Bill Monning Recall, Proposition 13 Reform, And Voter Expansion Initiatives


This past week saw a lot of activity in California state politics. Today we bring you three of the biggest issues for you to learn about and cast your vote on:

Recall Bill Monning

State Senator Bill Monning (D – Carmel) was served last week with a notice of intent to recall him from office. The letter came from a group called SB 277 Recalls, a newly formed organization that works to unseat lawmakers who support SB 277, the controversial bill that would change the state’s vaccinations laws.

SB 277 would eliminate the “personal belief” vaccination exemption for families with children entering public schools. Religious belief exemptions would also be forbidden. Only children with a doctor’s waiver based on medical issues, such as a compromised immune system, could be exempted from vaccinations.

The bill came as a result of a measles outbreak that occurred in California in early 2015. 134 state residents were affected. The outbreak put California’s lax vaccination laws in the spotlight, with many families urging lawmakers to set up stricter vaccination rules. At the same time, the bill has been vigorously opposed from groups who claim that their individual freedoms are being threatened. One of the tactics opponents are now using is to threaten lawmakers who support the bill with recall.

Should Bill Monning be recalled for his support of SB 277? Vote and comment here.


Should State Senator Bill Monning Be Recalled from Office?
California State Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) was recently served with a notice of intent to recall him from office. The notice was issued by a group calling themselves SB 277 Recalls, titled after the bill moving its way through the legislature which would end the personal belief exemption from vaccinating one’s children. The senator is a supporter of the bill, which was proposed after a measles outbreak occurred in California towards the beginning of 2015. Monning currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader. Activists will have to gather 74,610 signatures in order to place the recall measure on the ballot.


Proposition 13 Reform

California State Senators Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) plan to introduce legislation to reform one of the most important laws in California history: Proposition 13.

Prop 13 was approved by California voters in 1978 and made it so property taxes could only be re-assessed when properties changed ownership. The law was intended to protect home owners, especially the elderly, from being priced out of their own houses. It resulted in a massive drop in revenue for local governments, forcing many local services such as schools, libraries and police department to suffer major budget cuts

Now Senators Hancock and Mitchell want to reform the law so that commercial property would be reassessed on a more regular basis. Having periodic re-assessments would bring tax rates more in line with the market value of the properties and could result in $9 billion being distributed across the state’s local governments. Residential property would still only see its tax rates re-assessed with a change in ownership.

In order to succeed, the bill would have to be approved by a ⅔ majority vote from both houses of the state legislature. The proposal would then be put on the ballot for voter approval.

Do you support this reform to proposition 13? Vote and comment here.


Proposition 13 Reform: Regular Property Tax Re-assessments on Commercial Property
Proposition 13 was passed by voters in 1978 and amended the state’s constitution, making it so that property taxes could only be re-assessed when the property was sold to a new owner. The law resulted in steep cuts to local government programs, such as education and police forces, since property taxes provide much of the revenue for city services. Now, two senators are proposing to amend the law so that commercial property would be reassessed on a more frequent basis. Their proposal could result in $9 billion being distributed across localities. Reassessments on residential properties would remain at point-of-sale.


Automatic Vote By Mail And Registration

You may have heard, but 2014 saw one of the lowest turnouts in California history. Well, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla isn’t sitting on his hands. The top elections official in the state has laid out two proposals that he believes will boost voting rates. The first is to send every registered voter a vote by mail ballot. Voters could drop off their ballots at early voting centers anywhere in their county, rather than the current system of dropping off only in the voter’s precinct.

The second proposal is to register every eligible Californian who has a driver’s license, unless they opt out. The state of Oregon currently has a system like this in place, and a similar idea has recently been proposed in the House of Representatives.

Some local governments have expressed concern over the added cost of implementing the new voter kiosks. Padilla asserts that counties should move away from outdated voting technology, given that more and more people are voting by mail anyways.

Think these ideas got the goods? Vote and comment here.


Automatic Vote By Mail in California
Election 2014 saw the lowest voter turnout rate in California history. Just 42.2% of eligible voters turned out to the polls. Now, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla wants to change that. He has proposed legislation that would make it so every registered voter receives a vote by mail ballot. If they don’t send the ballot in the mail in time, voters could drop off their ballot at early voting kiosks to be set up all across their county. If approved, California would join Washington, Oregon, and Colorado in allowing all voters to vote by mail.


Automatic Voter Registration at DMV
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla wants to automatically register people to vote when they obtain a drivers license from the DMV. Those who are eligible but are not yet registered would be automatically registered to vote as long as they have a driver’s license, unless they opt out. Padilla believes that this will help boost voting rates in the state after an abysmal voter turnout in 2014. Oregon currently uses such a system, and a similar law is currently being considered in the House of Representatives.

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