Brian Hamilton: Have you done your homework for the Election Day exam? |

Brian Hamilton: Have you done your homework for the Election Day exam?

California 2016 propositions

(Clink link for text of proposed laws)

Proposition 51 — School Bonds. Funding for K–12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 52 — Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Proposition 53 —Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Proposition 54 — Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Proposition 55 — Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Proposition 56 — Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Proposition 57 — Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Proposition 58 — English Proficiency. Multilingual Education. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 59 — Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections. Legislative Advisory Question.

Proposition 60 — Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 61 — State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 62 — Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 63 — Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 64 — Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 65 — Carryout Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 66 — Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 67 — Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum.

Considering we’re now 34 days away from Election Day, it’s probably a good time for us to start studying up to ensure we have the right answers for all those questions to be posed on the ballot.

And with 17 statewide ballot propositions, in addition to our local races, we might as well consider the next month to be one long cram session.

It’s not a record number of measures put before California voters — my first Election Day in the Golden State saw no fewer than 20 propositions, on the 2000 ballot. But there will likely be records set in advance of Nov. 8, both in terms of campaign dollars spent on the current list and the number of pages in the state voter guide.

Do yourself a favor and get started with your required reading now, in order to avoid that sick feeling you had years ago in class when your teacher called on you for the answer and you were caught having not done your homework (or am I alone in regularly reliving that nightmare?). Maybe you’ve already been experiencing those emotions all over again as you see commercials arguing for and against each of these on TV, as you realize you have no idea what they’re talking about. For those of us who vote by mail (typically more than 60 percent of Nevada County’s registered voters), our “take-home exam” could arrive as early as the week of Oct. 10.

Because by the sheer volume of choices you must make this November, this ballot is no pop quiz. It’s an actual examination on your commitment as a citizen of our community, state and country.

But for those who haven’t read ahead, see the accompanying list provided by the Secretary of State’s Office. See this story at for a link providing the actual text of the proposed laws, for the most dedicated students, and Cliff Notes versions offered by the League of Women Voters, in hopes of keeping you from cribbing off your neighbor or depending on those special interest advertisements.

Among myriad questions, Californians will be asked for a yea or nay — the true or false portion of the exam? — on school bonds, cigarette taxes, condom use in adult films, death penalty procedures, single-use plastic bags and, of course, recreational marijuana.

Closer to home, some of us will be asked to act on three measures that will impact the western Nevada County community. Measure A seeks an extension and increase of taxpayer support of local libraries. Measure B asks voters to approve the issuing of $47 million in bonds for school improvement projects. And Measure C offers Nevada City voters the opportunity of approving a three-eighths cent per dollar sales tax to support fire, police and emergency services.

On Friday, The Union will take a closer look at each of those three measures as part of our election coverage. In coming weeks, we’ll delve deeper into the options we’ll be offered on the ballot, including local coverage of Proposition 64 (recreational marijuana) on Oct. 14, followed by a look at actual candidates for office, the “multiple choice” portion of our Nov. 8 final. Oct. 21 will focus on local education elections, including the Nevada County Board of Education, the Nevada Joint Union High School District and various other school board seats up for grabs. The following week, Oct. 28, will feature candidates seeking director seats with the Nevada Irrigation District. And on Nov. 4, with the help of the Associated Press, we’ll offer coverage of candidates for U.S. Congress and Senate, along with California State Assembly and Senate.

Whatever study habits you rely on to prepare for this November, do us all a favor and make sure you’re somewhat well read before you cast your vote. And the sooner the better, as it’s not likely even an all-nighter could cram enough information into your brain that you’ll be fully prepared to make well-informed decisions when you step into the booth, literally or figuratively.

Because by the sheer volume of choices you must make this November, this ballot is no pop quiz.

It’s an actual examination on your commitment as a citizen of our community, state and country.

When Election Day comes, will you have done your homework?

Contact Editor Brian Hamilton via at or 530-477-4249.

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