Civinomics Initiative Filings

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August 25, 2015 – Suggested last day for proponent(s) to submit proposed measure to the California Attorney General and request a circulating title and summary.
sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures

We are exactly two weeks away from the suggested last date to submit a ballot initiative in California. While Civinomics has frequently focused on local politics (city and county), a large part of the site design went into preparing for this moment. You may have noticed for instance that all of the proposals on the site are called “initiatives.” This is because we imagined it could be a place for people to vet and discuss proposals long in advance of elections and submission deadlines.

Afterall, the amount that an initiative can be edited once submitted remains one of the shortcomings of the process. There is a 30 day public comment period during which proponents can respond to feedback with amendments to the ballot measure, but after that, the text is more or less set in stone. Even the CA legislature cannot suggest changes to make the more proposal more effective. Allowing initiative proponents to accept proposed amendments by the legislature is one of the reforms that Ted Anagnoson, Political Science professor at UCSB proposed in “Governing California in the 21st Century.”

In light of the upcoming deadline we thought we’d share what are currently the top CA initiatives on the site.

Should CA Implement an Oil and Gas Extraction Tax?
CA is currently the only major oil producing state without an oil and gas extraction tax. This initiative would tax oil and gas extraction in increasing amounts annually and reaching a maximum in 20 years. All proceeds from the tax would be used to fund tax breaks for low and middle class Californians. The goal of the initiative is to have an effectively non-existent new tax burden on consumers/California residents while incentivizing a shift to sustainable forms of transportation, heating, cooking, etc.



Statewide Moratorium on Fracking – SB 1132
[SB 1132](http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billStatusClient.xhtml) would place a statewide moratorium on all fracking until a scientific study to determine the effects of fracking is completed.



Should California Put Warning Labels on Sugary Drinks?
State Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) has proposed legislation that would require sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and fruit drinks to have a prominently displayed warning label that states the health risks of drinks with added sugar. If passed, California would be the first in the nation to implement such a policy.



CA SMART Highway Initiative
Immediately halts spending on high-speed rail so that other proposals can be considered. Renames high-speed rail fund the Transportation Innovation Fund (TIF). Establishes a Transportation Innovation Fund Committee to approve TIF uses.Ensures long term funding of the Transportation Innovation Fund by directing funding from state Cap and Trade program to TIF and Establishing a statewide highway usage toll that is directed to the TIF.Requires that the State of CA use highway right-of-ways for the most efficient transportation technologies whether publicly or privately operated.



Require Municipalities to Plan to Build Enough Units so that 20 Percent of their Population can Afford to Rent a 1 Bedroom Apartment While Earning the Area Median Income.
Every city and county within the State of California is required to update their Housing Elements every 4 years, planning for enough new development to keep pace with population growth. However, these plans don’t necessarily result in the development of new housing, only resulting in new zoning that could accommodate additional units. This initiative would mandate that they also include goals that take into account affordability, specifically, that at least 20 percent of the population, who is earning the Area Median Income, be able to affordable 1 bedroom apartment, spending nor more than one third of their gross monthly income.



SB128 – Pass the “Right to Die” Bill in California
This California Legislation would give Physicians and some Pharmacists legal immunity from participating in deaths of terminally ill patients who wish to die. The law is modeled after a similar law in Oregon called “Death with Dignity”, which has been around for 17 years. This legislation is semi controversial, especially amongst those with religious beliefs concerning suicide. It has also been opposed by the California Medical Association, which says it conflicts with a doctor’s ethical duties. The legislation is being proposed after the recent death of Brittany Maynard, whose youtube video explaining her choice was viewed over 15 million times.



 

The following initiatives scored very well, but have already been submitted:

Increase the California Minimum Wage to $15.00 an Hour
Currently the California minimum wage is $9.00/hour, and is set to increase to $10.00/hour come 2016. This initiative would expand this existing increase schedule for 4 more years, increasing the minimum wage a dollar a year from 2016-2021, meaning that California would have a $15.00/hour minimum wage by 2021. This initiative does not include any exemptions as of now, but will be updated as the statewide ballot measure continues to progress.



Should CA Legalize Marijuana for Recreational Use?
The measure would legalize recreational marijuana for adults and, according to proponents, regulate and tax the drug like alcohol. The initiative will be similar to 2012’s Washington Initiative 502 and Colorado Amendment 64, which were both approved by voters.The campaign is currently spearheaded by Marijuana Policy Project and the Drug Policy Alliance.



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