CALIFORNIANS SAY YES TO FIVE OF ELEVEN PROPOSITIONS

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By Mayan Avitable

November 8, 2012 (San Diego) -- The most watched proposition by many who are involved in education was California's Proposition 30. This proposition was highly promoted by Governor Jerry Brown as a solution to school funding in the time of budget cutting. During the evening, the proposition changed from passing to not passing as the vote counts came in. Ultimately, the measure passed 53.9% to 46.1%, increasing taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools. In addition, it guarantees public safety realignment funding. School districts had prepared for spending reductions in case the proposition didn't pass.

Proposition 35 which requires increased restrictions, sentences, and fines for human trafficking passed overwhelmingly; the percentage in favor was 81.1.

The three strikes law has been often criticized for imposing life sentences on offenders who are committed to life in prison for a minor crime. Proposition 36, which also passed, revises the law to only impose the life sentence when the third strike is a serious or a violent crime. Re-sentencing may also occur. This proposition is expected to save $70 to $90 million dollars annually over the next few decades. The proposition passed with 68.6 percent.

Under Proposition 39, multistate businesses are required to pay income tax based on the percentage of their sales in California. It could bring revenues of $1billion annually. According to the ballot statement,  half of the revenues over the next five years would be spent on energy efficiency projects. Of the remaining revenues, a significant portion likely would be spent on schools. The proposition passed by 60.1 percent.

The fifth proposition that passed was Proposition 40 which approves new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. It passed by 71.4 percent.

Propositions 31, 32, 33, 34,37, and 38 were defeated.

Proposition 31 which would establish a two-year state budget, set rules for offsetting new expenditures, and allow governor budget cuts in fiscal emergencies was defeated 39.2% yes, to 60.8% no.

The widely publicized Proposition 32 was narrowly defeated by 43.9% to 56.1%.  It would have prohibited unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes.

Also narrowly defeated was Proposition 33 which allowed insurance companies to base prices based on the driver with some prior coverage. The measure was funded by the insurance industry. A similar measure failed in 2010, indicating that California voters were not swayed by massive special interest spending.

In Proposition 34 voters declined to repeal the death penalty by a very close margin of 47.2% to 52.8%. The measure would have applied retroactively to existing death sentences.

Proposition 37 was declined in a very close race, 46.9 to 53.1 percent. It would have required labeling of genetically modified foods.

Proposition 38 was soundly defeated 27.7 yes to 72.3 percent no. It would have raised taxes for 12 years on a sliding scale to raise money to be used in K-12 and early childhood education.