News staff helps to clarify propositions

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Prop 83: Increased prohibitions and punishment for registered sex offenders.Sex offenders will be restricted from living within 2000 feet of any school or park, and requires them to submit to lifetime Global tracking.Offenders would be required to serve an indeterminate period of “civil commitment” before they are eventually incarcerated and released into the public. They would also be subject to annual review by the Director of Mental Health. Costs: Increased cost for state prison, parole supervision, and mental health programs. Construction of prison and mental hospital beds. Total operating costs to counties for jails, probation supervision, district attorneys, and public defenders. Costs from changes in programs will be reimbursed by the state. Pros: Offenders would suffer harsher punishment and would spend more time in jail or on parole. Increase in community safety by removing offenders from school and park neighborhoods.Cons: The law focuses more on misdemeanor offenders and not enough on real threats. By forcing the offenders to relocate to smaller rural communities with smaller police forces it puts that community and/or the offender’s family more at risk.

Prop 84: According to the Official Voter Information Guide, Proposition 84 will fund water and flood control. It would also fund natural resources and public park projects costing $5.4 billion in general bonds. The fiscal impact would cost the state $10.5 billion in roughly 30 years to pay for all bonds. Property that is not on government grounds would pay taxes that could total millions of dollars yearly, while those on government grounds pay reduced property taxes.Pros: With California’s rising population, proposition 84 will supply clean and safe drinking water. It will maintain essential projects for coastal safety, water quality, and flood avoidance. Cons: Special interests positioned this bond on the ballot, if passed it is possible to receive taxpayers’ money. The “water and flood control bond” does not fund for dams or water storage and does slight funding for the control of floods.Vote Yes! Voting YES on this proposition would mean $5.4 billion in universal bonds to support safe drinking water, water supply, control on flood flow, natural reserve protection and improvement on parks.Vote No! Voting NO on this proposition would mean $5.4 billion

Prop 85: If put into effect, will amend the California Constitution to prohibit abortion for un-emancipated minors until 48 hours after the physician notifies the minor’s parent/guardian, with the exception of medical emergencies or parental waivers. It also allows a minor to get a court order that waives the notice based on good, clear evidence of said minor’s maturity or best interests. With the proposition in effect, it would require a minor’s consent to abortion, with certain exceptions, and would also permit judicial relief if said minor’s consent were to be coerced.The cost for all this? It’s unknown, but it has a potential to cost several million dollars annually for health social service programs, court administration, and state health agency administration.Pros:Prop 85 will prevent minors from getting abortions without notifying their parents/guardians, it allows minors to get abortions without consent only if a good case is made on their behalfCons: Unknown cost makes the proposition a bit edgier, and the 48-hour wait is a bit short.

Prop 86: According to an official voter information guide, Proposition 86, if approved, will increase the excess tax of a pack of cigarettes by $2.60. In 1998 lawmakers raised the price 87 cents. Approximately $2.1 billion will be added to excess tax revenues which will be spent on children’s health coverage, health treatment and services, health maintenance, and disease prevention and research.Pros: According to the California Department of Health Services, Proposition 86 will prevent 700,000 kids from becoming smokers. It will also prevent approximately 120,000 additional deaths due to smoking among current California adult smokers who quit smoking. Prop 86 will halve Californians $16 billion in health care costs.Cons: Allocates less than 10% of the tax revenues toward helping cigarette, cigar and smokeless tobacco consumers quit or keeping kids from starting. Prop 86, gives the largest share of money – almost 40% – to huge hospital corporations, many of which are funding the campaign for the new tax. These funds pay for non tobacco-related care they already provide, not treatment of smoking-related illnesses. Prop 86 allows HMOs to pocket millions of taxpayer dollars and it exempts hospitals from antitrust laws, letting them conspire to fix prices and limit competition. It allows continued over-billing of the uninsured – at taxpayers’ expense.

Prop 1B: This measure will propose the use of a multi-billion dollar bond that will make improvements and safety upgrades to roads, highways, streets and freeways, build more lanes to reduce congestion, increase security at ports, upgrade school buses, and increase the seismic safety of bridgesPros: Adding of road, highway and freeway lanes in order to reduce traffic congestion. It will also Reduce air pollution by repairing outdated port equipment and replacing older, high-polluting school busesCons: The state will have to pay about $30 billion over a period of roughly thirty years to pay off the entire bond, possibly causing more problems to the already inflated budget deficit. Additionaly, the state will face additional costs in operating and maintaining the new facilities.

Prop 87: If Proposition 87 passes, a fund of $4 billion would be established to reduce California’s dependency on oil by 25 percent. It will also help research and educate people on alternative energy methods. The $4 billion would come from a 1.5 to 6 percent tax on all oil producers, making it illegal for the taxes to be passed onto public consumers. A severance tax would also be imposed on oil production to the amount of $225 million to $485 million a year. There is a potential for the state to lose revenue generated by oil production on state lands, state corporate taxes paid by oil producers, and local property taxes.Pros: With Prop 87, there will be less dependence on oil, which could help save the environment, and less dependence on foreign oil. Alternative energy sources can produce cleaner air and make the energy market more available to solar and air choices. Prop 87 will create more jobs, and a workforce training program throughout all of California’s community colleges. It also will provide funding for schools and cities to build cheaper and cleaner transportation and other fleet vehicles.Cons: Reduction of revenue to schools, public safety, health care, local government and public transportation. With this in mind, the cost of gas, diesel and jet fuel would increase due to the reduction of in-state oil production; creating more dependence on foreign oil. New bureaucratic system of 50 political appointees that don’t have a requirement to make any progress, or present any results by a given time. Reduce local property tax revenue, and there will be future tax increases. Prop. 87 is exempt from a law that requires all new tax revenue give a portion of it to schools

Prop 1D: The “ten billion four hundred sixteen million dollar ($10,416,000,000) bond” will provide funding for the California public education system (grades K-12, community colleges and state university). The money will go towards expansion of public schooling and to the repairs needed on older out of date buildings. Improvements on safety standards for earthquake hazards as well as funds for improvements on structure, new technology, and updated texts will also be featured in this bond issue. Spending restrictions apply to “strict accountability measures”. •$7.3 billion for K-12 schools, most of which would require local matching funds •$3.1 billion for community colleges and public universitiesPros: Prop 1D will provide less over crowdedness in public school
s. It will help better safety against natural disasters for instance, earthquakes. 1D repairs low standard classrooms and provides extra ground for training and education. Cons: Possible increase in taxes to pay off debt and interest (from bond measures). Not all districts may have a grasp on money unless district has surplus cash that can help pay off bond. California still hasn’t paid off previous debts and bond measure from 1D would cause full payment of debt to take longer. Paying off construction fees with current tax money should be high priority.

Prop 90: Change California’s current constitution to where the government cannot force the sale of private property for private use. And if they do so, property owners must be paid fairly.Currently, as long as private property owners are fairly paid, the government can take private property for public use, also known as “eminent domain.” The government uses this power to buyout owners who don’t want to move or sell their land. Pros: Landowners should not be forced to move out of their homes or have to give up their property so that another retail store or shopping mall can be built.When governing factors reduce property value it’s only fair for those affected to be paid for their losses.Cons: Government actions that benefit the public and environment should not be discouraged by the costly lawsuits that can result.Local land use-authority would be reduced and costs for public facilities would go up.Vote Yes! A Yes vote means you support private property owners and want to rid the powers of eminent domain, as well as agree that they should be fairly paid if they are forced to sell.Vote No! No vote means this power should remain. Eminent domain is okay and shall continue.