WHY You Should Vote and What do the Propositions Mean?

Hello fellow Aztecs tomorrow is the big day; the time to elect a president has come. Regardless of the party you identify yourself with or what you plan to put your vote towards, the important thing is that you make your vote count! Tomorrow on campus we will be having a polling site just for your convenience. The poll site will be located at the PPG Alumni Center from 7am to 8pm, so there is no reason as to why you cant stop by and vote, (if you are registered obviously). For your convenience as well, the parking structure designated for the polling site will be PS5, so there shouldn’t be a problem to find parking. For those who may still be looking for more information on the specific California propositions are in luck, the following are brief summaries of each proposition stating the pros and cons as well.

Proposition 30: Temporary taxes to fund education

–         Increases sales tax by .25% over four years

–         Increase in taxes over 7 years for those who earn over 250,00 a year

Pros:

–         Prevent 6 billion in cuts from education

–         Does not increase tax on middle or lower class

–         School funding is protected

Cons:

–         Could destroy many jobs and small businesses

–         Does not provide any reform or new funding for schools

–         The revenues are needed to backfill teacher’s pension funds

Proposition 31: Two-year state budget cycle

–         Establishes two-year state budget cycle, demands offsetting revenues or spending cuts for expenditures over $25 million

Pros:

–         Counties, cities, and school districts will be given the power to manage spending regulation to cut inefficiency and waste, and regain public confidence.

–         Increases local control and flexibility, requires performance and results in budgets

–         Requires performance reviews of state government programs, and requires a two-year budget

Cons:

–         Many opponents say it will further harm California

–         Could add layers of restrictions and leave key decisions up to bureaucrats

Proposition 32: Political contributions by payroll deduction

–         Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes

–         Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing to candidates and candidate-controlled committees

Pros:

–         Bans corporate and union contributions to politicians

–         Stops contractors from making donations to politicians who approve their contracts

–         Makes political contributions voluntary – prohibiting their deduction from employees’ paychecks

Cons:

–         Creates exemptions for powerful, wealthy interests who would be free to create corporate fronts and spend unlimited amounts of money in political donations, often from anonymous donors

–         Unfairly singles out and limits the voices of teachers, local nurses, firefighters – and at the same time creates special exemptions for billionaire businessmen and corporate special interests

Proposition 33: Auto Insurance companies

–         Allows auto insurance companies to use one’s driver’s history to set individuals rates.

Pros:

–         Allows drivers to shop for a better insurance deal

–         Allows drivers to switch insurance companies and keep continuous coverage discount

Cons:

–         Would enable insurers to set rates based on a driver’s history of insurance coverage; this could result in previously uninsured drivers being charged more.

Proposition 34: Death Penalty repeal

–         Retroactive law, which would end the death penalty and would be substituted by life in prison with no possibility of parole.

–         Applies retroactively to persons already convicted and sentenced to death. Persons found guilty of murder would be required to work in prison

–         Wages would be subject to deductions to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them

Proposition 35: Human trafficking penalties

–         Increases criminal penalties for human trafficking – prison sentence of up to 15 years to life; and a fine up to $1.5 million.

–         Requires those guilty of human trafficking to register as a sex offender.

Pros:

–         If passed, the bill may deter future human trafficking by making the punishment much more severe from California’s current laws.

–         The bill also makes California a leader in human trafficking laws. Currently, California has one of the most lenient penalties in the nation for human trafficking offenders.

Cons:

–         Though most critics agree that human trafficking is horrible and need to be severely punished, they say this specific bill is misguided, vague and too broad.

Proposition 36: Three strikes reform

–         Would only apply to serious or violent convictions

–          The proposition would provide for the re-sentencing of those already serving life under the current Three Strikes law if the third strike was not serious or violent.

Pros:

–         Saves the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year for shortening or releasing some three strike offenders who are currently serving life in prison for non-violent felony convictions.

–         Reduces overcrowded prisons.

–         Law enforcement officials and prosecutors focus attention to more dangerous criminals.

Cons:

–         Reducing the sentence and/ or releasing career criminals early would create greater harm in the community because some of them may go on to commit more crime.

–         If this measure passes, some of the criminals that will be released will do so without parole or supervision.

Proposition 37: Genetically engineered food labeling

–         Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.

–         Prohibits the labeling or advertising such food, or other processed food, as “natural.”

Pros:

–         Labeling provides the ability to know exactly what is in your food.

–         Protects families by being able to pinpoint the ingredients in food.

Cons:

–         May raise the cost of food prices.

–         Genetically engineered food has been around for more than two decades. The food is perfectly safe.

Proposition 38: Tax to fund education

–         Temporarily increases personal income tax rates for nearly all California taxpayers and appropriate its revenues to K-12 education, early childhood education, and repayment of state general obligation (GO) bond debt.

Pros:

–         Invests in California’s children. Prepares children to succeed.

–         The moneys raised go directly into the school funding. Prohibits legislature from touching the money.

–         Reduces state deficit by repaying state education bond.

Cons:

–         Does not prevent $6 billion in trigger cuts – the layoff of teachers and public educators – from occurring

–         No requirement for school performance.

–         Only focuses on K-12. Community colleges and other state colleges will be negative affected

–         The higher taxes may destroy small businesses that do not pay a corporate tax.

Proposition 39: Tax treatment for multi-state businesses

–         Repeals the current law that allows nationwide businesses to receive favorable tax treatment in the state.

Pros:

–         Closes the out-of-state tax loophole and now requires nationwide businesses that operate in California to pay taxes determined by their sales here.

–         Could create about 40,000 jobs in the state.

–         Creates $1 billion in revenue for the state. Half of the new tax revenue would go into the state’s general fund. K-12 and community colleges receive $200 million annually (LA Times).

Cons:

–         May move businesses out of California and thus, thousands of middle-class workers may lose their jobs if the measure passes.

–         Provides no incentive for new businesses to set-up in California.

Proposition 40: Redistricting state district senates

–         It upholds the work of the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission state redistricting plan.

Pros:

–         Protects the work of the independent California Citizen Redistricting Commission.

–         Redistricting belongs to an independent commission rather than the hands of self-serving politicians.

–         Redrawing the maps would cost the state $1 million dollars.

Cons:

–         The opposition has conceded: “With the court’s action, this measure is not needed and we are no longer asking for a NO vote.”

I hope this information was useful for you fellow peers, and don’t forget to go out and vote tomorrow at the location of your convenience.

Blog written by Sergio Camacho, Student Life & Leadership – Student Contributor

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