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Propositions need researching

Photo credit: David Molina

With Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton polling an average of 23 points ahead of Republican Nominee Donald Trump in California, it is almost guaranteed that Clinton will win all 55 of the States electoral college votes.

With the fate of the state’s electoral votes and the Senate race practically already decided, it is now important for the responsible California resident to look at the down ticket. Researching congressional candidates and state propositions where their vote can make a quantifiable difference is how voters can best spend their time before Nov. 8.

For House candidates and local measures, everyone needs to do their own research for their county to find out what measures and candidates best support their beliefs and interests.

As for the propositions, there are 17 on the ballot this year. Fifteen are from voter signature petitions and two are from the state legislature. They range from state fiscal policy regarding the education system to social policy regulating the use of condoms in the porn industry. There are a couple of important ones that California residents should give special thought and attention to.

The propositions regarding the legalization of marijuana, selling bonds for the funding of education and raising state income taxes on high earners all have far-reaching impacts that are important for voters to consider.

The legalization of marijuana will ultimately provide the state more income and help to reduce drug-related crimes that take place.

While relatively tame when compared to other drug violence, marijuana-related crimes in California are somewhat frequent. The legalization of pot would provide legitimate businesses selling cannabis instead of the illegal selling of it now, reducing crime that comes from the selling and distribution of the drug.

This will also provide an estimated billion dollars in state revenues from the taxation of pot.

Even if someone is opposed to pot being smoked, the benefits of its legalization should persuade Californians to vote for its legalization.

Proposition 51 proposes the state issuing $9 billion in state bonds to help fund the improvement of and construction of school infrastructure in the state. This proposition, if passed, would continue to encourage the states irresponsible funding of the school system with potentially doing very little to actually help improve the schools.

Since 2001 the State approved more than $146 billion in local as well as state bonds to fix the California school system. California cities continually rank high on lists of cities spending money inefficiently on education. So maybe before the state spends billions more on education a serious audit should take place and education reforms to make spending more efficient.

Proposition 55 will increase income taxes on individuals making more than $250,000 a year. Eighty-nine percent of this new income would go towards school spending and 11 percent would go to the community college system.

This proposition shouldn’t be passed. It will hurt small business in the state and break promises made in 2012. In 2012 Proposition 30 was passed, which was supposed to temporarily increase the taxes on the wealthy until 2017, to help pay for improvements to the education system. Passing proposition 55 today would essentially break that promise from 2012.

California has the highest state income taxes by more than three percent, which along with other factors, has contributed to a pretty large profile exodus of the middle and upper class out of the state.

Passing proposition 55 encourages this pattern and the states poor spending on the schools.

There are 14 other propositions not discussed here and they all matter and will impact the state and its residents. So dedicate some time before Nov. 8 and research issues on the upcoming ballot.

Evan Roberts can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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David Molina
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  • J

    Jack // Nov 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Vote yes on Proposition 54 to bring openness and transparency to the legislature! It will put Californians first by requiring three simple things.

    First, Proposition 54 will require all bills to be posted online for 72 hours prior to passing out of either legislative house. A 72-hour requirement will allow legislators and their staff enough time to properly read and analyze a bill prior to the vote. This will prevent last minute amendments from special interests that can completely change the intent of a bill and also give the public time to be involved in the legislative process.

    Second, Prop 54 will require all public legislative committee hearings to be recorded and posted online. With all public hearings posted online, all Californians will have access to the legislative process on their own time and at no added expense. Californians would then be able to email or call their legislators with educated concerns and opinions about legislation. This would translate into better public policy for all and not just the powerful few.

    Finally, Prop 54 will guarantee the right of all individuals to record and share their own videos of legislative hearings when they visit the State Capitol. Hundreds of cities and counties already allow citizens to record proceedings, why shouldn’t our Legislature?

    If you want your government to be open, transparent and accountable to the people, then I encourage you to join me in voting “Yes” on Proposition 54 this November.