It’s under a month to the election and here in California, we once again have a load of absurd propositions on the ballot. As we’ve become used to, there are lots of propositions that ask us to tax ourselves into oblivion, almost exclusively for that perennial boondoggle, education. Yet for all the times we’ve voted to screw someone, from the wealthy to tobacco-users, it’s funny how none of that money ever seems to get into the classrooms, isn’t it?
Let’s go over them one by one, shall we?
Proposition 30: Increases personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years. Increases sales and use tax by ¼ cent for four years. Allocates temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges.
NO! California already suffers from among the highest tax rates in America, raising taxes on *ANYONE* at a time when the economy is so poor is absolutely absurd. Further, this is a sham, it claims to be giving money to education when not one penny of this money will ever see the inside of a classroom. In fact, the money is going to fund teacher benefit packages, which are among the highest in the nation.
Proposition 31: Establishes two-year state budget cycle. Prohibits Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified. Permits Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act.
Proposition 32: Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Same use restriction would apply to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Permits voluntary employee contributions to employer or union committees if authorized yearly, in writing. Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees.
Proposition 33: Changes current law to permit insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. Allows insurance companies to give proportional discounts to drivers with some prior insurance coverage. Will allow insurance companies to increase cost of insurance to drivers who have not maintained continuous coverage.
Proposition 34: 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. Requires persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them.
Proposition 35: Increases criminal penalties for human trafficking, including prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000. Fines collected to be used for victim services and law enforcement. Requires person convicted of trafficking to register as sex offender.
Proposition 36: Revises three strikes law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. Authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if third strike conviction was not serious or violent and judge determines sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety.
Proposition 37: Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits labeling or advertising such food as “natural.”
Proposition 38: Increases personal income tax rates for annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from 0.4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, ending after twelve years. During first four years, 60% of revenues go to K-12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, allocates 85% of revenues to K-12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs.
Proposition 39: Requires multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. Repeals existing law giving multistate businesses an option to choose a tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California.
Proposition 40: State Senate districts are revised every ten years following the federal census. This year, the voter-approved California Citizens Redistricting Commission revised the boundaries of the 40 Senate districts. This referendum petition, if signed by the required number of registered voters and filed with the Secretary of State, will: (1) Place the revised State Senate boundaries on the ballot and prevent them from taking effect unless approved by the voters at the next statewide election; and (2) Require court-appointed officials to set interim boundaries for use in the next statewide election.