This is a cross post from the AFL-CIO NOW BLOG.
This election isn’t only about choosing elected leaders to represent working families in the White House, Congress, state legislatures and at the municipal level; there are also measures on the ballot on Election Day in several states. Many of the issues on the ballot will have a significant impact on the lives of working families, and it’s important that voters don’t look past these on Election Day.
Check below to learn more about some of the key measures on the ballot in states around the country:
- Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) Voter Registration: This measure would register qualified Alaskans to vote when they apply for the PFD, a dividend distributed to Alaskans from taxes on oil revenues. Vote YES on PFD Voter Registration.
- Amendment 8: This measure would enshrine Alabama’s “right to work” law in the state constitution. Vote NO on Amendment 8.
- Prop. 206—The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act: This measure would raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 and guarantee paid sick time for working people (40 hours for employees of large firms and 24 hours for employees of small firms). Vote YES on Prop. 206.
California has several measures impacting working families that are on the ballot at the state and municipal level this year. Here is information about just a few of these measures:
- Prop. 51: School Construction Bond. This measure would authorize $9 billion in bonds for new construction and modernization of public school facilities and community colleges. Vote YES on Prop. 51.
- Prop. 53: This measure would require revenue bonds issued for public works projects of more than $2 billion to be approved in a statewide election. If passed, this measure would make it harder for state and local governments to invest in infrastructure projects or “respond to emergency situations such as the drought, an earthquake or other natural disasters.” Vote NO on Prop. 53.
- Prop. 55: Would extend the 2012 temporary personal income tax increases on individuals earnings more than $250,000 per year (earnings over $500,000 for joint filers and more than $340,000 for heads of household) by an additional 12 years. The revenue raised through this income tax would provide additional funding for K-12 education, community colleges and health care programs. Vote YES on Prop. 55.
- Prop. 57: This proposition would “authorize parole consideration for people with non-violent convictions who complete the full sentence for their primary offense, incentivize people in prison to complete rehabilitation and education programs, and allow judges instead of prosecutors [to] decide if juveniles should be tried as adults.” Vote YES on Prop. 57.
- San Francisco Prop. W: This proposition would increase the transfer tax on real estate sales of $5 million or more, with some of the revenues used to pay City College tuition for city residents or employees. Vote YES on San Francisco Prop. W.
- San Jose Measure E: This proposition would require employers with 36 or more employees to offer additional work hours to existing qualified part-time employees before hiring new employees or contractors. Vote YES on San Jose Measure E.
- Amendment 70—Increase State Minimum Wage: This amendment would raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. Vote YES on 12 by 2020.
- Amendment 71—Requirements for Constitutional Amendments: This amendment would require “any petition for a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment be signed by at least 2 percent of the registered electors in each of the 35 state Senate districts. The percentage of votes to pass any proposed constitutional amendment would be increased from a majority to at least 55 percent of the votes cast, unless the proposed amendment only repeals any provision of the constitution.” Vote NO on Amendment 71.
- Prop. 107 Presidential Primary and Open Primary: This proposition would require presidential primaries to be held before the end of March each presidential election year. The proposition would also allow unaffiliated voters to participate in the primary without declaring themselves to be a member of a political party. Vote NO on Prop. 107.
- Prop. 108 Open Primary: This proposition would allow unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections without having to declare themselves to be a member of a political party. The measure would also allow Republicans and Democrats to forgo having a primary election and choose their general election nominees at their assembly or convention, providing that 75 percent of the party’s state central committee agrees.
Vote NO on Prop. 108.
- Amendment 1: This amendment from big monopoly utilities would prevent citizens from implementing rooftop solar and generating their own power. Vote NO on Amendment 1.
- Amendment 2: This amendment would legalize the use of marijuana for debilitating medical conditions. Vote YES on Amendment 2.
- Amendment 3: This amendment would allow for ad valorem property tax exemptions for first responders who are totally and permanently disabled due to injuries sustained in the line of duty. Vote YES on Amendment 3.
- Amendment 1: This amendment would empower an unelected and unaccountable so-called “Opportunity School District” to have the power to close district schools, convert district schools into charter schools or overhaul the school’s administration. Amendment 1 would take away the voice of parents, educators and community members, and is “just another attempt to pave the way for charter school expansion and privatization schemes.” Vote NO on Opportunity School Districts.
- Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment: This constitutional amendment would require transportation revenues be spent on transportation. Vote YES on the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment.
- Question 2: This measure would place a 3% tax on the portion of household income over $200,000 per year and earmark the funds for K-12 education. Vote YES on Question 2.
- Question 4: This measure would increase the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 and index it to inflation. The measure would also phase out the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers by increasing the tipped worker wage annually until it matches the minimum wage for all other workers. Vote YES on Question 4.
- Constitutional Amendment 6: This constitutional amendment would establish an onerous and discriminatory voter identification requirement making it harder to exercise the right to vote. Vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 6.
- Question 1: This measure would amend the state constitution to expand casino gambling to northern New Jersey. Vote YES on Question 1.
- Question 2: This measure would amend the state constitution to require all revenue from gas taxes be dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund. Vote YES on Question 2.
- Wake County Public Transportation Referendum: This referendum would enact a 1/2 percent local sales tax to fund public transportation. Vote YES on the Wake County Public Transportation Referendum.
- Question 1: This measure would enshrine right to work in the state constitution. Vote NO on Question 1.
- Initiative 1433: This measure would phase in an increase in the minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020 and would provide up to seven days of paid sick and safe leave per year. Vote YES on Initiative 1433.
- Sound Transit 3—Light Rail Expansion: This measure on the ballot in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties would authorize the Sound Transit Board to raise new revenues to expand light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit service. Vote YES on Sound Transit 3—Light Rail Expansion.
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of every state ballot moving this election.