Voters to Decide on Twelve Ballot Measures

The 2008 presidential race may be on the minds of voters, but California voters will also face another long list of state measures. With the deadline for new propositions now closed, there are twelve state propositions qualified for the Tuesday, November 4, 2008 general election.

Proposition 1A, known as the “Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond act for the 21st Century”, would create a 700-mile rapid train system within the state of California. The plan is to construct a high-speed rail system to link California’s most bustling cities, from Sacramento to San Diego. Priority is set for a transit line between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Proposition 2 establishes the humane treatment of farm animals. If this measure passes, farm animals must be allowed to extend their limbs, stand up, sit down, and turn around for a majority of the day.

A $980 million dollar bond measure to distribute funds to children’s hospitals in Los Angeles is known as Proposition 3. 80% of the funds from this state measure targets hospitals for children with severe diseases like leukemia, cancer, heart defects, and cystic fibrosis. The remaining 20% would be allocated to the University of California general acute care hospitals.

Proposition 4 seeks to mandate that an impregnated minor must have parental or a guardian’s consent at least forty-eight hours in advance prior to having an abortion. Should this measure pass, the physician would judge whether the abortion should be given according to factors should as the patient’s maturity and best interest. Similar ballot measures have failed in the past (Proposition 73), most notably in 2005.

State measures 5, 6, and 9 involve crimes; Proposition 5 reduces the consequences for non-violent drug offenders and parolees, Proposition 6 increases penalties for felonies, and Proposition 9 increases the amount of people allowed to testify for suspects.

Measures 7 and 10 target the issue of alternative energy. Proposition 7 requires all government-owned utilities to generate 20% of their power from renewable sources of energy by 2010. Measure 10 authorizes $5 billion in bonds for research, development, and production of alternative fuel vehicles and energy.

A controversial measure known as Proposition 8 would define marriage as between one male and one female individual. Proposition 8 is an initiative to amend the state of California’s constitution. In May, the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages in California.

Proposition 11 creates a fourteen-member redistricting commission to draw new district boundaries for the state Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization. This measure has been endorsed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The last state measure, Proposition 12, provides the financing for farm and home aid for California’s veterans.

All measures were summarized based on the California Secretary of State’s website. The last day to register to vote is October 20, 2008.


This article was written by Sophia Chang. It was published today in the Temple City Voice on September 17, 2008.


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