Legend: CA = Constitutional Amendment; SA = Statutory Amendment; S = Statute;
# TITLE TYPE Summary Description ECDC Position
52 State Fees on Hospitals, Federal Medi-Cal Matching Funds CA Increases required vote to two-thirds for the Legislature to amend a certain existing law that imposes fees on hospitals (for purpose of obtaining federal Medi-Cal matching funds) and that directs those fees and federal matching funds to hospital-provided Medi-Cal health care services, to uncompensated care provided by hospitals to uninsured patients, and to children’s health coverage. Eliminates law’s ending date. Declares that law’s fee proceeds shall not be considered revenues for purposes of applying state spending limit or determining required education funding.


51 School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. SA Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds: $3 billion for new construction and $3 billion for modernization of K-12 public school facilities; $1 billion for charter schools and vocational education facilities; and $2 billion for California Community Colleges facilities. YES
53 Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. CA Requires statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds can be issued or sold by the state for projects that are financed, owned, operated, or managed by the state or any joint agency created by or including the state, if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion. Prohibits dividing projects into multiple separate projects to avoid statewide voter approval requirement. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government:  NO
54 Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. CA & S SCA 14 is a better version of this; we can authorize to support the legislature’s replacement if we want to No Position #
55 Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. CA Extends Prop 30 YES #
56 Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. CA & S Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. Allocates revenues primarily to increase funding for existing healthcare programs; also for tobacco use prevention/control programs, tobacco-related disease research and law enforcement, University of California physician training, dental disease prevention programs, and administration. YES
57 Criminal Sentences. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. CA & S Allows parole consideration for persons convicted of nonviolent felonies upon completion of full prison term for primary offense, as defined. Authorizes Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to award sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, or educational achievements. Requires Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to adopt regulations to implement new parole and sentence credit provisions and certify they enhance public safety. Provides juvenile court judges shall make determination, upon prosecutor motion, whether juveniles age 14 and older should be prosecuted and sentenced as adults. YES
# TITLE TYPE Summary Description ECDC Position
60 Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. S Requires performers in adult films to use condoms during filming of sexual intercourse


61 State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. S Prohibits state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Applies to any program where the state is the ultimate payer for a drug, even if the state does not purchase the drug directly. Exempts certain purchases of prescription drugs funded through Medi-Cal. Yes *
62 Death Penalty. S Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. YES
63 Firearms. Ammunition Sales. S The Governor signed a package of gun safety bills that does what this does Yes *
64 Marijuana Legalization. S Legalizes marijuana and hemp under state law YES
65 Carry-Out Bags. Charges. S Redirects money collected by grocery and certain other retail stores through sale of carry-out bags, whenever any state law bans free distribution of a particular kind of carry-out bag and mandates the sale of any other kind of carry-out bag.

Initiative sponsored by the plastic bag industry to undermine the plastic bag ban.

If voters uphold the state’s current carryout bag law, redirected revenues from retailers to the state, potentially in the several tens of millions of dollars annually.

66 Death Penalty. Procedures. S Exempts prison officials from existing regulation process for developing execution methods. Authorizes death row inmate transfers among California state prisons. State’s death row inmates must work and pay victim restitution. States other voter approved measures related to death penalty are null and void if this measure receives more affirmative votes. NO
67 Overturn Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags Referendum Vote YES to sustain the ban on plastic bags.  VERY CONFUSING LANGUAGE!  This was put on the ballot by the plastic bag industry, and the wording is deliberately misleading.  To sustain the legislature’s ban on single use plastic bags vote YES.  Do NOT be fooled by the chicanery of corporate maneuvering! Yes
BART BOND Local BART Capital Reinvestment Bond Yes

*The following two propositions were not on the consent calendar; we tried to recruit people to speak for and against each of them, but were only able to secure a speaker in favor of Proposition 61.

  1. Proposition 61, State Prescription Drug Purchases Pricing Standards – Aref Aziz from the campaign to pass Proposition 61 provided informative hand outs and presented a summary of the advantages of this proposition.  President Hilary Crosby read aloud from an email opposing the proposition, but was unable to rebut Mr. Aziz’s points.  Mr. Aziz rebutted the points raised in the email that President Crosby read.  Our members voted 24 in favor, 1 in opposition and three for “no endorsement”; with 86% in favor, the Club will take a YES position.
  2. Proposition 63, Firearms Ammunition Sales – The ECDC Executive Board did not take a position on this proposition since the timing of compiling and sending out the paper newsletter prevented us from waiting for the Governor’s final decision on the gun safety bills recently passed by the California legislature.  Present Crosby presented a brief overview of the bills that the Governor signed and compared them to the proposition.  Our members voted 30 in favor, no opposed and one for “no endorsement”; with 97% in favor, the Club will take a YES position.

# The following two propositions were pulled from the consent calendar by members:

  1. Proposition 54, Legislature, Legislation and Proceedings – Member Al Miller pulled this one from the consent calendar; the ECDC Executive Board had followed the California Democratic Party (CDP) recommendation to support SCA 14 instead of this proposition.  Mr. Miller described the process known as “gut and amend” which can drastically change and weaken legislation.  He did not think it was wise to rely on SCA 14 to provide the transparency and accountability that this proposition, a constitutional amendment, would provide.  Our members voted 15 in favor, 5 opposed and 7 “no endorsement”; the Club will take No Position since there were only 55% in favor of supporting this proposition.
  2. Proposition 55, Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare – Member Sue Goldberg pulled this one from the consent calendar; the ECDC Executive Board had followed the CDP recommendation to support this 12 year extension of Proposition 30.  Ms. Goldberg raised concerns that having this voter approved tax increase in effect would dampen support for reforms for Proposition 13.  Our members voted 26 in favor, no opposed and 2 ”no endorsement”; with 93% in favor, the Club will take a YES position.

We also had two matters to resolve in our standing rules.  The first one was to remove the words “and by June 1” from Definition 3 in the Endorsement Rules.  This was a carryover from changes made to the by-laws that required a June 1 deadline for payment of membership dues. (During odd numbered years, our club roster is submitted to the Contra Costa County Democratic Party Central Committee by June 30 to establish how many voters our club will have in the CDP pre-endorsement caucuses, which determine the consent calendar for the CDP’s primary endorsements. The June 1 date for membership dues allows us time to process members and submit the roster in time.)  The July ECDC vote to strike “and by June 1” was 49 in favor, 0 opposed and 0 abstentions.

The second matter focused on an improper addition made to the standing rules in January, 2016 to include the following language in Article 4 of the Endorsement Rules:

“except endorsements for El Cerrito City Council or El Cerrito Municipal ballot measures. Only members who are El Cerrito residents are eligible to vote on endorsements for El Cerrito City Council and El Cerrito ballot measures”

The proposed language was voted on as “old Business” since it was discussed in November 2015 and tabled for a later meeting.  Notice of a vote had not been included in the January meeting announcement. The January vote did not observe our Bylaws, which require 10 days prior notice of a pending vote. Additionally,  changes to our standing rules require a two-thirds majority. The proposed addition received only a narrow majority of those present and voting at the January meeting and the language should not have been added to the Standing Rules.  

Since inclusion of that language did not meet the requirements of our Bylaws regarding notice, the language is subject to removal from the Standing Rules. President Crosby, wishing to respect the will of the Club, provided the required notice to discuss the matter and conduct a July vote addressing the January vote (confirmation or reversal of the January vote).  In order for the language to be officially added to the Endorsement Rules, the July vote would need to have a two-thirds majority confirming the January vote. In order to make the vote as comprehensible as possible, President Crosby conducted the vote as “in favor of the El Cerrito for El Cerrito language” (a vote to confirm the January vote) and “opposed to the language” (a vote nullifying the January vote).  

The vote was 35 opposed to the language, 19 in favor of the language, with 2 abstentions, which failed to reach the required two-thirds majority to confirm the January vote.  The revised endorsement rules have been posted to the website and include recent changes.

One last vote was taken late in the meeting to waive the 10-day notification rule and move to a new motion to postpone the Club’s endorsement forum for local candidates and measures which is scheduled for Saturday August 27..  The motion to waive notice to conduct that votes failed by a vote of 7 in favor and 20 opposed. President Crosby is working with other Democratic Clubs to accommodate candidate schedules.  Please see the article about the Endorsement Forum.  

There is currently a “Pre August Meeting Preview” which has as much information as is currently available.  There will be a new article once filing has closed for all the relevant races which will include statements the candidates and measure campaigns provide.