The Los Angeles LGBT Center has announced its recommendations on 11 of California’s statewide propositions, including the controversial Prop. 61 regarding pharmaceutical drug costs, and one of the Los Angeles City measures.
“If any election was proof that California’s ‘make the law by ballot measure’ system is broken, it’s this one,” said Dave Garcia, the Center’s director of policy and community building. “So many measures are on the ballot—and of such complexity—that few voters will have the opportunity to fully educate themselves on all the issues. We believe that passing legislation is the role of elected officials, not a simple majority of voters. But because this is the system we have, the Center has studied the propositions and is making recommendations on many of the propositions.”
The Center is recommending a “no” vote on two propositions — Prop. 60 and Prop. 61 — promoted by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Although proponents claim it will reduce drug prices, experts disagree on whether it will really accomplish that result. Additionally, if Prop. 61 passes, it may actually result in Center clients having to pay more for their medicine,” the Center said in a press release.
On the highly publicized “condoms in porn” measure, Prop. 60, also promoted by AHF, the Center is recommending a “no” vote. The Center argues that state law already protects adult film performers. “If passed, this law would further drive the porn industry underground,” it says.
On Los Angeles City measure HHH, which asks voters to approve a $1.2 billion bond to finance supportive and affordable housing for homeless people, the Center is recommending a “yes” vote.
The complete list of Center ballot recommendations (with proposition descriptions from the Los Angeles Times and Center staff) is as follows:
Prop. 52 YES
Restricts diverting funds away from Medi-Cal
A yes vote makes it harder for the legislature to divert funds that are otherwise supposed to be spent on Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program serving low-income individuals, including families, seniors, persons with disabilities, children in foster care, and pregnant women.
Prop. 55 YES
Extends income tax rates for wealthiest Californians
A yes vote adds 12 years to the life of income tax rates imposed by the 2012 Proposition 30. Those rates, a 1% to 3% surtax on incomes above $250,000 a year, would continue through 2030. The money would be spent on California schools and government healthcare programs. Within a year of winning overwhelming support by voters, Proposition 30 stabilized school funding, allowing school districts to avert thousands of teacher layoffs and helped the legislature balance its budget for the first time in years without slashing social programs.
Prop. 56 YES
Raises tobacco tax by $2 a pack
A yes vote raises taxes on tobacco and electronic cigarette products containing nicotine. The money would be used on healthcare and tobacco-control programs. Raising the price of tobacco has consistently been shown to reduce smoking.
Prop. 57 YES
Creates new parole rules for nonviolent felons
A yes vote would allow prisoners serving time for a nonviolent crime to become eligible for early release based on their effort to earn credits for education and good behavior while incarcerated. The initiative also would eliminate the existing law that can send a juvenile offender immediately to an adult court hearing.
Prop. 59 YES
Instructs California officials to work for Citizens United repeal
A yes vote instructs California officials to work toward a repeal of the Citizens United campaign finance ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. That ruling opened the door to unlimited spending on federal campaigns by corporations and unions, and could be overturned by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The measure is largely a way for California voters to express their opinion on money in politics.
Prop. 60. NO
Over-regulates adult film industry
Current state law already protects porn actors. We do not support the penalties that could be imposed on movie producers for violations of this new law. This law will only serve to further drive the porn industry underground, threatening the health and safety of the actors.
Prop. 61 NO
Imposes price limits on prescription drugs for small number of state agencies
While we all agree the cost of prescription drugs are too high and lowering those costs is a good thing, nobody knows if this proposition will actually accomplish that. Experts disagree. It is possible that should this proposition pass, Center clients may end up paying more and state programs like the AIDS Drug Assistance Program could actually lose funding. The reality is, we do not know the true ramifications of this proposal.
Prop. 62 YES
Repeals the death penalty
A yes vote ends the death penalty in California with death row sentences converted to life without parole. The measure would send more money earned for prison work to victim resolution efforts.
Prop. 63 YES
Institutes a number of gun controls
A yes vote bans the sale and possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines. It would also impose background checks for purchasing ammunition, new felony charges for gun thefts and rules for keeping guns away from felons.
Prop. 64 YES
Legalizes adult use of marijuana
A yes vote legalizes marijuana and hemp. Sales would be limited to those 21 and older. State taxes would be collected from buyers, and local taxes would be allowed. Most of the tax revenues would go toward law enforcement and marijuana education programs. In addition, individuals convicted of marijuana crimes could ask to have their sentences reduced, or if they are no longer incarcerated, could ask the courts to have their criminal records changed.
Prop. 66 NO
Reduces the rights of individuals on death row
A no vote continues to protect individuals on death row and allow for the current appeals process. We believe a no vote on Prop 66 is consistent with our support of Prop 62. We do not support the death penalty or reducing the rights of individuals currently on death row.
Los Angeles Measure HHH
Homelessness reduction and prevention, housing, and facilities bond
A yes vote raises funds to help reduce homelessness in Los Angeles. The proposal asks voters to approve a $1.2-billion general obligation bond, basically a type of loan, to finance the construction of supportive and affordable housing for homeless people in the city of Los Angeles. Supportive housing refers to a type of housing that also includes on-site services, such as case managers and physical and mental health care.
On Nov. 8, the Center is hosting an election night party at Next Door Lounge in Hollywood. Members of the LGBT community and their allies are invited to join Center friends and supporters as they watch the election returns on television monitors throughout the venue and enjoy complimentary food and a cash bar with drink specials. RSVPs can be made online.