California – A State of Confusion

There are 17 ballot measures that Californians will vote on this year.

That’s right, s-e-v-e-n-t-e-e-n.

Some of these measures deal with critical issues such as repealing the death penalty, background checks for ammunition purchases, and funding for schools.

Fifteen measures were put on the November ballot by citizens through signature petitions, and two by the legislature. It’s great allowing ordinary citizens to put issues up for a vote (one they acquire the necessary signatures), but 17 just seems way too much. Who has the time to do more than just a cursory overview of the pros and cons of each measure, if they spend any time at all?

A California voter’s guide is available that looks at each of the ballot measures, but it is almost 100 pages in length.

Here is a summary of the 17 measures, and if you are interested, you can click on any of the propositions and find out more about the issue (post continued below table).

Type Title Subject Description
CISS Proposition 51 Education $9 billion in bonds for education and schools
CICA/SS Proposition 52 Healthcare Voter approval of changes to the hospital fee program
CICA Proposition 53 Elections Projects that cost more than $2 billion
CICA/SS Proposition 54 Accountability Conditions under which legislative bills can be passed
CICA Proposition 55 Taxes Personal income tax increases on incomes over $250,000
CICA Proposition 56 Tobacco Increase the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack
CICA/SS Proposition 57 Trials Felons convicted of non-violent crimes
LRSS Proposition 58 Education Bilingual education in public schools
AQ Proposition 59 Campaign finance State’s position on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
CISS Proposition 60 Movies Require the use of condoms in pornographic films
CISS Proposition 61 Healthcare Prescription drug price regulations
CISS Proposition 62 Death penalty Repeal the death penalty
CISS Proposition 63 Firearms Background checks for ammunition purchases
CISS Proposition 64 Marijuana Legalization of marijuana and hemp
CISS Proposition 65 Environment Grocery and retail carry-out bags
CISS Proposition 66 Death penalty Death penalty procedures
VR Proposition 67 Business reg Prohibition on plastic single-use carryout bags

For comparison purposes, Florida has four ballot measures slated for the November 8 election, Pennsylvania and Illinois have one each, and New York and Texas have none.

If you are curious about what measures, if any, are on your state ballot, you can click here. The site that has this info, Ballotpedia, seems to be a very useful site when it comes to politics and elections. Here is another table, courtesy of Ballotpedia, that indicates the most popular referendums.

Topic On the ballot Approved Approved Defeated Defeated
Marijuana 10 0 0
Minimum wage 5 0 0
Healthcare 5 0 0
Gun laws 4 0 0
All[1] 163 7 1

The simple fact that these are the most popular measures says something about what the mood of the nation is at this point in time.

I wish the citizens of California the best with the upcoming election; I hope you find the time to research the issues that are important to you.

As interesting as the current election is, I am sure you are looking forward to no more commercials or yard signs dealing with politics.

Go Vote, November 8.

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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