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Ballot Propositions: What Changes Will They Have On California?

Jackie Mansky |
November 14, 2012 | 7:40 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

(Rosa Treiu/Neon Tommy)
(Rosa Treiu/Neon Tommy)
Proposition 30

Prop. 30 will increase personal income tax for seven years on Californians earning more than $250,000. The tax is retroactive and is applicable for incomes earned during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, according to the Orange County Register.

The sales tax associated with the Prop. won't increase until the votes are certified next month and schools won't begin see that money until June, KGET.com reported.

Students in higher education, though, immediately benefited from the Proposition’s passing. Officials from California’s two public university systems, California State University trustees and University of California regents, both postponed various tuition hikes, the Los Angeles Times reported. Full-time students at California State Universities will be mailed a check in the mail for $249, a refund on the most recent round of tuition increases, the Times added.

For K-12 schools, not much will change in the short term. Most districts assembled their budgets assuming that Prop. 30 would pass, Southern California Public Radio reported.


“The extra cash infusion expected next fiscal year – about $5 billion in 2012-13 and an estimated $10 billion in 2013-14 - means students won’t lose any more instructional time and teachers won’t have to take off more unpaid furlough days.”

Proposition 35 

Currently, a California judge has granted a temporary restraining order that bars the Proposition from going into effect until he has time to consider the arguments presented by two plaintiffs. The plaintiffs filed anonymous lawsuits after the Proposition, which increased penalties for those convicted of sex crimes, including human trafficking, was passed, the Sacremento Bee reported.

The plaintiffs are supported by the American Civil Liberties Union's Northern California Arm and Electronic Frontier Foundation. The lawsuit is centered on a provision in the Proposition that requires registered sex offenders to disclose to law enforcement all of their Internet connections and online identities.

The plaintiffs argued that mandating them to expose their online identities would violate their First Amendment right to speak anonymously.

Proposition 36 

The Proposition prohibits judges from imposing a life sentence on most repeat offenders who commit minor crimes. There are just under 9,000 three-strikers in prison. About half of those offenders have violent, or serious, third strikes. That means the number of people currently serving life sentences who could appeal is somewhere between 3,500 and 2,000 people, PBS-affiliate KQED reported.

While the movement on these cases might go more slowly in conservative places like the Central Valley, in relatively liberal Los Angeles County and the Bay Area, things might move along more efficiently, the Mercury News reported.

Proposition 39

The Proposition is estimated to generate $500 million in the 2012-2013 fiscal year and $1 billion in each fiscal year beginning in the 2013-2014 fiscal year, according to the Legislative Analyst's Office and Director of Finance Ana J. Matosantos.

Proposition 39 will also create a nine-member oversight board to annually review and evaluate spending from the fund, the AP reported.

Before Proposition 39, most multistate businesses were allowed to pick one of two methods to determine the amount of their income associated with California and taxable by the state, KPBS reported.


"The 'three-factor method' uses the location of the company's sales, property and employees. The more sales, property or employees the business has in California, the more of the business' income is subject to state tax. The 'single sales factor' uses only the location of the sales."

Proposition 40

Because Proposition 40 is a referendum, not an initiative, the measure will uphold the work of a citizens redistricting commission in drawing lines for California districts. As it stands, there will be no fiscal effect on state or local government as a result of Proposition 40, but there could potentially be increased litigation that is derived from the Redistricting Commission’s findings, the Los Angeles Times reported.


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of California's ballot initiatives here.

Reach Staff Reporter Jackie Mansky here.



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