California Counts

A collaboration between Capital Public Radio, KQED, KPCC and KPBS to cover the 2016 elections in California.

 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Time To Cram: California's 17 Ballot Measure Propositions Explained

Election Day is still weeks away on Nov. 8, but mail-in ballots will soon be finding their way to homes across California. It's time to study up.

There's a lot on the ballot, not least of all the 17 statewide ballot measures certified by the California Secretary of State’s Office. You'll be voting on a range of issues, including legalizing marijuana, the death penalty, prescription drug costs, taxes and much more.

To help you sift through the measures, we've gathered up what you'll need to know to make an informed decision  — what the opponents and supporters are saying, the measures' fiscal impact, and the campaign money spent to support and oppose each proposal.

Here's a quick overview and links to more information:

  • Proposition 51 allows the sale of $9 billion in bonds to pay for new K-12 and community college facilities. Details here. 
  • Proposition 52 makes permanent a fee paid by private hospitals that helps the state obtain Medi-Cal funds. Details here.
  • Proposition 53 requires voter approval for any project paid for with $2 billion or more in revenue bonds. Details here.
  • Proposition 54 requires that state bills be printed and posted online three days before lawmakers vote on them. Details here.
  • Proposition 55 extends the temporary tax increases on incomes over $250,000 mandated by an earlier proposition to help fund education and healthcare. Details here.
  • Proposition 56 raises the tax rate for tobacco from one of lowest in the country to one of the highest. Details here.
  • Proposition 57 makes it easier for state inmates to be released from prison if they demonstrate good behavior. Details here.
  • Proposition 58 eliminates a law that schools teach students in English only. Details here.
  • Proposition 59 is an advisory measure seeking voter opinion on whether officials should act to overturn the Citizens United court ruling. Details here.
  • Proposition 60 places specific language into a law mandating use of condoms in porn films. Details here.
  • Proposition 61 aims to reduce costs by requiring state agencies to pay what the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs pays for prescription drugs. Details here.
  • Proposition 62 repeals California's death penalty and replaces it with life in prison without the possibility of parole for murder. Details here.
  • Proposition 63 regulates ammunition sales, requires lost and stolen guns be reported, and makes gun theft a felony. Details here.
  • Proposition 64 makes recreational marijuana legal in California for adults 21 and over. Details here.
  • Proposition 65 requires grocery stores to turn over revenue from sales of reusable bags to a new state wildlife conservation fund. Details here.
  • Proposition 66 shortens the time for death penalty legal appeals to a maximum of five years. Details here.
  • Proposition 67 clears the path for a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags to go into effect. Details here.

Beyond these measures, there may be others on your local ballot. Type in your address below to view your personalized sample ballot. Get to it. The election is right around the corner.

Let us know your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #CACounts.