There's a grab bag of issues on November ballot

La Cañada voters will find the usual grab bag of topics ranging from reapportionment to gay marriage on the November ballot.

The 12 propositions include initiatives, bond issues and mandated reforms in state government, as California continues its tradition of asking the voters to take a major role in determining state policy.

Proposition 11, sponsored by California Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and the California Taxpayers Association among others would create a state commission to handle the drawing of district lines for the state Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization after the next census. Redistricting has been in the hands of the legislature after previous censuses, with frequently controversial results.

The commission would be multi-partisan, chosen by state auditors among volunteers, and would conduct hearings to determine new lines.

Proposition 8 would strike down this year's court decision and change the state constitution to eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry in California. A number of high-profile same sex marriages have taken place in the state since the court ruling was made.

Proposition 9, described as a crime victims bill of rights, would expand the number of people allowed to attend parole hearings, establish victim safety as a consideration in determining bail or parole, and reduce the number of parole hearings to which victims are entitled.

Proposition 6, sponsored by L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca among others, would mandate spending of $965 million in state funds on local law enforcement programs, and would toughen state claws on gang activities, felons carrying firearms and other offenses. The measure could also require expenditure of in excess of $500 million a year for state prison expansion.

Proposition 5 would require expanded state funding of treatment programs for persons convicted of drug offenses, and potentially expend over $1 billion annually for drug treatment and rehabilitation. It would also create a new 19 member board to direct parole and rehabilitation policy.

Proposition 4 would prohibit abortions for unemancipated juveniles until 48 hours after a physician notifies a parent or legal guardian. There are exceptions for medical emergency or parental waiver, and a provision allowing the notification of other adult relatives if a doctor reports the parent to law enforcement or child protective services.

Proposition 7, which has drawn TV advertising dollars, mandates that local utilities increase their share of renewable energy to 50 percent by 2025. It requires utilities to sign longer contracts for renewable energy, and is expected to increase the cost to local rate payers.

Proposition 2 would require that veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow the animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.

The bond acts include Proposition 1A, $9.95 billion for a high speed rail transit system; Proposition 12, $900 million for veterans housing; Proposition 10, $5 billion for alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy; and Proposition 3, $980 million for children's hospitals.

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— Charles Cooper


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