November Ballot Initiatives Get Numbers

Bebra Bowen, California Secretary of State, issued a press release today announcing the assigned numbers for the November 2010 ballot initiatives.

The initiatives are:

Proposition
18
   Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010.

Proposition
19
   Changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to be
Regulated and Taxed.
 

Proposition
20
   Redistricting of Congressional Districts.

Proposition
21
   Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State
Parks and Wildlife Programs and Grants Free Admission to All State Parks to
Surcharged Vehicles.

Proposition
22
   Prohibits the State from Taking Funds Used for Transportation
or Local Government Projects and Services.

Proposition
23
   Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters
to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming Until
Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level for Full Year.

Proposition
24
   Repeals Recent Legislation that Would Allow Businesses to Carry
Back Losses, Share Tax Credits, and Use a Sales-Based Income Calculation to
Lower Taxable Income.

Proposition
25
   Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass a Budget from Two-Thirds
to a Simple Majority. Retains Two-Thirds Vote Requirement for Taxes.

Proposition
26
   Increases Legislative Vote Requirement to Two-Thirds for State
Levies and Charges. Imposes Additional Requirement for Voters to Approve Local
Levies and Charges with Limited Exceptions. 

Proposition
27
   Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority
for Redistricting with Elected Representatives.

Speak Out California will be analyzing these initiatives, tracing the funding of proponents and opponents, and reporting to you between now and November. 

The entire press release in full is below the fold:

Secretary of State Debra Bowen Assigns Numbers to Ballot Measures Certified for November 2 General Election, Invites Ballot Arguments

SACRAMENTO –
Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced the proposition numbers for the
10 measures set to appear on the November 2, 2010, Statewide General Election
ballot and invited interested Californians to submit arguments to be included
in the Secretary’s Official  Voter
Information Guide. The guide, also known as the ballot pamphlet, is mailed to
every voting household in California.

The 10
propositions on the November 2 ballot are listed below, along with the Legislative
Counsel’s digest or the Attorney General’s title and summary.


Proposition
18
   SBx7 2. Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of
2010. (Chapter 3, 2009).
(1) Under existing law, various measures have been
approved by the voters to provide funds for water supply and protection
facilities and programs. This bill would enact the Safe, Clean, and Reliable
Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010, which, if approved by the voters, would
authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $11,140,000,000 pursuant to the
State General Obligation Bond Law to finance a safe drinking water and water
supply reliability program. The bill would provide for the submission of the
bond act to the voters at the November 2, 2010, statewide general election. (2)
This bill would take effect only if SB 1 of the 2009-10 7th Extraordinary
Session is enacted and becomes effective. (3) This bill would declare that it is
to take effect immediately as an urgency statute. 

 

Proposition
19
   Changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to be
Regulated and Taxed. Initiative Statute.
Allows people 21 years old or
older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits
local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of
marijuana to people 21 years old or older. Prohibits people from possessing
marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are
present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Maintains current prohibitions
against driving while impaired. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and
Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Savings of
up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local
governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana
offenders. Unknown but potentially major tax, fee, and benefit assessment revenues
to state and local government related to the production and sale of marijuana
products. (09-0024.)

 

Proposition
20
   Redistricting of Congressional Districts. Initiative Constitutional
Amendment.
Removes elected representatives from the process of establishing
congressional districts and transfers that authority to the recently-authorized
14-member redistricting commission. Redistricting commission is comprised of
five Democrats, five Republicans, and four voters registered with neither
party. Requires that any newly-proposed district lines be approved by nine
commissioners including three Democrats, three Republicans, and three from
neither party. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of
Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Probably no significant
change in state redistricting costs. (09-0027.)

 

Proposition
21
   Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State
Parks and Wildlife Programs and Grants Free Admission to All State Parks to
Surcharged Vehicles. Initiative Statute.
Establishes an $18 annual state
vehicle license surcharge and grants free admission to all state parks to
surcharged vehicles. Requires deposit of surcharge revenue in a new trust fund.
Requires that trust funds be used solely to operate, maintain and repair the
state park system, and to protect wildlife and natural resources. Exempts commercial
vehicles, trailers and trailer coaches from the surcharge. Requires annual
independent audit and review by citizen’s oversight committee. Summary of
estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on
state and local government: Increased state revenues of about $500 million
annually from the imposition of a surcharge on the VLF to be used mainly to
fund state parks and wildlife conservation programs. Potential state savings of
up to approximately $200 million annually to the extent that the VLF surcharge
revenues were used to reduce support from the General Fund and other special
funds for parks and wildlife conservation programs. Reduction of about $50
million annually in state and local revenues from state park day-use fees.
These revenue losses could potentially be offset by increases in other types of
state park user fees and revenues. (09-0072.)

 

Proposition
22
   Prohibits the State from Taking Funds Used for Transportation
or Local Government Projects and Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Prohibits the State from shifting, taking, borrowing, or restricting the use of
tax revenues dedicated by law to fund local government services, community redevelopment
projects, or transportation projects and services. Prohibits the State from
delaying the distribution of tax revenues for these purposes even when the
Governor deems it necessary due to a severe state fiscal hardship. Summary of
estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state
and local government: Significant constraints on state authority over city,
county, special district, and redevelopment agency funds. As a result, higher
and more stable local resources, potentially affecting billions of dollars in some
years. Commensurate reductions in state resources, resulting in major decreases
in state spending and/or increases in state revenues. (09-0063.)

 

Proposition
23
   Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters
to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming Until
Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level for Full Year. Initiative Statute.
Suspends
State laws requiring reduced greenhouse gas emissions that cause global
warming, until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for
four consecutive quarters. Requires State to abandon implementation of
comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased
renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission
reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil
refineries, until suspension is lifted. Summary of estimate by Legislative
Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government:
Potential positive, short-term impacts on state and local government revenues
from the suspension of regulatory activity, with uncertain longer-run impacts.
Potential foregone state revenues from the auctioning of emission allowances by
state government, by suspending the future implementation of cap-and-trade
regulations. (09-0104.)

 

Proposition
24
   Repeals Recent Legislation that Would Allow Businesses to Carry
Back Losses, Share Tax Credits, and Use a Sales-Based Income Calculation to
Lower Taxable Income. Initiative Statute.
Repeals recent legislation that
would allow businesses to shift operating losses to prior tax years and that would
extend the period permitted to shift operating losses to future tax years. Repeals
recent legislation that would allow corporations to share tax credits with
affiliated corporations. Repeals recent legislation that would allow multistate
businesses to use a sales-based income calculation, rather than a combination
property-, payroll- and sales-based income calculation. Summary of estimate by
Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local
government: Annual state revenue increase from business taxes of about $1.7
billion when fully phased in, beginning in 2011-12. (09-0058.)

 

Proposition
25
   Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass a Budget from Two-Thirds
to a Simple Majority. Retains Two-Thirds Vote Requirement for Taxes. Initiative
Constitutional Amendment.
Changes the legislative vote requirement
necessary to pass the state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority.
Provides that if the Legislature fails to pass a budget bill by June 15, all
members of the Legislature will permanently forfeit any reimbursement for salary
and expenses for every day until the day the Legislature passes a budget bill.
Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal
impact on state and local government: Unknown changes in the content of the
state budget from lowering the legislative vote requirement for passage. Fiscal
impact would depend on the composition and actions of future Legislatures.
Minor reduction in state costs related to compensation of legislators in years
when the budget bill is passed after June 15. (09-0057.)

 

Proposition
26
   Increases Legislative Vote Requirement to Two-Thirds for State
Levies and Charges. Imposes Additional Requirement for Voters to Approve Local
Levies and Charges with Limited Exceptions. Initiative Constitutional
Amendment.
Increases legislative vote requirement to two-thirds for state
levies and charges, with limited exceptions, and for certain taxes currently subject
to majority vote. Changes Constitution to require voters to approve, either by
two-thirds or majority, local levies and charges with limited exceptions.
Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal
impact on state and local government: Potentially major decrease in state and
local revenues and spending, depending upon future actions of the Legislature,
local governing bodies, and local voters. (09-0093.)

 

Proposition
27
   Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority
for Redistricting with Elected Representatives. Initiative Constitutional
Amendment and Statute.
Eliminates 14-member redistricting commission
selected from applicant pool picked by government auditors. Consolidates
authority for establishing state Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization district
boundaries with elected state representatives responsible

for drawing congressional districts. Reduces
budget, and imposes limit on amount Legislature may spend, for redistricting.
Provides that voters will have the authority to reject district boundary maps approved
by the Legislature. Requires populations of all districts for the same office
to be exactly the same. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director
of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Likely decrease in
state redistricting costs totaling several million dollars every ten years.
(09-0107.)

 

People may submit
arguments for or against any measure. Arguments selected for the Official Voter
Information Guide will be on public display between July 20 and August 9. If
multiple arguments are submitted for one proposition, state law gives first
priority to arguments written by legislators in the case of a legislative
measure, and first priority to arguments written by the proponents of an
initiative in the case of an initiative measure. Subsequent priority for all measures
goes to bona fide citizen associations and then to individuals. No more than
three 
signers are
allowed to appear with an argument or rebuttal to an argument

Ballot arguments
cannot exceed 500 words and rebuttals to ballot arguments cannot exceed 250 words.
All submissions should be typed and double-spaced. They may be hand-delivered
to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 1500 11th Street, 5th Floor,
Sacramento, California 95814 or faxed to (916) 653-3214. If faxed, the original
copies must be received within 72 hours. The deadline to submit ballot
arguments is July 6 by 5:00 p.m. and the deadline to submit rebuttals to the
ballot arguments is July 15 by 5:00 p.m.

For more
information on ballot measures and the November 2 election, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/2010-elections.

To view past state
voter guides, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/voter-information-guides.htm

One thought on “November Ballot Initiatives Get Numbers

  1. Here’s a comment on Prop. 19, specifically its supporters’ claim that it will not affect medial marijuana patients.
    I have been an attorney for almost 30 years. I went to Hastings College of the Law, one of California’s top schools, was on the Hastings Law Journal, and have more than 20 years of experience working as a judicial research attorney for the State of California and for the federal district court. I prepared draft opinions in which I presented, from a neutral rather than adversarial perspective, the applicable laws and facts, with conclusions about final results/consequences. (I even once worked (from 1984 to 1987) as a business and municipal law litigation associate at Best, Best & Krieger (yep, the same law firm that’s been advising cities to ban medical marijuana (MM) collectives).)
    So, I’m well-qualified to review Prop. 19. Plus, I had a reason to do so.
    The pro-Prop. 19 people have been insisting that Prop. 19 won’t affect medical marijuana patients. Two years ago, I became a medical marijuana patient after terrible problems with side effects from prescription medications and after doing research on cannabis. Since I am convinced that marijuana is the non-prescription answer for many diseases, including mine (multiple sclerosis), I want to be able to grow my own medication, and to be able to experiment with and make as many different variants of cannabis-based medications as possible. (FYI, The state-mandated study of marijuana as a medication, done by UCSD, reported significant benefits from cannabis for MS patients.)
    Based on my expertise and review of prop. 19, if Proposition 19 passes, it WILL affect medical marijuana patients and collectives. It will limit patients to tiny grow areas — one per parcel, not one per patient — and allow cities to legally ban collectives (the current bans are, in my opinion, illegal). And it will probably cause the price of marijuana to go up, put the profits from marijuana into the hands of a few large businesses instead of a lot of small businesses, and, depending on the goodwill of politicians in Santa Cruz, put compassionate collective groups like the Wo/Man’s collective out of business. But let’s skip speculation about how decreased competition affects prices, and just stick to whether or not, as a matter of law, Prop. 19 will change patients’ rights under the Compassionate Use Act, Health & Safety Code section 11362.5 (“the CUA”).
    Initiatives like Prop. 19 are reviewed by courts using specific rules, generally known as rules of statutory interpretation. Under those rules, any arguments or statements by Chris Conrad or Russ Belville, or the flyers handed put by the pro-Prop. 19 people that claim medical marijuana patients won’t be affected, have no relevance. Instead, it’s the actual language of Prop. 19 that counts. (Get the complete text at http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Complete_text_of_The_Regulate,_Control_and_Tax_Cannabis_Act_of_2010_(California). Only if the text is ambiguous will a court look any further than the text – and then only at certain items, such as ballot summaries — not at general commentary by people like Conrad and Belville.
    Look at the language of Prop. 19 and the official ballot summary. (The ballot summary is at http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Ballot_titles,_summaries_and_fiscal_statements_for_California_2010_ballot_propositions#Proposition_19.) First, note that the official ballot summary does not mention medical marijuana (MM), or MM patients and collectives, at all. Does that mean Prop. 19 is not intended to affect laws that relate to medical marijuana? No. Does it mean Prop. 19 IS intended to affect MM or patients? No. It’s just neutral. So, now let’s look at the text of Prop. 19.
    Section 1, the name, is pretty straightforward. “This Act shall be known as the “Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.” Notice it does not distinguish between cannabis used recreationally or medicinally. So, based on the name, it MIGHT affect patients by regulating, controlling and taxing marijuana used by patients. (By the way, aren’t the pro-Prop. 19 people referring to this as the “legalize, tax and regulate” proposition? I think the actual text doesn’t say that, because, in reality, cannabis is ALREADY legal in California as a medicine. So it wouldn’t have been truthful or accurate to claim, in the official ballot proposition, Prop. 19 is going to legalize marijuana . . . . .)
    Section 2, A., “Findings,” doesn’t mention MM or MM patients at all. It doesn’t say anything about the fact that marijuana is actually a very useful medicine, which people also use as a recreational drug.
    Section 2, B., the “Purposes” section, at paragraph 1, states that one of the Proposition’s purposes is to “reform cannabis laws in a way that will benefit our state.” The law that relates to MM and MM patients is the Compassionate Use Act (CUA), H & S Code section 11362.5. Is section 11362.5 a “cannabis law”? Of course it is. So paragraph 1 indicates that one purpose of Prop. 19 is to reform cannabis laws – which include 11362.5. So a court would say, well, here’s some evidence that Prop. 19 might be intended to affect the Compassionate Use Act — and thereby affect medical marijuana patients. But how? The court would have to keep reading the text to see.
    Section 2, B, “Purposes” at paragraph 3, states that another intent is to create a legal regulatory framework to give California more control over, among other things, cultivation and distribution of cannabis. MM patients currently have a right to cultivate and distribute under the CUA. Because paragraph 3’s language applies to all cultivation and distribution without any exception, it seems it is intended to apply to cultivation and distribution of all cannabis, including by MM patients, and to cultivation and distribution by everyone, including patient collectives. As noted earlier, Prop. 19 makes no distinction between recreational and medicinal use.
    Paragraph 6 of “Purposes” then specifically refers to patients and cannabis for medical purposes – so this makes it clear the Proposition is intended to affect MM and patients. How? Only to make access safer and easier, it says — but not cheaper. I guess access will be safer and easier if you can buy from Big Weed, Inc. instead of growing it yourself, or getting it from a collective. But it will be more expensive for patients who have been allowed to grow as much as they need, because instead of being allowed to grow quantities large enough for each person’s medical problems, and/or to share collectively, Prop. 19 severely limits everyone’s rights to cultivate and distribute.
    Paragraph 7 says that if cities ban the sale of cannabis, their citizens “still have the right to possess and consume small amounts, except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.” This language could be interpreted to mean that, under 11362.5, MM patients continue to have the right to possess and consume larger quantities than Proposition 19’s ounce limit. But notice that Paragraph 7 specifically leaves out the right to cultivate. Why? This is a very meaningful omission of an existing right held by MM patients. Under Prop. 19, everyone becomes a mere consumer, a captive market to be exploited by a few businesses that get the permits to cultivate and distribute.
    Under current law, H & S11362.5, subdivision (d), specifically exempts MM patients from H & S 11358 which makes cultivation illegal. Under the People v. Kelly case, MM patients have no numeric cap on what they can grow, just a requirement that it be related to a medical issue. Will the right to cultivate amounts related to medical issues be changed under Prop. 19? Yes. Here’s why.
    Look at the text of Prop. 19, Section 2 (B), paragraph 14. It says that one purpose of Prop. 19 is to “Permit the cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for personal consumption.” We already know the “small amounts” are what can be grown in a 25 square foot garden (that’s 5 by 5 feet) – and that however many people live on a property will have to share that small space. So that is a really small amount.
    Notice that section 14 says nothing about allowing the cultivation of larger amounts for medical use.
    Don’t give up reading yet — we’re getting to the smoking gun evidence that Prop. 19 has ALWAYS been INTENDED to affect medical marijuana patients and collectives, and was intentionally worded in a way to allow the pro-Prop. 19 people to make claims, OUTSIDE THE TEXT OF THE CONTROLLING LEGAL DOCUMENT, WHERE SUCH CLAIMS CAN’T BE USED TO INTERPRET THE PROPOSITION, that it doesn’t affect medical marijuana patients.
    In Section 2 (C), “Intent,” paragraph 1 lists all the existing laws that Prop. 19 is intended to affect, and paragraph 2 lists all the laws it is NOT intended to affect. Here’s the important point:
    Neither paragraph 1 nor paragraph 2 mention the Compassionate Use Act (CUA), which is found in H & S Code section 11362.5. If the Prop. 19 people really did not intend to affect patients and collectives, they would have included section 11362.5 in paragraph 2. They didn’t.
    Now, since the Pro-Prop. 19 people clearly need the support of MM patients, they obviously did not want to include the CUA and H & S section 11362.5 in paragraph 1 and admit that Prop. 19 will affect patients. So that’s why Prop. 19 is silent about 11362.5, the CUA. The pro-Prop. 19 people are counting on the average voter not knowing anything about statutory interpretation rules. Under those rules, if Prop. 19 had specifically stated in Section 2, “Intent,” that it was NOT intended to affect H & S 11362.5, then the courts would interpret it as not affecting 11362.5. But because the intent section is silent, the courts will look at the language of the proposition to figure out the intent. And as noted above, the Purposes section at paragraphs 6 and 7, already provides evidence that the Proposition is intended to affect MM and MM patients.
    Why would the Prop. 19 people set things up like this? This is no accident; a lot of attorney work and money went into drafting this thing to accomplish the desired results – results presumably desired by Richard Lee and friends. Why would they want to be sure that patients’ current rights to grow and distribute are SEVERLY limited, while running around telling efveryone they are not affected?
    Well, in addition to being potential voting support for Prop. 15, MM patients also reflect a LARGE and VALUABLE potential market share for the “commercial cannabis industry” this proposition is intended to create. It is going to be contrary to the commercial interests of whoever wants to create a “commercial cannabis industry” to let such a large group of potential cannabis consumers continue to cultivate and share with each other, via the collective system, cannabis – instead of being FORCED TO BUY IT FROM THE “COMMERCIAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY.”
    Prop. 19 is clearly aimed at reducing competition by restricting who can cultivate and distribute.)
    Prop. 19, if passed, will be interpreted as affecting patients and collectives because the Prop. 19 folks intentionally chose not to specify that it was NOT intended to affect patients in Section 2, “Intent.”
    So why are the pro-Prop.19 lying about what it will do? Something sneaky’s going on.
    Letitia E. Pepper, Riverside, California
    (951) 781-8883

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