premium tax revenues is unlikely

Pro: It stops the law from punishing you for looking for better insurance by taking away your continuous coverage discount, it promotes more competition between insurance companies which means better rates

Against: It deregulates the insurance industry and makes big insurance companies less accountable, and it leads to higher premiums that hurt California's middle-class families

Proposition 34

Repeal the Death Penalty

Financial ramifications: State and county criminal justice savings of approximately $130 million annually within a few years, one-time state costs of $100 million for local law enforcement grants

Pro: The Death Penalty is intrinsically cruel and wrong, its repeal will save the state millions by letting go of prosecutors and defense attorneys who handle death penalty cases, savings will also come from not having to maintain the country's largest death row at San Quentin prison

Against: Crime victims and their families have suffered at the hands of California's most violent criminals and deserve justice and vindication

Proposition 35

Ban on Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

Financial ramifications: An increase of a couple million dollars a year for criminal justice costs (in total), cost of training officers: up to a few million dollars upfront followed by lower costs each year thereafter

Pro: It will protect children from sexual exploitation and hold human traffickers accountable for their offenses, it will help prevent the exploitation of kids online by demanding that sex offenders provide information about their Internet presence

Against: It threatens innocent people by widening the definition of 'pimping,' it unconstitutional for its vague definition of human trafficking

Proposition 36

Three Strikes Law Reform Act (reduce the sentence for certain third strike offenders)

Financial ramifications: Savings from a reduced prison population and fewer parole hearings (from approximately $70 million to $90 million a year) in the coming decades, offset in the short-term by several million annually as the state and counties work to re-sentence third strikers

Pro: It would save the state over $100 million annually, ensures that Life Sentences refrain from being handed out for non-violent offenses

Against: It could allow thousands of dangerous criminals to have their sentences reduced and to be released from prison, and it won't reduce taxes

Proposition 37

Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) Labeling Initiative (requires labels on genetically engineered foods)

Financial ramifications: Up to $1 million a year

Pro: Doctors and scientists say GMO foods have been linked to allergies and other health risks so the measure would protect consumers and allow them to choose what they put in their bodies, over 40 other nations require GMO labeling already

Against: It will lead to more lawsuits, add more government bureaucracy and increase taxpayer costs

Proposition 38

Molly Munger's State Income Tax Proposal

Financial ramifications: It would raise the income tax rate on most Californians to help pay for schools and pay down the state's education bond debt

Pro: It restores education funds that were cut from the budget in recent years, guaranteeing billions to local schools based on enrollment, and it will prevent further cuts by setting aside $3 billion a year through 2017 to assist in repayment of the state education bond debt

Against: It represents a huge tax hike for middle-class taxpayers and small businesses, it will damage small businesses that pay income taxes as individuals rather than as corporations, and it gives Sacramento $3 billion a year for four years to spend freely

Proposition 39

Multi-State Business Tax

Financial ramifications: It increases state revenues of $1 billion per year, with 50 percent of revenues over the next five years spent on energy efficiency projects and remaining revenues being largely spent on schools

Pro: It levels the playing field, making sure that multi-state companies play by the same rules as California employers, it could bring up to 40,000 new jobs to California, and it will allot hundreds of millions annually to schools

Against: It represents a huge $1 billion tax increase on job-creating companies that will result in the loss of thousands of middle-class jobs, it is wasteful spending and gives the legislature a 'blank check' to spend billions with no real accountability or taxpayer protections against conflicts of interest

Proposition 40

Referendum on the State Senate Redistricting Plan

Financial ramifications: Approving the measure would have no fiscal effect on state or local governments

Pro: It protects the voter-approved independent citizens redistricting commission, keeping the maps they drew in place

Against: No arguments appear in the voter guide

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