Alright boys and girls I’m a little distraught right now because I just found out my roommate isn’t voting in the upcoming election and his mom has been a teacher for 20 years! SO I’ve decided to educate you all on the issues. This will be the first in a series of blogs on the upcoming election. In this edition I will not be giving my opinion, just the facts, straight out of the voter pamphlet. I know you are all probably sick of hearing about the election already, but I bet not one of you could tell me what Prop. 74 would do so read this then register to vote then go to the polls or sign up for absentee voting.

With that said, here we go:

Proposition 73: A constitutional amendment (in California) requiring parental notification before termination of a minor’s pregnancy.

What a YES vote means: A yes vote would change the State Constitution to require a doctor to notify a parent or guardian at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on a pregnant minor. Exceptions would be made in the case of a medical emergency or if the minor gets approval from juvenile court.

Doctors would be required to report to the state on all abortions performed on minors. The minor’s identity would be kept confidential in these reports and in any court proceedings.

A possible increase in state costs of several million dollars per year for health and welfare programs as well as court expenses is expected.

Proposition 74: Public School Teachers – initiative to increase waiting period for permanent status and change dismissal terms.

What a YES vote means: The trial period for new teachers would go up to five years instead of two years. It would also make it easier to fire a permanent teacher who has received two unsatisfactory evaluations in a row.

Proposition 75: Government Employee Union Dues

What a YES vote means: Government employee unions would be required to get written agreement from each worker before using that worker’s dues or nonmember fees for political contributions.

Proposition 76: State Budget and School Funding

What a YES vote means: It means changing the State Constitution about how the state budget is managed. It would:

a.) Add a new spending limit to the last year’s budget plus an average of the past 3 years’ income growth

b.) Give the governor greater poer to cut state spending. If state income falls below expected levels, the legislature would have 45 days to fix the problem. If the legislature and the governor could not agree on a solution, then the governor would have the power to cut programs.

c.) And change how the minimum funding level is calculated for schools and community colleges.

Proposition 77: Political Districts

What a YES vote means: It means changing the State Constitution to give authority for setting up political district lines every ten years to a panel of three retired judges, instead of the state legislature. Prop 77 also requires new district lines to be set up for the statewide elections in 2006. These new districts would have to be approved by voters in 2006. If voters reject the new district lines, then another three judges will be selected to redraw the boundaries for elections in 2008. The initial cost of redrawing the districts is $1.5 million for the state and another $1 million per county.

Okay boys and girls. Study up on those and I will do the rest for you in a few days. I think this should be enough to get you started.

PS I know these are confusing so I will have an in-depth blog on each one in the weeks to come.

PPS In case you were wondering, a NO vote means the law stays the way it is (aka nothing changes).