F&H Ballot Measure Rankings – Top 5 Picks *Updated 10/30*

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Early voting has begun. The polls are tightening. So are these rankings…

RANK BEST KNOWN AS BACKERS WHAT IT DOES FISCAL IMPACT
RANK 1
(Previous Week: Rank 1)
PROP 35
Human Trafficking
Law enforcement, human rights groups, rich Facebook guy, virtually everyone except traffickers. Tougher penalties for human trafficking. Provides something all Californians can be for. Minor increases for prosecution, incarceration and law enforcement training, with some small new revenues from fines.
NOTE:  A sure thing.
RANK 2
(Previous Week: Rank 2)
PROP 36
Three Strikes
Stanford Law professor David Mills, big city prosecutors and police chiefs, George Soros, NAACP. Put limits on three-strike policy, limiting third strike to serious or violent crimes. Would allow some previous three strikers to apply for re sentencing. May save state small amount – in tens of millions.
NOTE:  Slipping but should survive.
RANK 3
(Previous Week: Rank 5)
PROP 39
Single Sales Factor
Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer and environmental, clean energy advocates. Requiring businesses to pay taxes based on their sales in California (single sales factor) $1.1 billion, with half dedicated to energy programs.
NOTE: Its sponsor, Tom Steyer, quit his hedge fund. What’s he running for?
RANK 4
(Previous Week: Rank 4)
PROP 30
Brown Tax Increase
Gov. Brown, unions, Democratic establishment. Four-year temporary sales tax increase of 0.25, seven-year temporary income tax increase starting at $250K. Between $5.4 and $7.6 billion annually beginning in 2013-2014.
NOTE: The good news: despite sinking polls, this still has a chance. The bad news: Sutter’s image sure to take a hit for endorsing this dog.
RANK 5
(Previous Week: Rank -)
PROP 34
Death Penalty Repeal
Coalition that includes criminal justice critics, law enforcement, Briggs family. Replaces death penalty with life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. Puts some savings into fund controlled by attorney general. Would save $100 million but money funneled into new program for solving rape, murder cases.
NOTE: Biggest potential change in California could be comeback victory by this death penalty repeal.

6. Prop 33 (Auto Insurance Discount)

7. Prop 37 (GMO Labeling)

8. Prop 32 (paycheck protection and corporate limits)

9. Prop 38 (Molly Munger – Education Tax Increase)

10. Prop 31 (Cal Forward)

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