Below is your third and final installment of the Proposition summaries. Remember that you can access the full details here: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/pdf/.
Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling. Initiative Statute.
- Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.
- Prohibits labeling or advertising such food, or other processed food, as “natural.”
- Exempts foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages.
- Opponents claim that foods made with GE ingredients are safe, that Prop. 37 exempts two-thirds of the foods Californians eat, and that consumers and taxpayers will have to pay higher prices.
- Supporters maintain that Prop. 37 will not raise food costs or taxes, that it only requires honest labeling (it does not ban GE food), and that “labeling is an important tool to protect your family’s health.”
Proposition 38: Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
- Increases personal income tax rates on annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from .4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, for twelve years.
- During first four years, allocates 60% of revenues to K–12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, allocates 85% of revenues to K–12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs.
- Provides K–12 funds on school-specific, per-pupil basis, subject to local control, audits, and public input.
- Prohibits state from directing new funds.
- Opponents cite tax rate increases of as much as 21% for the next 12 years, claiming that Prop. 38 will be unchangeable for 12 years “even in the case of fraud or waste.” They also claim that Prop. 38 “creates a costly new bureaucracy by forcing schools to go through complex red tape just to receive basic funding.”
- Supporters claim that tax rates will only increase between 0.4% and 2.2%, not 21%. They also assert that the money must be used directly for schools and that Sacramento politicians “cannot touch the money.” Prop. 38 can only be amended by voters, ensuring that the Legislature cannot reallocate the funds later.
Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
- Requires multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California.
- Repeals existing law giving multistate businesses an option to choose a tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California.
- Dedicates $550 million annually for five years from anticipated increase in revenue for the purpose of funding projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in California.
- Opponents allege that Prop. 39 is effectively a $1 billion tax increase that “gives California employers another reason not to invest or hire” and that there is no accountability, with no taxpayer protections.
- Supporters argue that Prop. 39 merely closes a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations that unfairly costs taxpayers more money. They claim that in fact Prop. 39 “will eliminate a barrier to creating jobs in California” and specifically creates thousands of clean energy jobs.
Proposition 40: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.
- A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
- If the new districts are rejected, the State Senate district boundary lines will be adjusted by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court.
- State Senate districts are revised every 10 years following the federal census.
- There is no official argument against Proposition 40.