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We’ll send you important updates on bills and initiatives and how you can speak out.
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Send an email to your elected officials. Follow the bills we are working on in this legislative session.
California’s Ballot Propositions
FCLCA Election Update
California voters narrowly rejected Proposition 34 to replace the state’s death penalty with life without parole by a margin of 53 to 47 percent and overwhelmingly approved Proposition 36, modifying the state’s harsh “Three Strikes” law. Voters also approved temporary tax increases, closing a corporate tax loophole and rejected labeling of genetically engineered food and restrictions on labor unions’ ability to make political contributions.
While passage of Proposition 36 to modify Three Strikes appears to have benefitted from a long historical narrative of unjust life sentences handed down for minor offenses, the death penalty abolition movement has yet to overcome prevailing myths about capital punishment, namely that it is less expensive than keeping people in prison for life and that all law crime victims and law enforcement support it. Still, the election proves that support for capital punishment in California has declined dramatically, especially when voters are given the choice between the death penalty and life without parole.
Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically modified foods, triggered a heavily financed opposition campaign by Monsanto and food manufacturers. Contrarily, the business community was split on Proposition 39, which closed a corporate tax loophole for multi-state corporations doing business in California and provides funding for green energy. Proposition 39 polled well and had significant financial backing while the opposition raised only $45,000.
In the legislature, it appears that Democrats will have two-thirds super majorities in both the Assembly and the Senate. This will give Democrats the ability to raise taxes and fees without Republican support. However, Democrats are not homogenous and Governor Brown has pledged that all tax increases must be approved by a vote of the people. Democrats will also have the ability to place constitutional amendments on the ballot without obtaining Republican votes and various reforms proposals are being floated for the upcoming legislative session.
As a result of redistricting and the “top-two” system, legislative and congressional races were more competitive than in previous years. More races were decided by smaller margins, and there were 28 same-party races in the General Election.
Information and Analysis You Can Trust
Ever feel confused about how to vote on California’s many initiatives and ballot propositions? At FCLCA, we take a considered, thoughtful approach to making recommendations on these sometimes complex proposals. Many people tell us how much they appreciate this service.
Our Policy Committee carefully studies each ballot proposition, consults with our legislative director, and makes a recommendation to our Board of Directors. The Board then reaches agreement on our position.
We write up an informative analysis and recommendation to clarify the issue so that you can feel more confident about your vote.
A proposal placed before the voters. In California, statewide ballot propositions include initiatives and referendums (see below). They may be used to revise state law.
In addition, all amendments to the California Constitution (which sets forth the fundamental laws by which the State of California is governed) come about as a result of constitutional amendments approved by the voters at a statewide election.
Allows a proponent to bypass the Legislature and go directly to the voters to address an issue of public concern.
Upon obtaining title and summary from the Attorney General, the proponent has 150 days to gather the signatures of registered voters. If the initiative revises state law, qualified signatures
must total at least five percent of the votes cast for governor in the last gubernatorial election. If the initiative revises the California Constitution, the threshold increases to eight percent.
Allows the voters to reject or approve all or part of a law passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor. To qualify for the ballot requires a petition with the signatures of qualified voters totaling at least five percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.