Proposition 30
Temporary Taxes to Fund Education
Initiative · Constitutional Amendment

The way it is now:
In preparing the current 2012-13 General Fund budget, state lawmakers could not cover the cost of programs with estimated revenue. To create additional revenue, lawmakers passed this year’s budget with a plan of asking voters to approve temporary tax increases. That plan is Prop 30. If voters do not approve Prop 30, then the budget has required “trigger cuts” of $6 billion, mainly to K-12 education, community colleges, and public universities.

What Prop 30 would do if it passes:
Make temporary increases in sales tax and personal income tax, mainly to pay for education programs. The sales tax would go up by ¼ cent (0.25%) for four years. For seven years, there would be higher income taxes on people with over $250,000 of taxable income per year and couples filing jointly with over $500,000 of taxable income per year. K-12 schools and community colleges would receive most of the revenue from these increases, with the rest going to help balance the state budget. Prop 30 would also require the state to continue to fund local public safety programs that were transferred to local government last year.

Effect on the state budget:
Every year for the next five years, these temporary increases would add an estimated $6 billion to the state General Fund. There would also be some smaller amounts of additional revenue available for other budget years. And in the current budget year, the planned cuts to education would not go into effect.

People for Prop 30 say:
• Prop 30’s taxes are temporary, balanced, and necessary for our state’s students.
• Prop 30 is the only initiative which protects school and safety funding, and addresses the state’s unending budget mess.

People against Prop 30 say:
• Prop 30 has no assurances that tax increases will actually benefit classrooms.
• Politicians and special interests want to continue their out-of-control spending, but not make meaningful reforms.

Conflicting Ballot Measures
Another measure on the ballot, Prop 38, would increase personal income tax rates, but in a different way than Prop 30.

Proposition 31
State Budget
Initiative · Constitutional Amendment

The way it is now:
Every year, state lawmakers and the Governor approve a budget for the General Fund that has to balance planned spending with expected revenue. When they pass laws during the year, they do not have to say where the money to pay for any new costs will come from.

What Prop 31 would do if it passes:
The state would plan and approve a budget every two years instead of every year. Lawmakers would have to find a way to pay for any new law that would call for more than $25 million per year in either spending or tax cuts. In financial emergencies, the Governor would have greater power to cut spending to balance the budget. Local governments (counties, cities, school districts, community college districts, and special districts) would set up new ways of coordinating to provide services, and Prop 31 would transfer some money from the state for that purpose.

Effect on the state budget:
Transferring state funds for local government collaborations would decrease state revenue and increase local revenue, probably about $200 million every year. It is hard to predict the combined effect of other parts of Prop 31.

People for Prop 31 say:
• Prop 31 requires a real balanced budget and stops billions of dollars from being spent without public review.
• Prop 31 encourages more collaboration and creative problem-solving by local governments.

People against Prop 31 say:
• Prop 31 may mean well but it gives the Governor too much power and has many complicated provisions that will end up in court.
• Prop 31 could let local governments undo important environmental regulations and other state rules.

Proposition 32
Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction

The way it is now:
Many unions use funds they obtain from payroll deductions for political purposes. This includes contributions to campaigns for candidates, campaigns for ballot measures, or “independent expenditures” not directly coordinated with a campaign for a candidate or a ballot measure. Other than unions, not many corporations or other organizations obtain funds from payroll deductions to use for political purposes.

What Prop 32 would do if it passes:
Prohibit any corporation, labor union, government contractor, or government employer from using payroll deductions for political purposes. Prop 32 would also prohibit any government contractor (including public sector labor unions) from making contributions to elected officials who play a role in awarding a contract to the contractor.

Effect on the state budget:
The state would experience increased costs to investigate possible violations of the law and to respond to requests for advice. These costs could exceed $1 million every year.

People for Prop 32 say:
• Prop 32 prohibits money from being deducted from employees’ paychecks for political purposes without their permission.
• Prop 32 stops special interest groups from influencing politicians with contributions.

People against Prop 32 say:
• 99% of California corporations don’t use payroll deductions for political contributions, so Prop 32 is aimed at limiting unions.
• Prop 32 does nothing to stop Corporate Super Political Action Committees and independent expenditure committees.

Proposition 33
Auto Insurance Companies

The way it is now:
In California, the price of car insurance is based on three main factors: 1) a driver’s safety record; 2) the number of miles driven each year; and 3) the number of years a person has been driving. Insurance companies are not allowed to use a driver’s history of insurance coverage as a factor in setting prices.

What Prop 33 would do if it passes:
Allow insurance companies to include a driver’s history of insurance coverage as a factor in setting prices. Insurance companies would be allowed to give discounts to new customers who had a history of continuous coverage with their former insurer. Insurance companies would also be allowed to increase prices for new customers who did not have continuous coverage.

Effect on the state budget:
There would probably be no major effect on the state’s income from taxes on auto insurance.

People for Prop 33 say:
• Prop 33 will make it easier for drivers to shop for better insurance deals, without losing their loyalty discounts for continuous coverage when switching companies.
• Prop 33 will increase competition between insurance companies, resulting in better insurance prices for all drivers.

People against Prop 33 say:
• Prop 33 will allow insurance companies to increase the price of insurance to drivers who have not had continuous coverage.
• Drivers with perfect driving records would pay an unfair penalty if they have not had continuous coverage.

Proposition 34
Death Penalty

The way it is now:
In California, some murder convictions can get sentences of either death, or life imprisonment with no chance of parole. Most death penalty cases last for decades. Prisoners on death row have much higher court and prison costs than people serving life sentences. Since 1978, when the death penalty was reinstated in California, 900 individuals have received death sentences. Only 14 of them have been executed.

What Prop 34 would do if it passes:
End the death penalty, and make life imprisonment with no chance of parole the maximum punishment for murder. This change would apply to prisoners currently on death row. Prop 34 would also set up a new “SAFE California Fund,” providing a total of $100 million over 4 years for more police, sheriffs, and district attorneys to make faster progress on open murder and rape cases.

Effect on the state budget:
The state and counties would save about $130 million each year from less court activity and lower prison costs. The state would spend a total of $100 million over 4 years on the SAFE California Fund.

People for Prop 34 say:
• Evidence shows that more than 100 innocent people have been sentenced to death in the United States, and some have been executed.
• California will save hundreds of millions of dollars.

People against Prop 34 say:
• Prop 34 lets murderers who commit vicious crimes escape justice.
• Prop 34 takes money from the General Fund to pay for a program we don’t need.

Proposition 35
Human Trafficking

The way it is now:
State law defines “human trafficking” as forcing or misleading people into doing 1) labor or 2) sex acts for sale. Under state law, trafficking is punishable with up to five years in prison, or up to eight years if the victim is under age 18. If the victim suffers great injury, up to six more years can be added to the prison sentence.

What Prop 35 would do if it passes:
Expand the definition of trafficking to include crimes related to distributing obscene materials depicting a child. Prop 35 would also increase trafficking prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life, and trafficking fines up to $1.5 million. Fines collected would go to services for victims and to law enforcement. Under Prop 35, all sex offenders would have to provide information about their Internet activity.

Effect on the state budget:
State and local costs could increase about $2 million every year with the increase in criminal justice activity. Higher fines could bring in a few million dollars every year, which would be spent on helping victims and on law enforcement. Collectively, local governments could need to spend a few million dollars on training for police officers on a one-time basis.

People for Prop 35 say:
• We need stronger laws to stop human traffickers and online predators from harming vulnerable individuals.
• We need to identify victims, protect their rights, and help them get necessary services.

People against Prop 35 say:
• In trying to protect us from sex offenders, Prop 35 goes too far in intruding on our privacy rights.
• Prop 35 is badly drafted; it might spend state money without reducing human trafficking.

Proposition 36
Three Strikes Law

The way it is now:
In 1994, California voters adopted a “three strikes” law that defines strict sentencing for a person’s third felony conviction. If a person has two violent or serious felony convictions, their sentence for any third felony conviction — not just violent or serious felonies — is life imprisonment with a minimum of 25 years before the possibility of parole.

What Prop 36 would do if it passes:
Reduce the sentencing for some third non-violent, non-serious felony convictions. Instead of life imprisonment with a minimum of 25 years before the possibility of parole, the sentence would be twice the usual prison term for that felony. Prop 36 would also allow those previously sentenced for a third non-violent, non-serious felony to apply for resentencing.

Effect on the state budget:
Savings could be between $70-90 million every year, because fewer people would be imprisoned for life, and some current inmates would get sentence reductions. The cost of court activities for resentencing could be a few million dollars in the first few years. 

People for Prop 36 say:
• Prop 36 would make the punishment better fit the crime.
• Prop 36 would save money and resources for schools and law enforcement, instead of wasting it on life sentences for non-violent offenders.

People against Prop 36 say:
• Prop 36 would allow the release from prison of dangerous repeat criminals previously sentenced to life terms.
• The three strikes law has reduced the state’s crime rate and prevented criminals from being recycled through our courts over and over again.

Proposition 37
Genetically Engineered Foods

The way it is now:
“Genetic engineering” (GE) is a process of changing plants or animals so they behave differently. For example, common GE foods are corn or soybeans that have been changed to resist pests or tolerate pesticides. It is estimated that between 40% and 70% of food sold in California may contain GE ingredients. No current law specifically regulates GE foods, or requires identification of GE foods.

What Prop 37 would do if it passes:
Require food sold in California stores to have labels that say if it is made from GE plants or animals. The law would not apply to food served in restaurants and certain other foods.

Effect on the state budget:
It could cost the state a few hundred thousand dollars or up to $1 million per year to make sure food suppliers follow the new labeling regulations.

People for Prop 37 say:
• Consumers will be able to make more informed decisions about what they eat.
• GE plants and animals can create risks to our health and environment.

People against Prop 37 say:
• Prop 37 requires costly monitoring of foods and would open the door to unnecessary lawsuits.
• Food producers will have to make changes in packaging and/or in ingredients which could make food more expensive.

Proposition 38
Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs

The way it is now:
Under California’s personal income tax system, people with higher incomes pay a bigger percentage of tax on their income. State income tax rates range from 1% up to 9.3% for the highest income tax bracket. Personal income taxes are the largest source of revenue for the state’s General Fund, which provides most of California’s public school funding.

What Prop 38 would do if it passes:
Increase personal income tax rates on all but the lowest income tax bracket. Tax rates would increase by 0.4% up to 2.2% depending on income tax bracket. The highest income tax bracket would be at 11.5%. This tax increase would end in 2024. Initially, 60% of the increased revenues would go to schools, 10% to early childhood programs, and 30% to state debt payments. In 2015-16 and 2016-17, a higher share could be used for state debt payments, and after that, roughly 85% of the funds would go to schools and roughly 15% would go to early childhood programs.

Effect on the state budget:
Prop 38 would generate about $10 billion every year. In the first few years, school districts would receive about $6 billion per year, and early childhood programs would receive about $1 billion per year, mainly for child care and preschool. Until the end of 2016-17, the remaining $3 billion would be used to make payments on the state’s debts.

People for Prop 38 say:
• Prop 38 makes schools a priority again by guaranteeing to restore education funding.
• Early childhood education is very underfunded, and Prop 38 helps more students get the start they need to succeed.

People against Prop 38 say:
• Taxpayers would be locked into higher taxes until 2024, with very little accountability as to how the money is spent.
• Under Prop 38 there are no requirements to improve school performance or get rid of bad teachers.

Proposition 39
Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses

The way it is now:
A “multistate” business is one that operates both in California and in other states or countries. The majority of California’s corporate income taxes come from multistate businesses. Current law gives these businesses a choice about which way they calculate how much tax they owe to the state. They can pay taxes based on the percentage of their total sales that are in California. But some choose a formula that also looks at employees and property out of the state, because then their taxes come out lower.

What Prop 39 would do if it passes:
Require multistate businesses to pay state income taxes based on the percentage of their total sales in California. For the first five years, half of the increased money coming into the state would be dedicated to projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs.

Effect on the state budget:
Increase state income from taxes by about $1 billion per year. A large part of this money would be spent on schools. For the first five years, the state would spend about $550 million per year on energy efficiency and alternative energy projects.

People for Prop 39 say:
• Prop 39 ensures that large corporations pay their fair share at a time when there have been drastic California budget cuts.
• Prop 39 will fund energy efficiency projects, create jobs, and help fund schools.

People against Prop 39 say:
• This $1 billion tax increase will make businesses have to cut thousands of jobs in California.
• Energy efficiency projects are already well funded.

Proposition 40

The way it is now:
Each state lawmaker represents people who live in a specific district. Every 10 years after the U.S. census, the Citizens Redistricting Commission adjusts the maps for these districts to make sure each district has about the same number of people (a process called “redistricting”). The law says that these district maps can be challenged by a “referendum,” requiring voters to approve them. Enough signatures were gathered to challenge the current district maps for state Senators.

What Prop 40 would do if it passes:
A YES vote would approve the current state Senate district maps created and certified in 2011. A NO vote would reject the current maps, and court-appointed officials would be required to set temporary boundaries for use in future elections. Either way, there is no effect on the district boundaries for state Assembly, Board of Equalization, or representatives in Congress.

Effect on the state and local budgets:
If voters approve the current state Senate district maps, there would be no effect on state or local government budgets. If voters reject the current Senate district maps, it would cost the state about $500,000 to draw new district maps, and it would cost all counties about $500,000 to develop new election materials.

People for Prop 40 say:
• A YES vote keeps the current districts and upholds the will of the people in creating the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

People against Prop 40 have chosen to stop campaigning.

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