Would enable property owners forced to abandon their homes because of environmental contamination to rebuild or purchase a replacement home without incurring higher property taxes.
* Arguments for: Homeowner victims of natural disasters, including floods, fires and earthquakes, are protected from paying increased property taxes when they rebuild or replace their residences. The same opportunity should be extended to people whose properties are left uninhabitable or unusable by toxic or hazardous materials.
* Arguments against: Could reduce tax money that local governments spend on schools, community colleges and local services.
* Supporters: Assemblyman Curt Pringle (R-Garden Grove); Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.; Sierra Club.
* Opponents: None
Record $9.2-billion bond measure would help pay for construction and repair of public schools, colleges and universities over four years. More than 70% of the money, $6.7 billion, would be spent at the primary and secondary level; $700 million of that would be set aside to help pay the costs of class size reduction efforts already undertaken. New state building standards designed to reduce costs would apply. Funds would be available to relieve inner-city school overcrowding, based on a 20% local match. An additional $2.5 billion would be spent on construction and repair of higher education facilities.
* Arguments for: Schools urgently need these funds to repair deteriorating, ill-equipped classrooms and relieve severe overcrowding that has contributed to falling academic performance.
* Arguments against: Bonds are the wrong financing tool. With interest, a $9.2-billion bond would cost closer to $15 billion. School needs could be met with funds already on hand in the state treasury.
* Supporters: Gov. Pete Wilson, gubernatorial candidates Lt. Gov. Gray Davis and Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren, California Taxpayers Assn., California Teachers Assn., California Chamber of Commerce, California Business Roundtable, California Building Industry Assn.
* Opponents: California Republican Assembly, a conservative grass-roots group; National Tax Limitation Committee; People’s Advocate Inc.
Would place tighter restrictions on repayment of loans from state transportation funds to the state general fund. Generally, such loans would have to be repaid within the same fiscal year.
* Arguments for: Would ensure timely repayment of funds earmarked for highway and other transportation projects.
* Arguments against: There could be cuts to education, welfare, MediCal and prison funding if the general fund cannot borrow money from the transportation fund.
* Supporters: Asphalt Pavement Assn., California Chamber of Commerce, Caterpillar Inc., Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Sierra Club, United Transportation Union, various construction material suppliers and contractor organizations.
* Opponents: None
Would change California’s blanket primary law to require closed, partisan primaries in presidential races. Would limit voting for delegates to presidential nominating conventions to voters registered by party affiliation.
* Arguments for: Enables party members to elect their own presidential delegates without interference from members of other parties or independent voters. Assures that elected California delegates would be seated at their 2000 national conventions.
* Arguments against: The blanket primary law should be allowed to work as voters intended when they approved Proposition 198 in 1996. Proposition 3 is an effort by “power brokers” to reverse the voters’ action.
* Supporters: Democratic and Republican parties; Gov. Pete Wilson; legislative leaders of both parties; California Farm Bureau and Traditional Values Coalition.
* Opponents: No organized campaign. Assemblyman Jack Scott (D-Altadena) wrote the ballot argument against Proposition 3.
Would prohibit the use of body-gripping, leg-hold or snare traps for sport or commercial trapping. Would outlaw use of steel-jawed leg-hold traps, except as a last resort by a government agent to protect human health and safety. Would outlaw buying, selling or trading in furs taken with these types of traps. Would prohibit use of two types of poison on any animal.
* Arguments for: Leg-hold and other body-gripping traps are cruel, inhumane and indiscriminate, often resulting in painful injuries and death for animals, sometimes including pets. More humane traps are currently available for wildlife biologists to protect species from predators; other forms of predator control are available to ranchers and wildlife managers. The poisons, Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide, are harmful to non-targeted animals and to the environment.
* Arguments against: Traps and poisons now in use are safe, effective and proven methods of wildlife resource management. Current methods are grounded in research and experience. Proposition would eliminate tools that wildlife managers, researchers and ranchers use to control animal populations, animals that carry disease and wildlife that prey on livestock and some endangered species. Would greatly increase taxpayers’ costs.
* Supporters: Humane Society of the United States; American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Doris Day; Sierra Club, California; The International Fund for Animal Welfare; California Democratic Party; SPCA Los Angeles; Actors and Others for Animals.
* Opponents: California Farm Bureau Federation; Humane Society of Sonoma County; California Chapter of the National Audubon Society; California Cattlemen’s Assn.; California Wool Growers Assn.; California Waterfowl Assn.
Would force the governor to allow California’s Indian tribes to operate the types of casinos open at 41 reservations, under guidelines written by the tribes. Minimum gambling age would be 18. There would be no limit on the number of video gambling machines. Calls for the casinos to be primarily regulated by the tribes themselves, with little state oversight or restrictions, but in accordance with federal laws established by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.
* Arguments for: Would provide revenue for reservation government, housing, health, welfare and other programs, and fund other types of reservation economic development. Would create jobs for non-Indians, and generate business for non-Indian companies that provide services or goods to casinos. Would help keep some gaming revenue in California. Would allow the sharing of some casino revenue with non-gaming tribes.
* Arguments against: Would change state law to allow expansion of Indian gaming activities, leading to “Nevada-style” casinos in California. Would require the governor to sign an agreement without negotiating its contents. Would result in Indian casino operations that are not subject to state environmental and worker protection laws and certain state taxes. Would not be necessary because current law allows for tribes to legally operate casinos by negotiating compacts with the governor. Would create an unfair advantage for Native American casinos over other California gaming businesses.
* Supporters: San Manuel Indians; Morongo Indians; California Democratic Council; California League of United Latin American Citizens; California State Firefighters Assn.; city of Cathedral City.
* Opponents: Pala band of Mission Indians; Table Mountain Rancheria; John Van de Kamp, former California attorney general; Caesars World; Hilton Hotels; Mirage Resorts; California Chamber of Commerce; California Federation of Teachers; California Gaming Assn.; California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Would prohibit sale of horse meat for human consumption. Would outlaw selling, owning or slaughtering horses for human consumption. Would outlaw sending horses out of state to be killed for use as human food. Would apply to ponies, burros and mules.
* Arguments for: Slaughtering horses for human consumption is inhumane and cruel. In the United States, these are companion animals, not food animals, and should have the same protections as dogs and cats. As companion animals, horses are entitled to be killed humanely. Horses should not be sold for slaughter elsewhere and their meat consumed in foreign countries.
* Arguments against: Horse meat as food is popular in other countries. People have the right to eat what they want. Proposition 6 would interfere with individual rights. Horses are livestock and owners should be able to sell unwanted horses for slaughter as they see fit. Proposition 6 would not stop the killing of horses for pet food or industrial uses.
* Supporters: California State Horsemen’s Assn.; California Organization of Police and Sheriffs; Thoroughbred Owners of California; Save the Horses; Robert Redford; Del Mar Club; Hollywood Park; Calif. State Firefighters Assn.
* Opponents: Ted Brown, Libertarian Party of California; Harris Ranch; Thomas Tryon, rancher and Calaveras County supervisor.
Would provide $218 million in tax credits annually to private industry through 2010 to develop, manufacture and sell products that produce less air pollution; targets heavy duty trucks and buses.
* Arguments for: Would intensify the battle against air pollution, use tax incentives as a tool to reduce smog and protect the health of Californians.
* Arguments against: Narrowly written and would benefit businesses that put Proposition 7 on the ballot. Would threaten funding for other programs and award tax credits for clean air projects already required but not yet in effect.
* Supporters: California Farm Bureau Federation, Air Pollution Control Officers Assn., Southern California Gas Co., California Chamber of Commerce, California Trucking Assn., California Energy Biomass Alliance, Sierra Club, Clean Air Now, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., California Transit Assn.
* Opponents: California Professional Firefighters, Assn. of Professional Scientists, Service Employees International Union, California Tax Reform Assn., California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Would make permanent the state program to reduce class size in kindergarten through third grade. Would create a state inspector of public schools who would report annually on the quality of primary and secondary schools. Would shift significant power over curriculum and spending at individual schools to councils controlled by parents.
* Arguments for: Would provide policymakers with useful rankings of schools, strengthen teacher qualifications, guarantee full funding for small classes for young students and give parents a greater voice in school affairs.
* Arguments against: Would dilute state standards by giving curriculum decisions to new school councils. Would create a costly, unaccountable bureaucracy in the inspector’s office and lock new policies into law that would be nearly impossible to repeal.
* Supporters: Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren; Gov. Pete Wilson; Yvonne Larsen, president of State Board of Education; Assembly Republican Leader Bill Leonard; California Republican Party; Marian Bergeson, secretary of governor’s office of child development and education.
* Opponents: Lt. Gov. Gray Davis; Supt. of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin; California Teachers Assn.; California State PTA; Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.; California School Boards Assn.
Would modify the 1996 state law that changed the way electricity is regulated in California. The state’s three major private utilities would be required to reduce electric rates for residential and small commercial customers by at least 20%. Utilities would be barred from passing on to customers the costs of repaying about $6 billion in bonds that were issued to finance an earlier rate cut. Would eliminate surcharges that utilities levy to operate nuclear power plants.
* Arguments for: Ratepayers should not be forced to pay for bad business decisions made by the utilities in building nuclear power plants. The initiative is needed to correct an illusory rate reduction that was a cash bonanza for investor-owned utility companies but saddled small residential and commercial customers with $6 billion in payments over the next 10 years.
* Arguments against: Would threaten the financial underpinnings of the electricity industry. Would result in higher--not lower--electricity costs and lawsuits. Taxpayers could be forced to pay off the $6 billion in bonds.
* Supporters: Consumer advocate Harvey Rosenfield, the Utility Reform Network, Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports magazine, League of Women Voters, Consumer Federation of America, Ralph Nader, David Brower (founder of Friends of the Earth).
* Opponents: State Democratic and Republican parties; California Taxpayers Assn., California Chamber of Commerce, Planning and Conservation League, California Farm Bureau Federation, California School Employees Assn., Natural Resources Defense Council, numerous cities and counties.
Raises cigarette taxes by 50 cents a pack to fund child development programs, including child care and parent education.
* Arguments for: Would help more children arrive at kindergarten ready and able to learn, and in many counties would attract federal matching dollars for underfunded programs. Because 80% of Proposition 10 money would be spent locally by appointed volunteer commissions, programs would be tailored to community needs.
* Arguments against: Would create a shadow government of 58 county commissions and a statewide commission that would spend up to $700 million without direct oversight by elected officials. Tobacco taxes are regressive.
* Supporters: Filmmaker Rob Reiner; LEARN CEO Mike Roos; Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan; former Rep. Michael Huffington; former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop; American Cancer Society; American Heart Assn.; American Lung Assn.; California Child Development Administrators Assn.; California Correctional Peace Officers Assn.; Los Angeles Unified School District.
* Opponents: Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.; Lorillard Tobacco Co.; Philip Morris Inc.; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; The Tobacco Institute; Alliance of California Taxpayers and Involved Voters; Coalition of California Taxpayers; California Chamber of Commerce; Parents in Education; Private Child Care Network; Concerned Women for America; California Manufacturers Assn.
Would allow city councils and county boards of supervisors to approve local sales tax revenue sharing contracts by a two-thirds vote instead of a vote of the electorate.
* Arguments for: Would end costly bidding wars among government entities over locating major retailers within their boundaries to collect more sales tax.
* Arguments against: Would make it more attractive for local governments to try to raise taxes.
* Supporters: League of California Cities; California State Assn. of Counties; Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.; California Business Properties Assn.; various cities and counties.
* Opponent: Melvin L. Emerich, San Jose attorney.