The Bee’s editorial board, whose members can be seen at the bottom of this page, have studied most of the statewide ballot propositions and reached a consensus for recommendations – except in a few cases. Those will require more study; the board anticipates making its recommendation on those issues soon. Here are The Bee’s recommendations so far:
▪ Proposition 51, $9 billion school construction bonds. Yes. For more than a century, the state has used such bonds to fund school buildings; this one includes renovations.
▪ Proposition 52, Hospital fees extension. Yes. Even the hospitals are in favor of taxing themselves to provide better care for the poor.
▪ Proposition 53, Voter approval for bonded projects in excess of $2 billion. Undecided. We like the concept but worry about some unintended consequences.
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▪ Proposition 54, Legislative transparency. Yes. Would require all legislation to be available to the public for 72 hours before a vote can be taken.
▪ Proposition 55, Education tax extension. Yes. We don’t like extending taxes, but without it teachers and other educators could be laid off.
▪ Proposition 56, Tobacco tax. Yes. After 16 years, it’s time to increase the price per pack to make tobacco use less affordable.
▪ Proposition 57, Revisions in parole structure. No. Gov. Jerry Brown considers this his most important legacy, but local law enforcement is adamantly opposed.
▪ Proposition 58, Bilingual education. Yes. Allows students to learn subject matter in their first language.
▪ Proposition 59, Citizens United referendum. Yes. This shouldn’t be on the ballot, but the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited hidden political contributions should be overturned.
▪ Proposition 60, Condoms for pornographic actors. No. It will be impossible to police this industry, and we don’t like allowing lawyers to sue for rewards.
▪ Proposition 61, Drug pricing limits. No. Unintended consequences of this initiative could increase drug prices for veterans and everyone else.
▪ Proposition 62, Abolish death penalty. Yes. Too many deadly mistakes, costs are too high.
▪ Proposition 63, Limits on ammunition purchases. Yes. The idea of background checks for bullets is appealing, but is it unwieldy?
▪ Proposition 64, Recreational marijuana. Yes. Learning from legalization efforts in Colorado and Oregon, this is our best chance to control and tax an existing underground industry.
▪ Proposition 65, Disposable bag fees. No. This is subterfuge, an effort to overturn the ban enacted in 2014.
▪ Proposition 66, Speeding up death penalty. No. Any limits on death penalty appeals will result in killing innocent people.
▪ Proposition 67, Disposable bag referendum. Yes. This reaffirms the ban on plastic bags.
▪ President: Hillary Clinton
▪ U.S. Senate: Kamala Harris
▪ 10th Congressional District: Michael Eggman
▪ Stanislaus Measure L, Transportation sales tax: Yes