Ballot Measures

By Dorothy Mills-Gregg
Posted 06.22.2015

Bottled water, immigration, condoms, hospital fees, plastic bags, statehood, alimony – those are just a smattering of the issues on or trying to get on California’s 2016 statewide ballot.

There are 36 proposed initiatives that are either awaiting review in the Attorney General’s Office or are being shopped around California’s 58 counties for signatures.

He was inspired by his personal experience, news accounts and his friends’ divorce stories to craft his plan to eliminate spousal support.

Thus far, only two initiatives are on the November 2016 ballot: The referendum on California’s law banning single-use plastic bags and an initiative targeting hospital fees and Medi-Cal. Another measure, a constitutional amendment approved by the Legislature, appears on the June 2016 ballot. It would give lawmakers greater leeway in expelling and suspending errant members, an issue that developed after two senators were indicted on corruption and other charges.

But there are other topics waiting in the wings, ranging from eliminating spousal support to requiring adult film performers to wear condoms, and each proposed initiative has its own story. To qualify for the ballot, an initiative to create or change a legal statute requires the valid signatures of about 366,000 voters. To change the constitution, more than 585,000 signatures are needed on petitions.

Steve Clark, for example, was inspired by his personal experience, news accounts and his friends’ divorce stories to craft his proposal to eliminate spousal support.

Clark’s initiative would eliminate future alimony and, without a one-year extension, end alimony granted for marriages that lasted less than 10 years. Alimony granted for a marriage lasting 10 or more years would be phased out over five years in 20 percent increments.

Louis Marinelli, an English language teacher, has introduced six initiatives with the goal of making California autonomous from the United States.

“I do honestly believe in my heart that most Californians would vote for this initiative,” Clark said about his proposed measure.

“Most people see the fairness aspect of this initiative,” Clark said, noting that some higher-income earners must provide spousal support for the rest of the ex-spouse’s life or until he or she remarries.

Meanwhile, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein is pushing an initiative on an issue that has been killed several times in the Legislature.

His ballot measure would require adult film performers to use condoms during filming and require producers to pay for the medical costs associated with infections. Costs would include prevention education and treatment, testing and all medical follow-up. Producers would have to buy a health permit too.

Based on the vote in Los Angeles on mandating condoms in the adult film industry and polling they have done, Weinstein says, the over-whelming majority of Californians support his proposal.

The clear divergence between the will of the people and the Legislature led him to introduce it as an initiative, he added.

“It’s the direct will of the people,” Weinstein said.

“Wyoming is not the same as California,” Webb said, “We are a nation, not a state.”

Louis Marinelli, an English language teacher, has introduced six initiatives with the goal of making California autonomous from the United States.

“We are a desirable place to live,” says Sovereign California volunteer Stuart Webb. “And the rest of the world views us in a different light than a resident of another state.”

One initiative is the “New Hope for California Panel,” that would include the Lieutenant Governor, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, California Legislative Council, and additional panelists who are Californians not currently serving in state government.

“Is California as a state a net gain or loss for the state,” Marinelli said about what the panel would discuss.

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