Recommendations from the Green Party of Fresno County

Although some of these measures are better than not, a vote for Jill Stein
will allow for policies to make them even better and safer.

Proposition 51 – NO
School Bonds Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities

Created by developers, attempting further real estate sprawl disguised as a bond issue aimed at education facilities. The Green Party has reservations about such a pro-banking, regressive means of generating funds despite that this measure would supposedly provide $9 billion for the school districts with greatest need. The state teacher’s union federations (CFT and CTA) have not endorsed this Proposition that would cost taxpayers $17.6 billion.

Proposition 52 – YES
State Fees on Hospitals, Federal Medi-Cal Matching Funds

In order for the state to receive more healthcare matching funds from the federal government, the state legislature and hospitals created a fee system that California hospitals would pay to funnel those funds into the California budget, which could then be spent on Medi-Cal. The federal government would match this, increasing the funds available for Medi-Cal recipients like children and seniors.

Proposition 53 – NO

Revenue Bonds:  Statewide Voter Approval

Funded entirely by Dean and Joan Cortopassi ($4.5 million). Opponents are a broad, bipartisan coalition of business, labor, and government that includes: California Chamber of Commerce, State Building and Construction Trades Council, League of California Cities. Injecting direct democracy into the political process can be advantageous, but a lack of Progressive supporters for Proposition 53 causes concern about this measure. Also, some of the language is vaguely written and unclear, including whether the measure applies to educational institutions.

Proposition 54 – YES

Legislature:  Legislation and Proceedings

This Proposition seems on the face of it “healthy” for democracy as it will not allow backroom dealings which are never subject to public scrutiny. It would give the public more input in bills because it allows some time to look them over. We are inclined to believe more transparency is better, and want to see how passing this will play out in the coming period so its effectiveness can be judged over time.

Proposition 55 – YES
Tax Extension to Fund Public Education and Healthcare
What Prop 55 would do is greatly aid public education, preventing cuts of up to $4 billion in the first year of implementation. It is hardly surprising that its biggest backer is the 300,000 strong CTA (California Teachers Association).
Proposition 56 – YES                  

Cigarette Tax Increase

California has a low tax on cigarettes, only 87 cents per pack. This initiative would increase it by $2.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco and other nicotine products. Over 80% of the tax revenue goes to increase funding for tobacco-related healthcare through Medi-Cal. Past increases in tobacco taxes have helped to dramatically reduce rates of smoking virtually everywhere in the world.

Proposition 57 – YES
Criminal Sentences Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing

The decision whether to try a minor in adult court will be a judicial decision requiring input from both the prosecution and the defense. There will be a variety of factors to be considered in order for a minor to be tried in adult court. There will be a fitness hearing in all cases including the circumstance and seriousness of the alleged offense, the level of harm actually caused by the minor, and the minor’s mental and emotional development.

Proposition 58 – YES

Allows Bilingual Education

This would repeal most of Prop 227, that required students new to English be taught in separate “English immersion” classrooms. Several studies over the years have shown little difference in test scores between students taught in bilingual classrooms prior to 1998 and in mainstream classrooms subsequently. The positive results of mainstreaming English Learners in classrooms with English speakers included more social integration with English-speaking classmates. Thus through speaking English with friends both in and out of the classroom, their conversational skills improved, as well as their social integration in the school setting.

Proposition 59 – YES

Campaign Finance: Voter Instruction

Get big money out of politics and put to rest the fallacy that a corporation is a person entitled to human rights. The proposition goes further than asking California’s elected officials to use their authority towards overturning the Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, via federal constitutional amendment(s). Corporations had already taken over politics prior to that SCOTUS opinion, so in addition to supporting regulating and limiting campaign contributions, it calls for overturning “other applicable judicial precedents . . . and to make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.”

Proposition 60 – NO
The California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act

This initiative is the latest round in the battle between Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the porn industry over mandatory condom use during sex in adult films. Workplace health and safety standards for the adult film industry that require the use of condoms by Cal/OSHA exist, but enforcement is complaint driven and non-compliance within the industry is common. In 2012, Los Angeles County approved Measure B, which is the model for this initiative. No clear evidence has been found of Measure B’s effectiveness or impact on the industry. The porn industry has beaten implementation of stricter standards – with much of the same language as this initiative- in committee.

Proposition 61 – YES
State Prescription Drug Purchases, Pricing Standard Statute

This Proposition fights back against the drug companies’ price-gouging and it is expected to save lives. The Act would require California to negotiate with drug companies for prices that are no more than the amounts paid for the same drugs by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Unlike Medicare, the DVA negotiates for drug prices, and pays on average 20–24% less for medications than other government agencies, up to 40% less than Medicare Part D.

Proposition 62 – YES

Death Penalty Initiative

The Death Penalty in California will be replaced with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. There are currently 743 people awaiting execution in California and yet about 50 have appealed claiming their innocence or against such harsh punishment. Sadly, the passage of this initiative will finish their appeals and leave them to life imprisonment without any hope of being free. The financial and human costs of the death penalty are too high, however, and the Green Party supports an end to these grisly murders in our names. In addition, Proposition 66 is on the ballot, which would allow for a quicker rate of murder by the State of California. Many believe that Proposition 62 is the first step to serious Prison Reform.

Proposition 63 – NO

Firearms Ammunition Sales

The Initiative would prohibit the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines (holding over 10 bullets), a prohibition we support. However, that was already signed into law via SB 1446 in July; and, like all recent gun-control measures, Proposition 63 EXEMPTS active and retired law enforcement officers from their restrictions (which includes IRS officers, park rangers, etc.), some of whom were forced to “honorably retire” after violently misusing their power. This measure fails to hold accountable some of the most out-of-control firearms abusers. Prop. 63 is opposed by responsible gun-owner groups and even many law-enforcement groups.

Proposition 64 – YES

Marijuana Legalization

The California Marijuana Legalization Initiative would legalize marijuana and hemp under state law and enact certain sales and cultivation taxes. Most reasonable people have known for a long time that legalization is the only rational path to drug policy.

Proposition 65 – NO 

Carry-Out-Bags Charges

Out-of-state Big Plastic manufacturers, masquerading as environmentalists by falsely making claims that Bag Ban fees represent a “$300 million money grab,” among special interests. In fact, the bag fee revenues are regulated so the program is strictly non-profit. Proposition 65 also contains a poison pill that could tie up the bag ban in court for years and might cripple future bag ban legislation.

Proposition 66 – No, No, No on 66!

Death Penalty Reform

Kill ‘Em Quicker by eliminating/restricting many appeals. While making it easier for economic conservatives to support Capital Punishment, we believe it would only make the other aspects more severe. Obviously, the state would save even more by simply eliminating the death penalty.

Proposition 67 – YES

Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags
Within weeks of the enactment of the state-wide plastic bag ban, the Society of the Plastics Industry raised $6 million in the “American Progressive Bag Alliance” to challenge it. Supporters of Proposition 67 include the California League of Conservation Voters, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club California, the Story of Stuff Project, and the Turtle Island Restoration Network.

 

  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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