Here are the ballot measures we’ll be watching tonight.
Minimum wage increases and paid sick leave
Minimum wage increases are on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington — and two of them also would mandate that workers get paid sick leave. And in South Dakota, voters seek to overturn a sub-minimum the Legislature established for underage workers.
- Maine: Question 4 $12 by 2020, and inflation thereafter; phases out tip credit by 2024 PASSED!
- Arizona: Proposition 206 $12 by 2020, plus 24/40 hours a year of paid sick time for small/large businesses (starts with $10 in 2017) rises annually by inflation after 2020 PASSED!
- Flagstaff, Arizona: Prop 414 $15 an hour for non-tipped workers by 2021, and for tipped workers by 2026
- Colorado: Amendment 70 $12 by 2020 PASSED!
- Washington: I-1433 $13.50 by 2020, plus 40 hours a year of paid sick leave PASSED!
- South Dakota: Referred Law 20 a voter attempt to veto legislation that lowered the minimum wage for workers under 18 VOTERS STRUCK DOWN THE LAW
Right to Work
State laws known as “right-to-work” ban any requirement that union-represented workers pay dues to the union. It’s a way to make sure unions are weak and poorly funded. Twenty-six states are now “right to work” states, and two more — Virginia and Alabama — could go tonight. But in South Dakota, unions are backing an initiative that would undermine the state’s right-to-work law.
- Virginia: Question 1 would have made Virginia a “right-to-work” state DEFEATED!
- Alabama: Amendment 8 put “right-to-work” in the state constitution PASSED
South Dakota: Initiated Measure 23 creates an end-run around the state’s “right-to-work” law, by allowing unions to charge non-members for services DEFEATED
- California: Proposition 55 increases personal income tax on incomes over $250,000 PASSED
- Oregon: Measure 97 raises $3 billion a year for K-12 schools, health care and senior services by levying a 2.5 percent gross receipts tax on corporate sales over $25 million. FAILED
- Maine: Question 2 sets a 3 percent tax on household income over $200,000 to fund K-12 PASSED
- California: Proposition 61 requires state agencies to pay the same prices that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays for prescription drugs. FAILED
- Colorado: Amendment 69 sets up a single payer health care system. FAILED
- Ashland, Oregon: Measure 15-154 encourages the 2017 Legislature to utilize the results of a single payer health care study authorized in 2013 and 2015 to design a system that provides comprehensive health care for all Oregon residents, ensures choice of provider, and has effective cost controls, equitable access, and a focus on preventative care PASSED
- Nevada: Question 3 opposed by the Nevada AFL-CIO, IBEW Local 1245, Culinary Local 226, is a constitutional change removing all limits on what electricity providers could charge. PASSED
- Oregon: Measure 98 mandates funding increases for dropout-prevention, career technical education, and college readiness programs in Oregon high schools. PASSED
- Washington: I-1501 sponsored by SEIU 775, the union that represents state-paid homecare workers, I-501 would exempt from public disclosure the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of in-home caregivers and the clients they serve. It would also increase civil penalties on those who defraud senior citizens and other vulnerable people. PASSED!
- Washington: I-732 places a carbon emission tax on the sale or use of fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity. Labor opposes it because rather than use the funds to build clean energy infrastructure and increase conservation, it lowers other taxes. The carbon tax would start at $15 per metric ton of emissions in July 2017, rising to $25 in July 2018, and then annually by 3.5 percent plus inflation until it reaches $100 per metric ton. Meanwhile, the measure would lower the state sales tax from 6.5 to 5.5 percent, increase a tax credit for low-income families, and reduce the business and occupation tax rate on manufacturers from 0.484 to almost nothing – 0.001 percent. Measure sponsors wanted I-732 to be revenue neutral, but they miscalculated, and it actually would result in a cut in state funding for schools and services of over $100 million a year. DEFEATED
- Maine: Question 5 creates a system of ranked choice or instant runoff voting PASSED
- Washington: I-735 to repeal Citizens United. In its 2010 Citizens United decision, the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated limits on corporate expenditures for political candidates. I-735 would urge the Washington state congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations. PASSED
- California: Proposition 59 urges constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United PASSED
Legalization is on the ballot in five states:
- Arizona FAILED
- California PASSED
- Maine PASSED
- Massachusetts PASSED
- Nevada PASSED
Medical marijuana is on the ballot in four states:
- Arkansas PASSED
- Florida PASSED
- Montana PASSED
- North Dakota PASSED