Quick Review of 5 Impactful Propositions
Graphic By: Gabriel Schmittdiel
Prop 51: California Public School Facility Bonds Initiative
About The Proposition: This proposition will allow the state to give $9 billion in bonds to all of the public schools in California, which includes community colleges.
Predicted Impact: Public k-12 schools in California will be greatly benefited by this proposition, which can help renovate those campuses and classrooms. Since this proposition includes community colleges, this will help the continuation of construction around the Santa Monica College campuses and other community colleges around the state in order to improve their many facilities on their various campuses. Hopefully, that means SMC will be getting a new parking structure within the next few years.
Prop 56: Tobacco Tax Increase Initiative
About The Proposition: This proposition will increase the tax on tobacco products by $2.00, which includes electronic cigarettes.
Predicted Impact: This proposition will significantly help people who smoke either stop or quit, as seen in other states that have a high tobacco tax. New York currently has the legal smoking age at 21, which was implemented 3 years ago in 2013, but raising the age of being able to legally buy tobacco products was not an effective measure of stopping people from smoking alone. Back between the years of 2002 and 2006 New York City’s rate of smokers went down by 20%, according to the Scientific American, due to a high tobacco tax. Part of the increased tax revenue will be going towards programs that help stop and prevent youth smoking.
Prop 57: Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative
About The Proposition: This proposition gives criminals convicted of a non-violent crime more parole and good behavior opportunities. It also allows a judge to determine whether a juvenile will be tried as a juvenile or an adult, instead of a prosecutor. Rehabilitating people in prison is a way to actually deal with the problem of crime first hand, instead of just putting a temporary band-aid on it by keeping inmates locked up.
Predicted Impact: This gives people convicted of non-violent crimes a bigger incentive to rehabilitate themselves and change their ways for the better. It also will allow the already over-populated jails and prisons to focus more on the criminals who are harmful to society.
Prop 63: Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban Initiative
About The Proposition: This proposition will require a background check prior to the purchase of any ammunition and prohibits having large-capacity ammunition magazines. It also requires lost or stolen guns to be reported, and the proposition also makes stealing a gun a felony. Convicted felons would also be required by the law to turn in any guns in their possession.
Predicted Impact: This proposition will prevent guns from going into the wrong hands which will thus prevent many tragedies from occurring. There have been many gun related crimes over the last few years, so this proposition is definitely a start to combatting those crimes.
Prop 64: Marijuana Legalization Initiative
About The Proposition: This proposition will allow any person of 21 years of age or older the recreational use of marijuana. This proposition will create a tax for marijuana, which will bring California hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax money. A good portion of that new tax will go to drug education and prevention programs. Tax money will also be saved by a significant decrease in marijuana offenders.
Predicted Impact: Since the recreational use of marijuana is now legal state wide, there will be a tax with the purchase of marijuana which can help the economy. Marijuana smokers still need to be careful though, since anyone caught smoking under the age of 21 will be subject to receiving fines. Although this proposition gives more freedom and responsibilities to marijuana smokers, it is also a step closer to marijuana becoming federally legal, which will allow a lot more research to be conducted on its many health benefits.