Secure drop boxes are now open and ready to receive ballots across Sacramento County. Voters can now drop their ballots off at one of 53 drop boxes in the county anytime up to Election Day, November 6th. Sacramento is one of five counties, including Nevada, Napa, Madera and San Mateo, to enact the Voter's Choice Act. Every registered voter in those counties have the option to drop the mail-in ballots off at drop boxes, or use them at Vote Centers.
To help you be better informed about the election Cristina Mendonsa and Kasmira Hall break down the major propositions on the November ballot in California.
Proposition 1: Also known as the Affordable Housing and Home Purchase Assistance for Veterans bond
Summary: If passed, it would sell 4 billion dollars in bonds to fund veteran home loans and existing state housing programs. It is supposed to benefit veterans, farmers and low income home buyers.
Support: Will build more than 50-thousand housing units, create more jobs and boost the economy
Opposition: There are better approaches to solving the housing crises; this is not a permanent solution
Proposition 2: An amendment to the existing Mental Health Care Services Act passed in 2004.
Summary: If passed, the state would be able to use up to 2 billion dollars from mental health care funds to build housing for the mentally ill homeless. Will provide on-site optional mental health care.
Support: Say mental health care services and housing are vital together and this will help with the homeless crises.
Opposition: Say all the mental health care funds should go solely to those services
Proposition 3: An 8.9 billion dollar water bond for water projects throughout the state.
Summary: Proposition 3 would fund numerous water projects across the state, including watershed protection, clean drinking water projects, and flood protection projects for dams and canals. Also boasts it will help with environmental protections (think fish).
Note: Voters approved a 4.1 billion dollar bond for water infrastructure improvements, and new parks back in June – this is supposed to be more expansive
Support: Says it’s important for protection against future droughts in the state and will provide money needed to speed up clean drinking water projects in smaller communities where water departments can’t afford the upkeep. Will fix the state’s aging water infrastructure
Opposition: believe taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill.
Proposition 4: A 1.5 billion-dollar bond to fund seismic construction improvements at Children's Hospitals across the state.
Summary: By 2020 hospitals must meet new state earthquake standards. The bond would fund 5 of the public Children's hospitals, and the 8 free standing not-for-profit hospitals to make those upgrades.
Support: There is an increasing amount of referrals from county hospitals, and they serve a high number of Medi-Cal patients. They can’t cover the cost of keeping up with these demands and afford construction improvements
Opposition: Why should taxpayers invest more money into hospitals when they already have donors and fundraisers
Proposition 5: Property Tax Transfer Protections for Baby Boomers
Summary: Would make homeowners 55 and older, and disabled homeowners who purchase a new home, eligible for property tax savings. At the same time - it would cut $1 billion in funding from local government services including public schools, fire, police and health care
Support: The California Association of Realtors says it's more incentive for people to move and downsize – which opens up housing for younger home-buyers. Seniors who move won’t have to pay double the property taxes.
Opposition: Say there are already protections in place for seniors downsizing their homes. It doesn't help seniors; only the wealthy. We need those funds for local services
Summary: A Yes vote on Proposition 6 would repeal the controversial gas tax enacted last year to repair California roads, highways and bridges. A no vote would keep it in place, meaning 12 cents more a gallon at the pumps, and higher vehicle registration fees for those repairs.
Support: Again, a yes means repealing the tax. Roads are poor because of mismanagement and diversion of existing gas tax funds. Say we’ve already paid for repairs – funds weren’t used for that. The tax makes us the second highest paying state when it comes to gas taxes
Opposition: A No means it stays in place. California State Association of Counties says more than 6-thousand repair projects are already underway. The tax creates jobs and is needed for safer roads. Also say people wind up paying on average $700 for car repairs related to problems from poor roads
Proposition 7 – Daylight Saving Time
History: Originally adopted in America during WW1 – people wanted to get rid of it afterwards… but President Woodrow Wilson wanted the longer evening hours to play golf. (Pre-dating that, A New Zealand Etymologist wanted more time/light to collect bugs, and a British man wanted more light for golfing too)
What Prop 7 Does: This is the first step towards changing Daylight Saving Time in California. It would give the legislature the deciding ability over whether or not to change permanently to DST. Would need a 2/3 vote.
Note: Even if were passed, the U.S. Congress would still have to approve it. DST is current federal law
Support: Supporters say a standard time would give children more time to play in the evenings and reduce crime. Also proven to be better on your health. Authored by Assemblymember Kansen Chu.
Opposition: Yeah, kids get to play longer in the summer… but come winter they will be waiting in the dark to go to school. Not safe.
Proposition 8 – Kidney Dialysis Clinic Regulations
Background info: The Dialysis process cleans and purges the blood of toxins for people suffering from kidney failure. More than 80-thousand Californians need dialysis.
What Prop 8 Does: Will limit amount of money kidney clinics can make… forces them to reimburse patients and insurance companies if they're profits are over 15 percent of qualifying business costs.
Support: Supporters say this will incentivize clinics to improve patient care and hire more staff. Backed by labor union SEIU.
Opposition: There’s nothing written in the legislation requiring clinics to reinvest the money. Say it does not protect patients and could actually cause the closure of more clinics. Opposed by more than 100 groups, including the major dialysis companies.