Read our recommendations on the November 8 ballot measures. Vote with the League!
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All California’s schoolchildren deserve school facilities in good repair and equipped to provide all students a 21st century education. In a perfect world with adequate funding, we wouldn’t need to borrow to build. However, this is not a perfect world, and our facilities needs are massive and require a large infusion of funding. It has been eight years since the last statewide bond measure was passed. Chronic underfunding from the state leaves most public school communities unable to adequately address their needs, increasing the danger of greater disparities among them. Many have passed local bonds but due to insufficient state matching funds, that money remains unspent—a situation this bond measure will help remedy.
Proposition 55 is key in maintaining economic recovery and growth in California by continuing the current income tax rates on the wealthiest two percent of Californians established by the voters in 2012. That measure, Prop 30, has moved California toward financial stability and adequate funding for education and other services we depend on like health care. Without Prop 55 we will be back to the days of pink slips for teachers, overcrowded classrooms, and community college students waiting years for the classes they need.
For background information on this measure, refer to the Legislative Analyst’s Office analysis included in the Official Voter Information Guide and the LWVCEF information available on Voter’s Edge California.
This measure restores the authority of judges, not prosecutors, to decide if juveniles as young as 14 should be tried in adult court, a right judges had until 2000. The prosecution may file a motion, but the court decides. Proposition 57 will also reduce the state prison population and costs by allowing earlier parole of nonviolent felons, with sentence credits for good behavior and rehabilitation or education. This measure could save tens of millions of dollars.
Proposition 58 repeals the most restrictive parts of Proposition 227, a 1998 initiative that limited the methods California schools can use to teach English to students who are not native English speakers. This measure addresses the inequity of Prop 227 and frees parents and their schools to provide the best educational opportunities for all California children regardless of their first language. The League opposed Prop 227 nearly 20 years ago and urges your support for this change.
Eliminating the corrupting influence of money in our democracy is a vital concern. Unfortunately, this vague, poorly drafted ballot measure is not the solution. A constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United may have appeal as a quick fix, but in reality it is a slow, laborious, costly, and potentially unsuccessful strategy. A poorly written amendment could have significant unintended consequences—not the least of which is squelching actual political speech. Voters deserve a fair election system today, not years or decades from now. Instead of looking to an imagined silver bullet, we need to take broad action now, including fixing our Federal Elections Commission, expanding disclosure laws, overturning California’s ban on public financing of elections, and asking a new Supreme Court to revisit the ruling.
Because League positions do not cover the issues in the following measures, the LWVC is taking no stand on Prop 60.
Because League positions do not cover the issues in the following measures, the LWVC is taking no stand on Prop 61.
The facts are sobering. From 2002 to 2013, 38,576 Californians died from gun violence, including 2,258 children. In the U.S., more than 300 Americans are shot each day, more than 80 of them fatally. Prop 63 helps counter those statistics by strengthening background check systems and ensuring that California law enforcement shares data about dangerous people with the FBI. It ensures that dangerous criminals and domestic abusers sell or transfer their firearms after they’re convicted. This measure requires businesses that sell ammunition to report lost or stolen ammunition, requires people to notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen, and ensures that people convicted of gun theft are ineligible to own guns.
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; Vote NO on 65 and Vote YES on 67.
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!
Where can I find non-partisan election information?
You can enter your address at www.VotersEdge.org/ca and get your entire ballot and polling place.