A total of 11 new propositions, 30 through 40, were proposed this year. We at The Olympian reviewed the voters’ decisions regarding some of the propositions, namely Propositions 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38, approving of four of the voters’ decisions.
By passing Proposition 30, the people of California agreed to increase taxes on individuals earning over $250,000 for the next seven years as well as to increase sales tax by .25 cents for the next four years. The extra tax money will be used to fund K-12 schools and community colleges. We seemed to be split about this proposition, because while getting school funding is appealing, all money isn’t explicitly guaranteed for classroom benefit.
In addition, while it is helpful having people who are able to afford contributions to funding education, they may not necessarily have educational investments at the top of their list. In the end, voters agreed that K-12 and higher education is important and ultimately agreed to help fund schools like CVHS.
If Proposition 32 had passed, it would have stripped labor unions’ powers to make contributions to elected officials. Labor unions tend to agree with liberal policies and throw support to liberal politicians, helping them with campaigns and providing them with assistance. The liberal stronghold known as California would have crumbled. Unanimously, we concurred that a proper democracy requires unions, and that they are necessary to our society. Thus, it was agreed that labor unions deserve voices in politics, so The Olympian praises voters for rejecting Prop. 32.
Also greatly concerning educators across California was Proposition 38, which voters also rejected. It would have imposed different tax increases on everybody except for those in the lowest tax bracket until 2024. However, we came to the consensus that the variety of tax increases seemed complicated. Some also questioned why the tax only supports K-12 education, and nothing higher. Overall, we agreed that it was right to reject Prop. 38.
Although Proposition 34 didn’t relate to schools and education, it was heavily discussed among us. The rejected Prop. 34 would have ended the death penalty in California and provided no parole to anyone sentenced to life imprisonment. Members of our staff were split. Some argued that nobody — not even murderers — deserved to die, while others claimed that the prisons are overcrowded and that the death penalty provided the best solution for the problem.
Only a few more of us frowned upon the decision to reject Prop. 34. The death penalty is a question of morality and practicality: is it right to kill a killer, and is it right to kill people if it costs billions of dollars? In the end, the staff was still divided on both sides of the issue.
Finally, Proposition 36, reformed the state’s Three Strikes sentencing law. Previously, those convicted of two violent or serious felonies could be sentenced to 25 years minimum if they were convicted for any sort of third felony. Under Prop. 36, people must commit a serious or violent third crime to qualify for life in prison. We believe the law should review a convict’s entire history. Nevertheless, revising Three Strikes was beneficial, and the voters made the best decision.
With a total of five out of 11 propositions passed in California, we can expect change and conflict to arise soon enough. Democrats and Republicans will almost always be butting heads, arguing in a seemingly endless debate. But it is obvious that the people of California, and the people of the United States will be able to endure any hardships that come their way, and that Americans will always work to take a step forward and stand up for what they believe in.