Voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide on a cigarette tax, a Presidential Candidate, and State Legislators. It’s the first election in California’s new open primary election for Congress and state offices so it should be an interesting one. It might not seem like as vital of an election as the one coming in November, but it’s still important to get out and vote. Here’s a guide with links to relevant articles.
The cigarette tax is California’s first tax increase on cigarettes in 14 years, according to the New York Times, even though it has some of the strictest smoking laws in the country. Prop. 29 would impose a $1 a pack tax in cigarettes generating $735 million annually by 2014 for cancer research and tobacco cessation programs. Plus the state would get “tens of millions of dollars annually,” the measure says.
“No on 29″ says it’s a bad, poorly thought out measure. The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board doesn’t think it’s such a great idea either. It is endorsed by Lance Armstrong and California For a Cure who say if passed the proposition will “save lives, save money, and save kids.”
Proposition 28 seeks to reduce the amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 to 12 years. It would allow for legislators to serve 12 years of service in one house. Currently, the state assembly is limited to three two-year terms and the state senate can serve two four-year terms. It won’t cost state or local governments any money.
It is endorsed by the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, and the League of Women Voters because increasing the time that a legislator can serve in one house will decrease turnover, and allow for legislators to work on long-term policy, they say. Opponents say that increasing time politicians can stay in one office isn’t good for California.
Los Angeles County
In Los Angeles County, the vote for District Attorney is an important one, says the Los Angeles Times because it’s a wide open race. The Los Angeles Times asked the six candidates two questions that may help you determine who you want to vote for. See their answers here. The LA Times has endorsed Jackie Lacey, chief deputy to the current District Attorney.
In Los Angeles County, voters are being asked to keep two taxes in place. Measure H is a 12 percent tax on hotels that would largely fall on out of town visitors. It is similar to taxes in other big cities and was originally adopted in 1991. It won’t increase the tax or introduce a new one. Revenue from the tax supports parks and libraries among other services. Measure L is also an existing tax. If approved, it would keep a 10 percent tax on landfills operating in unincorporated areas of the county.
Both measures are endorsed by the Los Angeles Times.
Voters in Orange County, will vote on Measures A, which would make the Office of Public Administrator an appointed position, and Measure B, which would require Board of Supervisors to select the minimum pension option. Currently, supervisors can choose between a 2.7 percent pension and a 1.65 percent pension. If passed, Measure B would require they choose the minimum option. Both of these measures are unopposed.
For more information on the Orange County election, visit the Orange County Register’s Voter Guide.
As I mentioned above, the open primary for state offices and Congressional seats should be very interesting. Voters have been bombarded with attack mailers in the last days before they go the polls.
If you would like more information about how the open primary works, check out this story from the Madeline Brand show, Explainer: How is the June 5 Primary election going to work?
If you are interested in education and want to know how state legislators have voted on education issues in the past, visit K-12 News Network’s Voter Guide.
Yvonne Condes is the Editor and co-Founder of MomsLA, a Community of the Top Mom Bloggers in Los Angeles.