Ballot propositions have a nasty habit of forcing voters to give black-and-white answers to complex, multifaceted questions. They often leave nuance out of the equation.
This year, California voters are faced with the longest list of ballot propositions since 2000, and sifting through them is no short process.
Luckily, The Daily Californian’s Senior Editorial Board discussed all 17 propositions to understand which were most worthy of voter approval and which should never become law. And yes, this process often required giving blanket, yes-or-no answers to flawed propositions.
But in November, Californians have 17 opportunities to change the state for the better.
Here’s our take.
Yes on 51: Bonds for public schools
State public education, as a whole, needs more money, and Proposition 51 will provide it.
Yes on 52: Stop diverting Medi-CAL funds
When it comes to taking money best spent on the health care of underprivileged Californians, it seems like a decision best not left to a group of largely upper-class white men in Sacramento. Proposition 52 is something Californians need — so let’s make it happen.
No on 53: Voter approval for revenue bond projects
It doesn’t make sense to force the state to wait until voters approve projects that don’t always apply to them. That’s the point of electing representatives anyway.
Yes on 54: For transparent governance
Should Proposition 54 be approved, the law would require that the state Legislature publish any legislation online at least 72 hours before voting on it.
Yes on 55: Extend tax hikes for the rich
In accordance with Proposition 30, the tax increases are set to expire by the end of the year, but Proposition 55 will make sure that single filers who earn more than $250,000 annually and joint filers who earn more than $500,000 annually continue to pay a higher percentage of taxes.
Yes on 56: Higher cigarette taxes
As of now, California has one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the nation at 87 cents. The national average is $1.63, and New York City’s cigarette tax is more than $4. It’s past time for California to catch up.
Yes on 57: Alleviate overstuffed prisons
This won’t affect public safety. It can only serve to alleviate the pressure on our prisons. Vote yes on Proposition 57.
Yes on 58: Bilingual education
Proposition 58 will not completely rectify the disadvantages brought upon students in the California public education system who do not speak perfect English, but it is a step toward creating a more equitable education for students who speak English as a second language. It’s a step Californians should take.
Yes on 59: Against Citizens United decision
It may be symbolic, but it sends a message. California, which has the largest state population in the U.S., shouldn’t stand behind that 2010 decision. Let’s fight to overturn it — that’s as simple as a vote.
No on 60: Condoms in porn
In a world where sex workers already face so many legal and societal hurdles, placing one more doesn’t help anybody. Almost all sex workers are against it, and we’re in no position to ignore the community the proposition would primarily affect. Vote against Proposition 60.
No on 61: Prescription drug pricing
Though Proposition 61 is a valiant attempt at holding that industry back, it leaves drug companies with too much power to react negatively. We have to come out against it.
Yes on 62, no on 66: Abolish the death penalty
Vote yes on Proposition 62 and no on 66 — for a California that respects itself enough to stop its participation in state-sanctioned murder.
Yes on 63: Stricter ammunition restrictions
These are common-sense practices that will further prevent lethal weapons from falling into the hands of the wrong people.
Yes on 64: Legalize marijuana
We’ll be blunt: It’s about time.
No on 65, yes on 67: Uphold plastic bag ban
Those who care at all about the environment ought to vote yes on Proposition 67 and uphold the state’s ban on plastic bags. They ought to then vote no on Proposition 65 and send a message to the plastic bag industry that its trickery will not go unpunished.