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California 2008 General Election Ballot Measures


Proposition 1A - Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act

Summary: Provides for a bond issue of $9.95 billion to establish high-speed train service linking Southern California counties, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area; provides that at least 90% of these bond funds shall be spent for specific construction projects, with private and public matching funds required, including, but not limited to, federal funds, funds from revenue bonds, and local funds; requires that use of all bond funds is subject to independent audits; and appropriates money from the General Fund to pay bond principal and interest.

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Proposition 2 - Standards for Confining Farm Animals. Initiative Statute.

Summary: Requires that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely; exceptions made for transportation, rodeos, fairs, 4-H programs, lawful slaughter, research and veterinary purposes. Provides misdemeanor penalties, including a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment in jail for up to 180 days.

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Proposition 3 - Children's Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program. Initiative Statute.

Summary: Authorizes $980,000,000 in bonds, to be repaid from state’s General Fund, to fund the construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of children’s hospitals; designates that 80 percent of bond proceeds go to hospitals that focus on children with illnesses such as leukemia, cancer, heart defects, diabetes, sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis; requires that qualifying children’s hospitals provide comprehensive services to a high volume of children eligible for governmental programs and meet other requirements; and designates that 20 percent of bond proceeds go to University of California general acute care hospitals.


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Proposition 4 - Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Summary: Changes the California Constitution to prohibit abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent or legal guardian; permits notification to certain adult relatives if doctor reports parent to law enforcement or Child Protective Services; provides notification exceptions for medical emergency or parental waiver; permits courts to waive notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or best interests; mandates reporting requirements, including reports from physicians regarding abortions on minors; authorizes damages against physicians for violation; and requires minor’s consent to abortion, with exceptions.

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Proposition 5 - Nonviolent Drug Offenses. Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation. Initiative Statute.

Summary: Allocates $460,000,000 annually to improve and expand treatment programs for persons convicted of drug and other offenses; limits court authority to incarcerate offenders who commit certain drug crimes, break drug treatment rules or violate parole; substantially shortens parole for certain drug offenses; increases parole for serious and violent felonies; divides Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation authority between two Secretaries, one with six year fixed term and one serving at pleasure of Governor. Provides five year fixed terms for deputy secretaries; and creates 19 member board to direct parole and rehabilitation policy.


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Proposition 6 - Police and Law Enforcement Funding. Criminal Penalties and Laws. Initiative Statute.

Summary: Requires minimum of $965,000,000 each year to be allocated from state General Fund for police, sheriffs, district attorneys, adult probation, jails and juvenile probation facilities. Some of this funding will increase in following years according to California Consumer Price Index; makes approximately 30 revisions to California criminal law, many of which cover gang-related offenses. Revisions create multiple new crimes and additional penalties, some with the potential for new life sentences; and increases penalties for violating a gang-related injunction and for felons carrying guns under certain conditions.

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Proposition 7 - Renewable Energy Generation. Initiative Statute.

Summary: Requires utilities, including government-owned utilities, to generate 20% of their power from renewable energy by 2010, a standard currently applicable only to private electrical corporations; raises requirement for utilities to 40% by 2020 and 50% by 2025; imposes penalties, subject to waiver, for noncompliance; transfers some jurisdiction of regulatory matters from Public Utilities Commission to Energy Commission; fast-tracks approval for new renewable energy plants; requires utilities to sign longer contracts (20 year minimum) to procure renewable energy; and creates account to purchase rights-of-way and facilities for the transmission of renewable energy.

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Proposition 8  - Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Summary: Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California and provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

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Proposition 9 - Criminal Justice System. Victims' Rights. Parole. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Summary: Requires notification to victim and opportunity for input during phases of criminal justice process, including bail, pleas, sentencing and parole; establishes victim safety as consideration in determining bail or release on parole; increases the number of people permitted to attend and testify on behalf of victims at parole hearings; reduces the number of parole hearings to which prisoners are entitled; requires that victims receive written notification of their constitutional rights; and establishes timelines and procedures concerning parole revocation hearings.

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Proposition 10 - Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy. Bonds. Initiative Statute.

Summary: Provides $3.425 billion to help consumers and others purchase certain high fuel economy or alternative fuel vehicles, including natural gas vehicles, and to fund research into alternative fuel technology; provides $1.25 billion for research, development and production of renewable energy technology, primarily solar energy with additional funding for other forms of renewable energy; incentives for purchasing solar and renewable energy technology; provides grants to cities for renewable energy projects and to colleges for training in renewable and energy efficiency technologies; total funding provided is $5 billion from general obligation bonds


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Proposition 11 - Redistricting. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Summary: Changes authority for establishing Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization district boundaries from elected representatives to 14 member commission; requires government auditors to select 60 registered voters from applicant pool. Permits legislative leaders to reduce pool, then the auditors pick eight commission members by lottery, and those commissioners pick six additional members for 14 total; requires commission of five Democrats, five Republicans and four of neither party. Commission shall hire lawyers and consultants as needed; and for approval, district boundaries need votes from three Democratic commissioners, three Republican commissioners and three commissioners from neither party.

Proposition 12 - Veterans' Bond Act of 2008

Summary: This act provides for a bond issue of nine hundred million dollars ($900,000,000) to provide loans to California veterans to purchase farms and homes and appropriates money from the state General Fund to pay off the bonds, if loan payments from participating veterans are insufficient for that purpose.

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