Many of you have asked for voting suggestions given the complexity of the November ballot. For your consideration, here are my recommendations for candidates and the long list of statewide ballot initiatives with the companion recommendations of the California Democratic Party (CDP), Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP), ACT (nonpartisan progressive Pasadena area organization), the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, and a tally of newspaper editorial positions. At the top of the ballot list is a summary, and below are the more detailed description of each initiative. Thanks to Tim Wendler, Jackie Goldberg and others for their advice. I hope this is helpful!
President: Hillary Clinton
US Senator: Attorney General Kamala Harris
- 27th CD Judy Chu
- 28th CD Adam Schiff
- 31st CD Pete Aguilar
- 32nd CD Grace Napolitano
- 33rd CD Ted Lieu
- 34th CD Xavier Becerra
- 40th CD Lucille Roybal-Allard
- 44th CD Nanette Barragan
25th SD Anthony Portantino
- 41st AD Chris Holden
- 43rd AD Ardy Kassakhian
- 46th AD Adrin Nazarian
- 48th AD Blanca Rubio
- 49th AD Ed Chau
- 51st AD Jimmy Gomez
- 53rd AD Miguel Santiago
- 63rd AD Speaker Anthony Rendon
Los Angeles County
- Supervisor, 4th District Janice Hahn
- Supervisor, 5th District Darrell Park
Los Angeles County, Judge of Superior Court
- Office No. 11 – Debra R. Archuleta – rated qualified by the LA County Bar Association (LACBA), endorsed by Democratic Party
- Office 42 – Alicia Molina – endorsed by Democratic Party
- Office No. 84 – Susan Jung Townsend – rated qualified by the LACBA, endorsed by Democratic Party, LA Times
- Office No. 158 – Kim L. Nguyen – rated well qualified by the LACBA, endorsed by Democratic Party
LOCAL BALLOT INITIATIVES
Los Angeles County Measures
- Measure A (LA County Parks): Yes
- Measure M (Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan): YES
Los Angeles City Measures
- Measure HHH (Homelessness Reduction) – YES
- Measure JJJ (Affordable Housing and Labor Standards) – YES
STATE BALLOT INITIATIVES
- Proposition 51 (Education Bonds): YES (CDP YES, LACDP YES, ACT YES, LWV YES, Newspaper editorials 2 Yes, 6 No)
- Proposition 52 (Changes to Hospital fee program): YES (CDP YES, LACDP YES, LWV no position, Newspaper editorials 7 Yes, 0 No)
- Proposition 53 (Voter approval of revenue bonds): NO (CDP NO, LACDP NO, LWV no position, Newspaper editorials 0 Yes, 8 No)
- Proposition 54 (Bills published 72 hrs before vote): NO (CDP NO, LACDP no position, LWV YES, Newspaper editorials 8 Yes, 0 No)
- Proposition 55 (Extend income taxes on wealthy): YES (CDP YES, LACDP YES, ACT YES, LWV YES, Newspaper editorials 4 Yes, 4 No)
- Proposition 56 (Cigarette tax to $2 per pack): YES (CDP YES, LACDP YES, LWV neutral, Sierra Club Yes, Newspaper editorials 8 Yes, 0 No)
- Proposition 57 (Parole for non-violent crimes felons): YES (CDP YES, LACDP YES, ACT YES, LWV YES, Newspaper editorials 3 Yes, 4 No)
- Proposition 58 (Bilingual Education): YES (CDP YES, LACDP YES, ACT YES, LWV YES, Sierra Club Yes, Newspaper editorials 6 Yes, 1 No)
- Proposition 59 (State Position on Citizens United): YES (CDP YES, LACDP no position LWV NO, Sierra Club Yes, Newspaper editorials 5 Yes, 2 No)
- Proposition 60 (Condoms in pornographic films): YES (CDP NO, LACDP no position, LWV no position, Newspaper editorials 1 Yes, 7 No)
- Proposition 61 (Prescription Drug Price Regulations): ABSOLUTELY YES (CDP no position, LACDP no position, LWV no position, Newspaper editorials 0 Yes, 9 No) – This would require all prescription drugs purchased by the State of California to be priced at or below the price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, which pays by far the lowest price of any federal agency. Bernie Sanders and other progressives are for it. The pharmaceutical lobby is spending millions to defeat it
- Proposition 62 (Repeal Death Penalty): YES (CDP YES, LACDP no position, ACT YES, LWV YES, Newspaper editorials 6 Yes, 0 No)
- Proposition 63 (Background Checks for Ammunition): YES (CDP YES, LACDP YES, LWV YES Newspaper editorials 3 Yes, 1 No)
- Proposition 64 (Legalization of Marijuana): YES (CDP YES, LACDP YES, ACT YES, LWV no position, Newspaper editorials 4 Yes, 3 No)
- Proposition 65 (Grocery and retail carry out bags): NO (CDP no position, LACDP no position, ACT NO, LWV NO, Newspaper editorials 0 Yes, 8 No)
- Proposition 66: (Speed up death penalty executions) NO (CDP NO, LACDP no position, LWV NO, ACT NO, Newspaper editorials 0 Yes, 6 No)
- Proposition 67 (Prohibits single-use plastic bags): YES (CDP: YES, LACDP: YES, ACT YES, LWV: YES, Sierra Club Yes, Newspaper editorials 8 Yes, 0 No)
STATE BALLOT INITIATIVES DETAILS
Proposition 51: School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statutory Amendment.
Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds: $3 billion for new construction and $3 billion for modernization of K-12 public school facilities; $1 billion for charter schools and vocational education facilities; and $2 billion for California Community Colleges facilities. Bars amendment to existing authority to levy developer fees to fund school facilities, until new construction bond proceeds are spent or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. Bars amendment to existing State Allocation Board process for allocating school construction funding, as to these bonds. Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: State General Fund costs of $17.6 billion to pay off principal ($9 billion) and interest ($8.6 billion) on bonds over a period of 35 years. Annual payments would average $500 million. Annual payments would be relatively low in the initial and final few years and somewhat higher in the intervening years.
Proposition 51: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: YES
Proposition 52: State Fees on Hospitals. Federal Medi-Cal Matching Funds. Initiative Statutory and Constitutional Amendment.
Increases required vote to two-thirds for the Legislature to amend a certain existing law that imposes fees on hospitals (for purpose of obtaining federal Medi-Cal matching funds) and that directs those fees and federal matching funds to hospital-provided Medi-Cal health care services, to uncompensated care provided by hospitals to uninsured patients, and to children’s health coverage. Eliminates law’s ending date. Declares that law’s fee proceeds shall not be considered revenues for purposes of applying state spending limit or determining required education funding. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: State savings from increased revenues that offset state costs for children’s health coverage of around $500 million beginning in 2016-17 (half-year savings) to over $1 billion annually by 2019-20, likely growing between 5 percent to 10 percent annually thereafter. Increased revenues to support state and local public hospitals of around $90 million beginning in 2016-17 (half-year) to $250 million annually by 2019-20, likely growing between 5 percent to 10 percent annually thereafter.
Proposition 52: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: no position
Proposition 53: Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Requires statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds can be issued or sold by the state for projects that are financed, owned, operated, or managed by the state or any joint agency created by or including the state, if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion. Prohibits dividing projects into multiple separate projects to avoid statewide voter approval requirement. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: The fiscal effect on state and local governments is unknown and would vary by project. It would depend on (1) the outcome of projects brought before voters, (2) the extent to which the state relied on alternative approaches to the projects or alternative financing methods for affected projects, and (3) whether those methods have higher or lower costs than revenue bonds.
Proposition 53: CDP: NO LACDP: NO LWV: no position
Proposition 54: Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Prohibits Legislature from passing any bill unless it has been in print and published on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the vote, except in cases of public emergency. Requires the Legislature to make audiovisual recordings of all its proceedings, except closed session proceedings, and post them on the Internet. Authorizes any person to record legislative proceedings by audio or video means, except closed session proceedings. Allows recordings of legislative proceedings to be used for any legitimate purpose, without payment of any fee to the State. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased costs to state government of potentially $1 million to $2 million initially and about $1 million annually for making additional legislative proceedings available in audiovisual form on the Internet.
Proposition 54: CDP: NO LACDP: no position LWV: YES
Proposition 55: Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Extends by twelve years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings over $250,000 (for single filers; over $500,000 for joint filers; over $340,000 for heads of household). Allocates these tax revenues 89% to K-12 schools and 11% to California Community Colleges. Allocates up to $2 billion per year in certain years for healthcare programs. Bars use of education revenues for administrative costs, but provides local school governing boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit, how revenues are to be spent. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state revenues annually from 2019 through 2030—likely in the $5 billion to $11 billion range initially—with amounts varying based on stock market and economic trends. Increased revenues would be allocated under constitutional formulas to schools and community colleges, budget reserves and debt payments, and health programs, with remaining funds available for these or other state purposes.
Proposition 55: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: YES
Proposition 56: Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. Allocates revenues primarily to increase funding for existing healthcare programs; also for tobacco use prevention/control programs, tobacco-related disease research and law enforcement, University of California physician training, dental disease prevention programs, and administration. Excludes these revenues from Proposition 98 funding requirements. If tax causes decreased tobacco consumption, transfers tax revenues to offset decreases to existing tobacco-funded programs and sales tax revenues. Requires biennial audit. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net increase in excise tax revenues in the range of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion annually by 2017-18, with revenues decreasing slightly in subsequent years. The majority of funds would be used for payments to health care providers. The remaining funds would be used for a variety of specified purposes, including tobacco-related prevention and cessation programs, law enforcement programs, medical research on tobacco-related diseases, and early childhood development programs.
Proposition 56: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: neutral
Proposition 57: Criminal Sentences. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Allows parole consideration for persons convicted of nonviolent felonies upon completion of full prison term for primary offense, as defined. Authorizes Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to award sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, or educational achievements. Requires Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to adopt regulations to implement new parole and sentence credit provisions and certify they enhance public safety. Provides juvenile court judges shall make determination, upon prosecutor motion, whether juveniles age 14 and older should be prosecuted and sentenced as adults. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net state savings that could range from the tens of millions of dollars to the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually primarily due to a reduction in the prison population from additional paroles granted and credits earned. Net county costs that could range from the millions to tens of millions of dollars annually, declining to a few million dollars after initial implementation of the measure.
Proposition 57: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: YES
Proposition 58: English language education.
The LEARN Initiative (Language Education, Acquisition and Readiness Now!) Prop 58 helps students learn English as quickly as possible and expands opportunities for English speakers to master a second language. The majority of California’s students do not presently have access to strong multilingual programs. The LEARN initiative gives parents and local school districts local control to choose the most effective instruction methods for students. By amending an outdated nearly 20-year-old law, Prop. 227, we will remove barriers to learning for all students. Vote YES on PROP 58 to help our students LEARN! (from: CDP) Proposition 58: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: YES
Proposition 59: SB 254 (Chapter 20, Statutes of 2016), Allen.
Campaign finance: voter instruction.
Overturn Citizens United
Asks whether elected officials should “use all of their constitutional authority,” including proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to reverse the 2010 SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. FEC, to allow regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending, and make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings. (from: CDP) Proposition 59: CDP: YES LACDP: no position LWV: NO
Proposition 60: Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.
Requires performers in adult films to use condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. Requires producers of adult films to pay for performer vaccinations, testing, and medical examinations related to sexually transmitted infections. Requires producers to obtain state health license at beginning of filming and to post condom requirement at film sites. Imposes liability on producers for violations, on certain distributors, on performers if they have a financial interest in the violating film, and on talent agents who knowingly refer performers to noncomplying producers. Permits state, performers, or any state resident to enforce violations. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potentially reduced state and local tax revenue of millions or tens of millions of dollars per year. Likely state costs of a few million dollars annually to administer the law. Possible ongoing net costs or savings for state and local health and human services programs.
(from: CDP): Allows any resident of California to file a lawsuit against adult film performers and businesses that make adult films available for sale and presumes liability if a condom is not visible. Adult film performers may have to disclose their legal names and home addresses. Proponent authorized to become a state employee with removal only by a vote of the Legislature.
Proposition 60: CDP: NO LACDP: no position LWV: no position
Proposition 61: State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute.
Prohibits state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Applies to any program where the state is the ultimate payer for a drug, even if the state does not purchase the drug directly. Exempts certain purchases of prescription drugs funded through Medi-Cal. Fiscal impact: It is the opinion of the Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance that the measure, if adopted, may result in a substantial net change in state or local finances.
Proposition 61: CDP: no position LACDP: no position LWV: no position
Proposition 62: Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.
Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to persons already sentenced to death. States that persons found guilty of murder and sentenced to life without possibility of parole must work while in prison as prescribed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Increases to 60% the portion of wages earned by persons sentenced to life without the possibility of parole that may be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net reduction in state and local government costs of potentially around $150 million annually within a few years due to the elimination of the death penalty.
Proposition 62: CDP: YES LACDP: no position LWV: YES
Proposition 63: Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute.
Gavin Newsom c/o Thomas A. Willis and Margaret R. Prinzing (510) 346-6200 Prohibits possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, and requires their disposal by sale to dealer, destruction, or removal from state. Requires most individuals to pass background check and obtain Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition. Requires most ammunition sales be made through licensed ammunition vendors and reported to Department of Justice. Requires lost or stolen firearms and ammunition be reported to law enforcement. Prohibits persons convicted of stealing a firearm from possessing firearms. Establishes new procedures for enforcing laws prohibiting firearm possession by felons and violent criminals. Requires Department of Justice to provide information about prohibited persons to federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state costs in the tens of millions of dollars annually related to regulating ammunition sales, likely offset by various regulatory fees authorized by the measure. Increase in court and law enforcement costs, not likely to exceed the tens of millions of dollars annually, related to removing firearms from prohibited persons as part of court sentencing proceedings. These costs could be offset to some extent by fees authorized by the measure. Potential increase in state and local correctional costs, not likely to exceed the low millions of dollars annually, related to new and increased penalties.
Proposition 63: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: YES
Proposition 64: Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.
Legalizes marijuana and hemp under state law. Designates state agencies to license and regulate marijuana industry. Imposes state excise tax on retail sales of marijuana equal to 15% of sales price, and state cultivation taxes on marijuana of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. Exempts medical marijuana from some taxation. Establishes packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards and restrictions for marijuana products. Allows local regulation and taxation of marijuana. Prohibits marketing and advertising marijuana to minors. Authorizes resentencing and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net reduced costs ranging from tens of millions of dollars to potentially exceeding $100 million annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Net additional state and local tax revenues potentially ranging from the high hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually related to the production and sale of marijuana. Most of these funds would be required to be spent for specific purposes such as substance use disorder education, prevention, and treatment.
Proposition 64: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: no position
Proposition 65: Carry-Out Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute.
Redirects money collected by grocery and certain other retail stores through sale of carry-out bags, whenever any state law bans free distribution of a particular kind of carry-out bag and mandates the sale of any other kind of carry-out bag. Requires stores to deposit bag sale proceeds into a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board to support specified categories of environmental projects. Provides for Board to develop regulations implementing law. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: If voters uphold the state’s current carryout bag law, redirected revenues from retailers to the state, potentially in the several tens of millions of dollars annually. Revenues would be used for grants for certain environmental and natural resources purposes. If voters reject the state’s current carryout bag law, likely minor fiscal effects.
(from: LWV): Sowing Confusion about the Plastic Bag Ban: Don’t be confused by this deceptive measure—vote NO. Large players in the plastic bag industry spent millions to put this disingenuous initiative on the ballot, creating a distraction that could thwart California’s efforts to rein in plastic bag waste and litter. The plastic bag industry wants to use this measure to damage the hard-won agreement between environmentalists and grocers that made the plastic bag ban possible. This is not about helping fund environmental programs but is simply intended to cause enough voter confusion that the more significant environmental measure, Proposition 67, fails. Don’t be confused.
Proposition 65: CDP: no position LACDP: no position LWV: NO
Proposition 66: Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute.
Changes procedures governing state court appeals and petitions challenging death penalty convictions and sentences. Designates superior court for initial petitions and limits successive petitions. Imposes time limits on state court death penalty review. Requires appointed attorneys who take noncapital appeals to accept death penalty appeals. Exempts prison officials from existing regulation process for developing execution methods. Authorizes death row inmate transfers among California state prisons. States death row inmates must work and pay victim restitution. States other voter approved measures related to death penalty are null and void if this measure receives more affirmative votes. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state costs that could be in the tens of millions of dollars annually for several years related to direct appeals and habeas corpus proceedings, with the fiscal impact on such costs being unknown in the longer run. Potential state correctional savings that could be in the tens of millions of dollars annually.
Proposition 66: CDP: NO LACDP: no position LWV: NO
Proposition 67: Referendum to Overturn Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags.
This petition will place on the statewide ballot a challenge to a state law previously approved by the Legislature and the Governor. The challenged law must then be approved by a majority of voters at the next statewide election to go into effect. The law prohibits grocery and certain other retail stores from providing single-use bags but permits sale of recycled paper bags and reusable bags. (from: LWV): Protect California’s Plastic Bag Ban: The League urges a YES vote on Proposition 67 to retain California’s plastic bag ban. The question on a referendum is not intuitive; you are being asked if you want to retain the new law. Vote YES to keep the 2014 statewide law prohibiting single-use carryout bags. These plastic film bags pollute our oceans, pose a deadly threat to marine wildlife, clutter our landscapes, create toxic byproducts when manufactured, and are very difficult to recycle. California grocers and other retailers support the ban, and many cities and counties have local measures that are working. Don’t let out-of-state plastic bag industry players stop our progress!
Proposition 67: CDP: YES LACDP: YES LWV: YES