New decisions for the future of California

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In the Nov. 8 election, California voters will be asked to weigh in on a number of important issues.

We asked students what they knew of the propositions and initiatives that were on the ballot this year. Students surveyed at Delta College were mostly familiar with Prop 64 the legalization of hemp and marijuana.

“It’s a plant that has so many uses both for medicine and so many other things. It’s crazy that it has been illegal for so long. Hopefully we’ll legalize it like Colorado and Oregon have done,” said John Shields.

Some also had an opinion on Prop 60.

When asked about the death penalty proposals, the reactions were mixed.

“I am in favor of the death penalty. Why should tax payers take care of a murderer for the rest of their life?” said student Dianna Sullivan.

Student Yibin Gu said: “I don’t think people should be put to death, I’m voting to repeal the death penalty.”

Here is a guide to the 16 Initiatives and Propositions being decided on Election Day.

An initiative is the power of the citizenry to act as legislators in proposing statutes and amendments to the California Constitution. A proposition is the power of voters to determine whether to implement proposed changes to the state Constitution or other laws.

Proposition 51 – School Bonds. Funding for K–12 Schools and Community Colleges: A yes vote on this initiative would create $9 billion in school bonds. The money would be used for both construction and modernization projects at K-12 schools and community colleges.

Proposition 52 – Medi-Cal Protection Program: A yes vote on this initiative would require voter approval for the Legislature to divert funds that are otherwise supposed to be spent on the Medi-Cal program.

Proposition 53 – Voter Approval of Revenue Bonds: A yes vote would force future statewide votes on any revenue bond that’s bigger than $2 billion for government projects. Revenue bonds are repaid by revenue that the project generates.

Proposition 54 – Transparency in Legislation and Proceedings: A yes vote would prohibits Legislature from passing any bill unless it is published on the Internet for 72 hours before vote. It also would require the Legislature to record its proceedings and post them on Internet.

Proposition 55 – Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare: A yes vote would extend current high-income earner tax rates by maintaining a 1 percent to 3 percent surtax on incomes above $250,000 a year. The money would be spent on California schools and government healthcare programs, which likely would free up existing tax dollars for other state government programs.

Proposition 56 – Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention and Law Enforcement: A yes vote would raise taxes on tobacco and electronic cigarette products containing nicotine. The money would be used on healthcare and tobacco-control programs.

Proposition 57 – Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Offenders: A yes vote would allow prisoners sentenced for a nonviolent crime to become eligible for early release based on their efforts to earn credits for education and good behavior. It would also allow judges to sentence offenders of non-violent crimes to parole rather than jail time. The initiative also would eliminate the existing law that can send a juvenile offender immediately to an adult court hearing.

Proposition 58 – English Proficiency. Multilingual Education: A yes vote would allow schools to teach students for whom English is not their first language through programs including bilingual education where students learn from teachers who speak both their native language and English.

Proposition 59 – Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections: A yes vote asks voters whether they want California officials to work toward a repeal of the Citizens United campaign finance ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. That ruling opened the door to unlimited spending on federal campaigns by corporations and unions, and could be overturned only by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Proposition 60 – Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements: A yes vote would require performers in adult films to use condoms during explicit sex scenes, as well as have required routine medical testing. Penalties could be imposed on movie producers for violations of the law.

Proposition 61 – State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards: A yes vote would ban state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for that same drug.

Proposition 62 – Repeal the Death Penalty: A yes vote would repeal the Death Penalty. If passed, death row sentences would be changed to life without parole. The measure also would send more money earned by working prisoners to victim restitution efforts.

Proposition 63 – Firearms and Ammunition. Background Checks:  A yes vote would ban the sale and possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines in California. It also would impose background checks for purchasing ammunition, new felony charges for gun thefts and rules for keeping guns out of the hands of felons and others disqualified from possessing firearms.

Proposition 64 – Marijuana Legalization: A yes vote would make Marijuana and hemp legal under state law, though still illegal in the eyes of the federal government. Sales would be limited to those over the age of 21. State taxes would be collected from buyers, and local taxes would be allowed.

Proposition 65 – Carryout Bags Charges: A yes vote would require any fees charged for paper or reusable bags at grocery stores, be set aside for environmental programs.

Proposition 66 – Death Penalty Limit of Procedures: A yes vote would seek to accelerate the death penalty’s legal process by setting new time limits on the review of convictions by the courts. It would require death row inmates to work and pay victim restitution.

Proposition 67 – Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags: This is a chance for voters to either uphold or overturn the law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014 to impose a statewide plastic bag ban. Voters who choose “yes” will be upholding the ban on plastic grocery bags.