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California propositions: 30, 35, 36, 39, 40 pass; 32, 34, 37, 38 fail

November 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
California voters have approved Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to raise income taxes on the wealthy and raise the state sales tax to fund education and help balance the budget.

If Prop. 30 had not passed, public education in California could have lost millions of dollars. The Los Angeles Unified School District said that would have meant possibly cutting the school year by three weeks this year, and community colleges and public universities would see fewer slots and tuition hikes.

Under Prop. 30, the sales tax would go up by a quarter-cent on the dollar for four years. The measure will also raise the income tax on people who earn more than $250,000 for seven years.

In total, that would generate an extra $6 billion annually for public schools. If there is any additional tax revenue, that could be used to fund other state programs.

Meantime, California voters rejected Proposition 38, which would have increased personal income tax rates for 12 years on a sliding scale.

Proposition 38, which was bankrolled by civil rights attorney Molly Munger, would have raised about $10 million for public schools.

OTHER PROPOSITIONS AND MEASURES

California voters rejected Proposition 32, which would have put limits on union campaign contributions. Proposition 32 would've eliminated union's primary fundraising tool and deduct from members' paychecks for political campaigns. It would've curtailed unions and corporations contributions to political candidates.

Proposition 31, an effort to reform the state legislature's budget process, was rejected by voters.

California voters also rejected Proposition 33, the auto insurance continuous coverage discount. It would have been offered to drivers who have been insured continuously for five years or more.

Proposition 34, a measure that would have repealed the state's death penalty, failed. The measure was intended to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole and switch the death sentences of current death row inmates to life terms.

Proposition 35, which dramatically increases the penalties for human trafficking, easily passed. Prison terms will go from the current maximum eight years up to 12 years to life, and fines will increase as high as $1.5 million.

Proposition 36, amending the "three strikes" law, was also approved by voters. Judges will now impose a life sentence only when the third felony conviction is serious or violent.

Proposition 39, which seeks to eliminate a loophole that businesses are currently able to use to pay less in taxes, has passed. According to the state tax board, the loophole's closure could bring in about a billion dollars.

Proposition 40, which was an abandoned measure by both sides, also passed, approving the new State Senate district lines. Prop 40 initially was an effort by California Republicans to reject the state Senate redistricting map, which was put together by a non-partisan, independent commission. But sponsors later withdrew their opposition.

California voters rejected Proposition 37, which would have required labels on genetically-engineered foods.

Measure H, which proposed a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks in the city of El Monte, was struck down by voters.


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