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Clueless on the California Propositions?

This article was posted for the November 2010 election.

California Propositions

Click here for the March 8, 2011 election recommendations.

Thanks to Marcy Winograd and the Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, you don't have to go to the polls clueless. You can walk in with your head held high because PDLA has done their homework and provided us with their recommendations and rationale for each position taken.

For the entire ballot including judges, state offices, local ordinances, click here.

Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles

Quick Reference Guide


Prop 19 (marijuana legalization) - YES
Prop 20 (congressional redistricting) - NO
Prop 21 (vehicle license surcharge for parks) - YES
Prop 22 (protection of local govt. funds) - YES
Prop 23 (suspension of air pollution control) - NO
Prop 24 (repeals lower corporate taxes) - YES
Prop 25 (majority vote for state budget) - YES
Prop 26 (2/3rds vote for levies/charges) - NO
Prop 27 (repeals redistricting commission) - YES

You can download the Sec. of State's Voter Information Guide here, visit, or call 800-345-VOTE (8683) to order one.

Details on each ballot proposition below:

PROPOSITION 19 -- MARIJUANA -- Allows people 21 or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use, subject to regulation and taxation. Prohibits use in public or when minors are present. Prohibits providing marijuana to anyone under 21. Major funding support ($1.2 million) provided by S. K. Seymour, LLC (a medical cannabis provider), and Oaksterdam University.

Rationale for our YES recommendation: Stops wasting taxpayer dollars on failed marijuana prohibition which disproportionately impacts communities of color; weakens drug cartels.

PROPOSITION 20 -- CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING -- Transfers authority for redistricting congressional districts from the Legislature to the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The Commission, which was established by Proposition 11 (2008), already has redistricting authority for legislative seats and the board of equalization. Major funding support ($3 million) provided by Charles T. Munger, Jr., a physicist whose father, billionaire Charles T. Munger, is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

Rationale for our NO recommendation: Removes accountability for redistricting from the electorate to a bureaucratic commission, a Republican effort to seize 55 electoral votes.

PROPOSITION 21 -- SURCHARGE FOR PARKS -- Establishes $18 annual state vehicle license surcharge to be used solely to operate, maintain, and repair the state park system, and protect wildlife and natural resources. Grants free admission to all state parks to vehicles paying the surcharge. Exempts commercial vehicles, trailers, and trailer coaches. Major funding support provided by Sempervirens Fund (redwoods protection group), Peninsula Open Space Trust, Conservation Action Fund, Save the Redwoods League, National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks Foundation, and Wildlands Support Fund.

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Rationale for our YES position: Surcharge revenue will be used to fund state parks that are under the budget axe.

PROPOSITION 22 -- LOCAL GOVERNMENT -- Prohibits state from shifting, taking, borrowing, or restricting use of revenues dedicated to local government services, community redevelopment projects, and transportation projects and services. Prohibits the state from delaying distribution of tax revenues for these purposes. Major funding support provided by League of California Cities and California Alliance for Jobs (a group including Associated General Contractors, Operating Engineers, Carpenters Union, and Association of Engineering Construction Employers).

Rationale for our YES recommendation: Protects local services: 911 emergency response, police, fire, libraries,
transit, road repairs.

PROPOSITION 23 -- SUSPENSION OF AIR POLLUTION CONTROL LAWS -- Suspends the state's greenhouse gas reduction law until California's unemployment rate has been 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. Suspends requirements for increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel, as well as mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries. Major funding support provided by Valero (a Texas-based oil refiner and wholesaler), Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, World Oil Corp., Tower Energy Group, Tesoro Companies, Southern Counties Oil Co., and Jaco Oil Co.

Rationale for our NO recommendation: Preserves California's clean air and water laws; will save a million jobs.

PROPOSITION 24 -- CORPORATE TAXES -- Repeals recent legislation which lowered corporate taxes by allowing businesses to shift operating losses to prior tax years; expanding the time in which losses can be shifted; allowing businesses to share tax credits with affiliated corporations; and allowing multi-state companies to use a sales-based income calculation rather than one based on property, payroll, and sales. Major funding support provided by California Teachers Association ($2.2 million). Major opposition funding provided by Fox Group, Time Warner, CBS, General Electric, Cisco Systems, Amgen, Walt Disney Company, and Genentech, Inc.

Rationale for our YES recommendation: Stops $1.7 billion in new special tax breaks for wealthy multi-state corporations.

PROPOSITION 25 -- MAJORITY VOTE FOR STATE BUDGET -- Lowers the legislative vote required for adopting a state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. Major funding support provided by California Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, California School Employees Association, California Faculty Association, and California Professional Firefighters. Major opposition funding provided by California Chamber of Commerce, The Wine Institute, MillerCoors, California Beer & Beverage Distributors, Crown Imports LLC, and ConocoPhillips.

Rationale for our YES recommendation: Reforms California's broken state budget process; prevents Republicans, the minority, from holding Democrats, the majority, hostage by refusing to pass a budget or tax the oil companies.

PROPOSITION 26 -- TWO-THIRDS VOTE FOR LEVIES AND CHARGES -- Increases to two-thirds, from a simple majority, the vote required for the Legislature to adopt state levies and charges, with limited exceptions. Requires two-thirds vote of the public for local levies and charges, with limited exceptions. Proponent: Allan Zaremberg, president of California Chamber of Commerce.

Rationale for our NO recommendation: Makes it harder for California to climb out of debt because fees and charges not currently considered taxes would be redefined as taxes, requiring a 2/3rds vote of the legislature.

PROPOSITION 27 -- REPEAL OF REDISTRICTING COMMISSION -- Eliminates the Citizens Redistricting Commission that was established by Proposition 11 (2008), and returns the job of drawing state legislative and board of equalization districts to the Legislature. Proponent: Daniel H. Lowenstein, UCLA professor of law, former chairman of California Fair Political Practices Commission.

Rationale for our YES recommendation: Stop the Republican power grab; save taxpayer money; return the responsibility to the state legislature.