July 6, 2012
Contact: Shannan Velayas
SACRAMENTO - Californians interested in submitting arguments for and against the 11 measures set to appear on the November 6 General Election ballot are invited to do so by July 10. The arguments will be considered for inclusion in the Secretary of State's Official Voter Information Guide, also known as the ballot pamphlet, which is mailed to every voting household in California and made available online, in all polling places, and elsewhere.
People may submit arguments for or against any measure. Arguments selected for the Official Voter Information Guide will be on public display between July 24 and August 13. If multiple arguments are submitted for one proposition, state law gives first priority to arguments written by the official proponents of an initiative or referendum. Subsequent priority for the measures goes to bona fide citizen associations and then to individuals. No more than three signers are allowed to appear on an argument or rebuttal to an argument.
Ballot arguments cannot exceed 500 words and rebuttals to ballot arguments cannot exceed 250 words. All submissions should be typed and double-spaced. Arguments may be hand-delivered to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 1500 11th Street, 5th Floor, Sacramento, California 95814; faxed to (916) 653-3214; or emailed to VIGarguments@sos.ca.gov. If faxed or emailed, the original copies must be received within 72 hours. The deadline to submit ballot arguments is July 10 at 5:00 p.m. The deadline to submit rebuttals to the ballot arguments is July 19 at 5:00 p.m.
For more information on ballot measures, candidate filing requirements and election deadlines, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/2012-elections/nov-general.
To view past state voter guides, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/voter-information-guides.htm.
The November list of ballot measures includes one referendum and 10 initiatives. (On July 5 the Legislature voted to move a water bond measure from the November 2012 ballot to the November 2014 ballot. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation.) The measures – with official titles and summaries written by the California Attorney General – are listed below in alphabetical order (ballot order will be determined on or after July 9).
Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute. Changes current law to permit insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. Allows insurance companies to give proportional discounts to drivers with some prior insurance coverage. Will allow insurance companies to increase cost of insurance to drivers who have not maintained continuous coverage. Treats drivers with lapse as continuously covered if lapse is due to military service or loss of employment, or if lapse is less than 90 days. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Probably no significant fiscal effect on state insurance premium tax revenues. (11-0013.)
Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute. Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to persons already sentenced to death. Requires persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them. Creates $100 million fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net savings to the state and counties that could amount to the high tens of millions of dollars annually on a statewide basis due to the elimination of the death penalty. One-time state costs totaling $100 million from 2012-13 through 2015-16 to provide funding to local law enforcement agencies. (11-0035.)
Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute. Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits labeling or advertising such food as “natural.” Exempts foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential increase in state administrative costs of up to one million dollars annually to monitor compliance with the disclosure requirements specified in the measure. Unknown, but potentially significant, costs for the courts, the Attorney General, and district attorneys due to litigation resulting from possible violations to the provisions of this measure. (11-0099.)
Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute. Increases criminal penalties for human trafficking, including prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000. Fines collected to be used for victim services and law enforcement. Requires person convicted of trafficking to register as sex offender. Requires sex offenders to provide information regarding Internet access and identities they use in online activities. Prohibits evidence that victim engaged in sexual conduct from being used against victim in court proceedings. Requires human trafficking training for police officers. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential one-time local government costs of up to a few million dollars on a statewide basis, and lesser additional costs incurred each year, due to the new mandatory training requirements for certain law enforcement officers. Minor increase to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising human trafficking offenders. Unknown amount of additional revenue from new criminal fees, likely not to exceed the low millions of dollars annually, which would fund services for human trafficking victims. (11-0059)
Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute. Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Same use restriction would apply to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Permits voluntary employee contributions to employer or union committees if authorized yearly, in writing. Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees. Other political expenditures remain unrestricted, including corporate expenditures from available resources not limited by payroll deduction prohibition. Limits government contractor contributions to elected officers or officer-controlled committees. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state implementation and enforcement costs of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines. (11-0010.)
Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum. State Senate districts are revised every ten years following the federal census. This year, the voter-approved California Citizens Redistricting Commission revised the boundaries of the 40 Senate districts. This referendum petition, if signed by the required number of registered voters and filed with the Secretary of State, will: (1) Place the revised State Senate boundaries on the ballot and prevent them from taking effect unless approved by the voters at the next statewide election; and (2) Require court-appointed officials to set interim boundaries for use in the next statewide election. (11-0028)
State Budget. State and Local Government Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. Establishes two-year state budget cycle. Prohibits Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified. Permits Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act. Requires performance reviews of all state programs. Requires performance goals in state and local budgets. Requires publication of all bills at least three days prior to legislative vote. Gives counties power to alter state statutes or regulations related to spending unless Legislature or state agency vetoes changes within 60 days. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Decreased state revenues and commensurate increased local revenues, probably in the range of about $200 million annually, beginning in 2013-14. Potential decreased state program costs or increased state revenues resulting from changes in the fiscal authority of the Legislature and Governor. Increased state and local costs of tens of millions of dollars annually to implement new budgeting practices. Over time, these costs would moderate and potentially be offset by savings from improved program efficiencies. (11-0068)
Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute. Increases personal income tax rates for annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from .4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, ending after twelve years. During first four years, 60% of revenues go to K-12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, allocates 85% of revenues to K-12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs. Provides K-12 funds on school specific, per-pupil basis, subject to local control, audits, and public input. Prohibits state from directing or using new funds. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state personal income tax revenues beginning in 2013 and ending in 2024. Estimates of the revenue increases vary from $10 billion to $11 billion per fiscal year beginning in 2013-14, tending to increase over time. The 2012-13 revenue increase would be about half this amount. Until the end of 2016-17, 60 percent of revenues would be dedicated to K-12 education and 10 percent would be provided to early care and education programs. These allocations would supplement existing funding for these programs. In 2017-18 and subsequent years, 85 percent would be provided to K-12 education and 15 percent to early care and education. General Fund savings on debt-service costs of about $1.5 billion in 2012-13 and $3 billion in 2013-14, with savings tending to grow thereafter until the end of 2016-17. In 2015-16 and subsequent years with stronger growth in state personal income tax revenues, some of the revenues raised by this measure—several hundred million dollars per year—would be used for debt-service costs, resulting in state savings. (11-0100)
Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute. Requires multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. Repeals existing law giving multistate businesses an option to choose a tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California. Dedicates $550 million annually for five years from anticipated increase in revenue for the purpose of funding projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in California. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Approximately $500 million in additional state General Fund revenues in 2012-13 and $1 billion each year thereafter from requiring a single sales factor formula for corporate taxes, with about half of the additional annual revenues from 2013-14 through 2017-18 supporting energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. Increased Proposition 98 minimum funding guarantee for K-14 schools of roughly $225 million annually from 2012-13 through 2017-18 and by roughly $500 million each year thereafter, as a result of additional state General Fund revenues. (11-0080.)
Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Increases personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years. Increases sales and use tax by ¼ cent for four years. Allocates temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. Bars use of funds for administrative costs, but provides local school governing boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit, how funds are to be spent. Guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state revenues over the next seven fiscal years. Estimates of the revenue increases vary—from $6.8 billion to $9 billion for 2012-13 and from $5.4 billion to $7.6 billion, on average, in the following five fiscal years, with lesser amounts in 2018-19. These revenues would be available to (1) pay for the state's school and community college funding requirements, as increased by this measure, and (2) address the state's budgetary problem by paying for other spending commitments. Limitation on the state's ability to make changes to the programs and revenues shifted to local governments in 2011, resulting in a more stable fiscal situation for local governments. (12-0009)
Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute. Revises three strikes law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. Authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if third strike conviction was not serious or violent and judge determines sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety. Continues to impose life sentence penalty if third strike conviction was for certain non-serious, non-violent sex or drug offenses or involved firearm possession. Maintains life sentence penalty for felons with non-serious, non-violent third strike if prior convictions were for rape, murder, or child molestation. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: State savings related to prison and parole operations that potentially range in the high tens of millions of dollars annually in the short run, possibly exceeding $100 million annually in the long run. Increased state and county costs in the millions to low tens of millions of dollars annually in the first few years, likely declining substantially in future years, for state court activities and county jail, community supervision, and court-related activities. (11-0057)