On election day Californians weighed in on several ballot measures destined to impact the lives of residents for decades to come.
Voters were asked to weigh in on civic considerations that ranged from the legalization of marijuana; to the authorization of bonds to fund school construction and modifications; to a two dollar per pack cigarette tax; to whether the state will eliminate the death penalty or accelerate its administration.
Proposition 64, the legalization of recreational marijuana will generate revenue for much needed programs. With the measure’s passage, the measure’s advocates believe the state is now positioned to add approximately one billion dollars in additional revenue to its coffers. The good news is that in states where recreational marijuana is already legal, revenue has exceeded projections.
Much of the revenue will flow to local communities for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs; cleanup projects to remedy environmental damage from illegal pot growth and other projects aimed at reducing drunk driving.
Another big win for California residents this year was Proposition 55. With its passage, voters approved a twelve-year extension of the temporary “Millionaire Tax” initially passed in 2012. The tax will now continue to generate additional revenue for schools and healthcare for at least another dozen years. California voters also passed Proposition 51 that will generate billions of dollars in bonds for the construction and/or renovation of schools and other education facilities as needed around the state.
A measure of importance to low income residents in the inland region—Proposition 52 was also passed by voters. It will extend fees on hospitals for federal matching funds to care for uninsured patients and children.
California voters also defied gun lobbyists and passed Proposition 63 that requires ammunition be sold through licensed vendors with Department of Justice background checks. It also prohibits the sale and possession of large-capacity magazines.
With the passage of this Proposition, California became the first state in the nation to treat the sale of ammunition like the sale of guns. The measure’s sponsor, Lieutenant Governor Newsom, referred to this measure as “consequential” and expressed his belief that other states will follow.
What happens in California is not only of significance to its residents, it often reverberates across the country, and as the world’s sixth largest economy, it is often noted internationally.