Here’s What Voters WIll Be Facing on the November 2 Ballot

June 24 is the last day for the Secretary of State to determine if an initiative qualifies for the November ballot.

Any initiative qualifying after that date appears on a subsequent statewide ballot. Under normal circumstances, June 2012.

On the final day, an initiative backed by the California Teachers Association to repeal three tax breaks approved as part of the 2009 budget qualified as did a measure lowering the approval needed for a budget from two-thirds to simple majority, one to eliminate the 14-member redistricting commission approved by voters in November 2008 and another initiative sponsored by the state Chamber of Commerce increasing the vote required for “levies and charges” to two-thirds.

That brings the number of initiatives on the November ballot to nine – several of them on hot-button topics that likely will affect turnout.

By repealing the tax breaks, the CTA’s measure would put $1.7 billion into state coffers in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011. Under the funding formulas of Proposition 98, approved by voters in 1988, public schools receive at least 40 cents of every $1 put into the state’s general fund.

Specifically, the initiative would prevent businesses from applying operating losses to prior tax years and truncate the number of future tax years those losses could be applied to.

Two tax breaks that have yet to go into effect would also be repealed.

One would have allowed affiliated corporations to share tax credits. The other, of primary benefit to Silicon Valley companies and companies doing business in multiple states, would let businesses calculate their California taxes based on in-state sales rather than a combination of property, payroll and sales income.

Republicans insisted on passage of the three to secure their votes for the 2009 budget. They also object to efforts by Democrats in current budget negotiations to postpone implementation of the two for two years.

Here is the initiative’s Full Text.

The initiative lowering budget approval to a majority still leaves two-thirds requirement for tax increases and requires lawmakers to forfeit salary and expenses for every day past June 15 they have not passed a budget. Here is the Full Text

Increasing the vote needed to pass fees to two-thirds is an attempt by the chamber to halt the practice of the Democratic majority Legislature of imposing fees as revenue sources. Fees currently don’t require a two-thirds vote and can’t be blocked by the GOP minority. The Full Text.

Elimination of redistricting commission is sought by California’s congressional delegation which opposes another ballot measure placing the drawing of their district lines in the commission’s hands. It’s Full Text.

Also qualified for the ballot:

Legalization and Taxation of Marijuana. Individuals would be free to grow for personal consumption in a five-foot by five-foot plot. Local governments could tax and regulate sales of marijuana to person over 21 years of age. (Full Text)

Redistricting of Congressional Seats. Takes authority for redrawing district lines  from the hands of representatives and vests in an already created 14-member citizen’s commission. The commission is comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans and four voters registered with neither party. Any newly drawn lines would need to be approved by three Democrats, three Republicans and three unaffiliated members. The main bankroll for the “yes” side comes from Charles T. Munger, the son of Charlie Munger, vice-chair of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. (Full Text)

Ban the State from Taking Funds for Local Transportation and Services. Sponsored chiefly by the League of California Cities, this measure would also prohibit the state from delaying the distribution of tax revenues to local governments even if the governor declares a state fiscal emergency, which is a power the state currently has. (Full Text)

Impose an $18 surcharge on Vehicle License Fees to Support State Parks. This initiative is very similar to a Democratic budget proposal in 2009 rejected by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Republican lawmakers. In return, Californians would receive free park admission. Commercial vehicles, trailers and trailer coaches are exempt.(Full Text)

Suspend AB 32. Backed chiefly by oil companies the eight-paragraph initiative would suspend the law until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. The state unemployment rate in May was 12.4 percent. The suspension would also scuttle state efforts to obtain 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and create cleaner-burning fuels. (Full Text)

Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010. This $11.4 billion bond act was placed on the ballot by the Legislature and is strongly backed by the GOP governor.


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