On politics in the Golden State

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Direct Democracy Watch

January 19, 2010 | 10:34 am
There are so many proposed ballot initiatives these days that it is almost hard to go out in public without getting buttonholed by a signature gatherer. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, some 62 measure are currently in circulation. Most deal with the predictable policy issues that dominate debate in Sacramento. Then there are the outliers. Among them:

Requiring public schools to offer Christmas music: Parents would be able to file a civil lawsuit against districts not in compliance.

Prohibiting divorce: Married couples, however, could still seek an annulment. Proponents note the state could save hundreds of millions of dollars in divorce court costs.

Soaking the rich: A one-time tax of 55% on property worth more than $6.7 million for single filers, and takes at least a third of income exceeding $10 million from Californians who die or leave the state; other steep new taxes. The hundreds of billions generated would be used to buy stock in “various weapons, petroleum, automotive, media and financial companies.”

The AARP tax break: Abolishes state income and property taxes for all Californians 55 and older.

Power to the parents: School districts and other government agencies would be banned from creating educational curricula. That authority would be placed in the hands of parents.

Check out the official ballot language here.

-- Evan Halper in Sacramento