As widely anticipated, California voters will be asked to pass judgment on a variety of ballot measures on the November 2016 ballot. Seventeen questions – ranging from ending the use of the death penalty to extending taxes to recreational marijuana use – have qualified.
The Golden State’s initiative process – first enacted to wrestle control of state politics from railroad barons and major corporations – has evolved into big business. It is very hard for grassroots organizations to gather enough signatures but well-financed campaigns can put a phalanx of signature gathers into the field.
If this year seems particularly crowded, it is because in 2011 the State Legislature mandated that all ballot initiatives be decided during the General Election on the first Tuesday in November.
The California Catholic Conference of Bishops occasionally takes positions on ballot initiatives. For instance, the last time voters were asked to repeal the use of the death penalty the Bishops urged support for the measure. The Conference’s positions for this election cycle, if any, will be announced in the coming weeks.
As is also the case, the Conference website will post analysis of all the initiatives with reference to applicable Catholic social teaching. Watch for that as the summer progresses.
In the meantime, here’s a preview of the questions you will be asked to decide on November 8:
- Proposition 51- School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities (Full Text)
- Proposition 52 - State Fees on Hospitals (Full Text)
- Proposition 53 - Revenue Bonds (Full Text)
- Proposition 54 - Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings (Full Text)
- Proposition 55 - Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare (Full Text)
- Proposition 56 - Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement (Full Text)
- Proposition 57 - Criminal Sentences. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing (Full Text)
- Proposition 58 - English Language Education (Full Text)
- Proposition 59 - Campaign Finance: Voter Instructions (Full Text)
- Proposition 60 - Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements (Full Text)
- Proposition 61 - State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards (Full Text)
- Proposition 62 - Repeal Death Penalty (Full Text)
- Proposition 63 - Firearms. Ammunition Sales (Full Text)
- Proposition 64 - Marijuana Legalization (Full Text)
- Proposition 65 - Carry-Out Bags. Charges (Full Text)
- Proposition 66 - Death Penalty. Expedite Procedures (Full Text)
- Proposition 67 - Referendum to Overturn Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags (Full Text)