The 2012 California state election has 11 propositions on the Nov. 6 ballot, two of which concern the future of public education and will have widespread effects despite their outcome. The remaining nine propositions cover everything from car insurance to the death penalty.
Prop. 30 would raise an estimated $6.8 billion for education by temporarily implementing higher state taxes for seven years. It will increase sales taxes for everyone, and personal income tax on earnings of more than $250,000 per year.
California sales tax will be increased from 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent.
If Prop. 30 fails, the state government could decrease an estimated $250 million from the CSU system.
Prop. 38 will temporarily increase taxes to help fund public schools and child-care programs.
Personal income taxes for most Californians would increase for 12 years. Taxes would go up approximately $5 billion in the first year, $10 billion in the second year and continue to increase.
Whichever proposition receives a larger percentage of votes would take priority concerning tax changes. There would only be one tax increase and any other changes called for by the propositions would still be in effect.
Prop. 34 would repeal the death penalty in California and instead replace the maximum punishment with life in prison without parole. Supporters contend that it may save tens of millions of dollars that would otherwise be spent on murder trials.
Prop. 35 would increase both fines and prison time for human-trafficking offenders. Sentences would be anywhere from 15 years to life and fines may be as high as $1.5 million. Training for human trafficking could potentially cost a few million dollars, but supporters speculate that increased fines would bring in millions of dollars for the state annually.
Unlike the other initiatives, Prop. 33 has no significant fiscal effects on the state, but will have huge effects on California drivers.
Prop. 33 will allow automobile insurance companies to offer discounts to new customers who can prove they have been continuously covered for the past five years. Currently, California auto insurance companies can only offer discounts to existing customers.
Prop. 37 will label all genetically engineered foods. It includes raw or processed food made from plants or animals with genetic material that has been manipulated. It will also prohibit the use of the word natural for any genetically engineered food since natural is not currently regulated by the FDA. If passed, California would be the first state to enforce the label.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Every odd-numbered district supervisor is looking to be re-elected.
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd — who oversees District 7, which includes SF State and Parkmerced — is finishing his term and will leave the position open. There are currently nine candidates in the running.
State Senator Dianne Feinstein is also up for re-election this November.
According to Feinstein’s campaign website, she is a supporter of the No Child Left Behind Act, and is working on decreasing college tuition costs and aiding students from low-income families via the Title 1 academic achievement program.