How did Napa County vote on the state ballot measures? Scroll down for local results.
Voters on Tuesday approved a tax increase to benefit public education that supporters say will prevent deep budget cuts from impacting California schools.
With all precincts reporting, the "yes" votes led on Proposition 30, 54 to 46 percent. The funding measure was backed by Gov. Jerry Brown. A competing proposal, Proposition 38, was defeated.
Proposition 37, the proposal for genetically modified labeling, also was rejected by voters, along with separate measures to repeal the death penalty and to ban unions from using paycheck deductions for political purposes.
Proposition 35, which would increase fines and prison time for human trafficking, won passage by an overwhelming margin.
Voters were clearly divided on the ballot measures. Some like Santa Monica residents Linda and Craig Werwa supported a "yes" vote on Proposition 37, the food labeling measure.
"It's extremely important that people understand what they're eating," said Linda Werwa. The couple believes if California passes the initiative—which calls for a mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food—other states will follow suit.
In Venice, voter Karen Smith said she's "sick" of ballot measures. "I wish there were a proposition to end all proposition balloting." But she was selective in voting on the proposals, turning a thumbs down on propositions related to unions, food and insurance.
Irwin Feinberg waited outside a Pacific Palisades recreation center for his son Lyle, who was voting for the first time. Irwin said his biggest concern was Proposition 30.
"I'm involved in education and realize how important it is that we fund education," he said.
Here are descriptions and outcomes of the ballot measures:
Voters could choose between two initiatives, Propositions 30 and 38, both aimed at funding cash-strapped California schools. Proposition 30 will temporarily raise the sales tax by a quarter cent while increasing personal taxes over a seven-year period for Californians making more than $250,000. The money raised will be used primarily to fund education programs in California.
Eric Bauman, chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and vice-chair of the California Democratic Party, spoke of the importance of Proposition 30. "Its failure would be devastating to our state," Bauman said Tuesday.
If the proposition had not passed, it would have resulted in trigger cuts adding up to a loss of nearly $5.4 billion to K-14 programs, proponents said.
Proposition 31 was designed to establish a two-year state budget process and allow local governments to decide how state-funded programs are administered as well as create plans for providing services to the public, according to the Voter Information Guide. The initiative would have also restricted when the state Legislature can pass bills and its ability to decrease or increase state revenue.
With all precincts reporting, the measure failed to win enough support.
Proposition 32 would have made big changes to the state's campaign finance rules. Unions would have been banned from using money deducted from paychecks for political purposes. It would also have prevented government contractors and corporations from directly contributing to political candidates or their committees. The measure would have also banned government contractors from making financial contributions to “elected officers or their committees” as well, according to the Voter Information Guide.
Voters rejected the measure.
Proposition 33 was designed to allow consumers who have been with a car insurance company for five years to switch insurance companies while keeping “loyalty discounts." Supporters said it would save consumers money while its opponents contended it would only benefit Mercury Insurance, noting its chairman, George Joseph, had personally invested more than $16 million in an effort to pass the proposition.
The proposal also went down to defeat.
The debate over Proposition 34, a measure to repeal the death penalty, had been contentious. The proposition would have replaced the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Supporters said it would save the state money and get rid of a system that is no longer working.
“Proposition 34 ensures we never make a fatal mistake and execute the wrong person,” said San Francisco-based Natasha Minsker, Proposition 34’s campaign manager.
It also would have ensured those inmates were put to work and would set aside some of the money for a victim’s compensation fund, according to Minsker.
“Death row inmates sit in private cells and less than 1 percent have jobs in the prison system,” she said.
Bauman echoed some of her concerns.
"The death penalty is dysfunctional in California," Bauman said. "No one's been executed in years. Too many people have been found innocent after the fact."
Those who opposed Proposition 34 argued it was misleading and could be a dangerous proposition in the long run if it passed.
“Californians should be very concerned about being misled on an initiative that will weaken public safety,” said No on 34 campaign spokesman Peter DeMarco. “The campaign to abolish the death penalty has been conducted with misleading arguments claiming cost savings when the reality is none of the cost savings have been validated by a credible source.”
He also emphasized the large number of law enforcement agencies across the state who were against Proposition 34, including the Police Officers Research Association of California, the California Police Chiefs Association and the California Association of Highway Patrolmen.
“Without the potential sentencing of the death penalty, criminals will not think twice about pulling the trigger,” DeMarco said.
The electorate appeared to agree, with "no" votes outnumbering "yes" votes, 53 to 47 percent.
Proposition 35 will increase fines and prison time for those convicted of human trafficking. Under the measure, those who are convicted of human trafficking would also have to register as sex offenders, and all registered sex offenders would have to disclose their Internet identities and any activities on the Internet.
The measure passed by an overwhelming margin, 81 to 19 percent.
Proposition 36 will change California’s three-strikes law. It would amend the provisions so that a life sentence will only be required in cases of violent or serious crimes. Some of those convicted who have two prior serious convictions and are currently serving time for lesser crimes could possibly serve shorter prison terms.
Voters approved the measure.
Proposition 37 would have required mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food. Supporters said it would amount to companies simply adding “a few words to their labels,” said Stacy Malkan of the Yes on 37 campaign. However, Sacramento-based Kathy Fairbanks of the No on 37 campaign, disagreed.
“It’s not just a simple labeling measure,” Fairbanks said. “Proposition 37 also adds to the state taxpayers costs and the state debt. Proposition 37 adds about $1 million a year onto the cost of our state budget.”
Fairbanks said Californians would also face higher grocery bills, adding up to at least $350 a year per household on average.
“Restaurant food gets a blanket exemption,” Fairbanks said. “It sets up an inconsistent policy.”
Malkan said those who oppose the initiative were simply trying to confuse voters.
“We hear a lot of confusing details about the proposition, but the opposition is trying to make it confusing when it’s actually very simple,” Malkan said. “It’s just a label that gives us the right to know what’s in our food and decide for ourselves what we want to feed our families.”
Dave Murphy, co-chair of Yes on 37 and founder of the Iowa-based Food Democracy Now, said his organization is just picking up steam.
"It's a long-term struggle," Murphy said. "We have fundamentally changed the American consciousness, and we've changed the conversation for Americans. Corporations will no longer be allowed to hide what's in our food to protect corporate profits."
But the "no" votes prevailed, 53 to 47 percent.
Proposition 38, which had been primarily financed by Pasadena attorney Molly Munger, aimed to increase taxes on earnings by using a sliding scale for a total of 12 years. The revenue from the increase in state taxes, about $10 billion, would have been used to fund school programs.
Munger said via email Tuesday night that the battle is not over.
"In the fight for Proposition 38, a powerful coalition has begun coming together and a strong movement has been formed," Munger said. "As we continue this fight, we can and will build on all the good work that has been done. Transformational change takes time, and we are committed to staying the course until our state truly does tackle this school-funding crisis."
In this round, however, Proposition 38 failed by a wide margin.
Proposition 39 will force companies who do business to pay an income tax based on sales made in the state of California. The increase in revenue would be used to fund statewide clean energy projects. The measure would repeal the current law which allows multistate businesses to choose “a tax liability formula that provides favorable treatment for businesses with property and payroll” outside of the state, according to the Voter Information Guide.
Voters leaned heavily in favor of this measure, approving it.
Proposition 40 was a referendum on the California State Senate redistricting plan approved by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Under the measure, if the new state Senate districts were to be rejected, state officials supervised by the California Supreme Court would decide the district boundary lines.
It, too, won passage.
Napa County election returns: Unofficial totalsSTATE PROP 30 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent YES 18,023 57.04% NO 13,572 42.96% Total 31,595 100.00%
STATE PROP 31 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent NO 17,320 58.93% YES 12,069 41.07% Total 29,389 100.00%
STATE PROP 32 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent NO 17,535 56.25% YES 13,638 43.75% Total 31,173 100.00%
STATE PROP 33 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent NO 17,117 55.81% YES 13,552 44.19% Total 30,669 100.00%
STATE PROP 34 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent NO 16,174 51.88% YES 14,999 48.12% Total 31,173 100.00%
STATE PROP 35 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent YES 26,346 84.87% NO 4,696 15.13% Total 31,042 100.00%
STATE PROP 36 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent YES 21,640 69.76% NO 9,381 30.24% Total 31,021 100.00%
STATE PROP 37 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent NO 16,893 53.75% YES 14,534 46.25% Total 31,427 100.00%
STATE PROP 38 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent NO 22,513 72.74% YES 8,438 27.26% Total 30,951 100.00%
STATE PROP 39 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent YES 18,256 59.94% NO 12,201 40.06% Total 30,457 100.00%
STATE PROP 40 0/167 0.00% Vote Count Percent YES 21,800 74.77% NO 7,356 25.23% Total 29,156
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