2016 Ballot may be longest in a decade

By Michael Shaw

Capitol Update, Nov. 13, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Just under one year out from the November 2016 election, the number of initiatives voters may face increases daily and may be the highest number in more than 10 years. According to the Secretary of State, seven measures have qualified for the ballot (one in June and all others in November) with nearly 20 additional propositions possible for the November election. Not since 2000 have Californians seen such a lengthy ballot on Election Day when voters had to act on 20 initiatives. 

The Secretary of State and Attorney General are reviewing and providing summaries for the more than 80 propositions many of which will never see the light of day, but with nearly 20 likely to make the ballot grocery shoppers can expect to be faced with an onslaught of paid signature gatherers over the next several months. Measures that have already qualified for the ballot include a referendum to overturn the ban on single-use plastic bags, require a 2/3 vote threshold for imposing additional fees on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal and mandate voter approval of all state revenue bonds. \

One of the higher priority issues voters will have to decide is the extension of parts of the Proposition 30 temporary tax increases that are set to expire over the next two years. Several versions are under consideration by proponents, but one common factor is that the income tax increase component would be extended and the sales tax component would not. Competing initiatives on a ballot have generally proven to be a problem in the past as voters either become confused about which one they prefer or lose interest and fail to act on either measure. Under that fear, proponents of the different propositions came together to negotiate a compromise measure that they would all get behind. The groups, including doctors, hospitals, teachers and unions, would prove a very potent force with deep pockets to push a single measure with voters.

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