by Jesse Thomas
Today, millions of you will be hitting the polls and while the Bush/Kerry question is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the ballot will be stuffed with enough referendums, proposals, and propositions to make the 2000 election look like a game of connect-the-dots. While the initiatives — on everything from tribal gaming to definitions of marriage — only affect local and state government, they often set legal precedents, paving the political path for other states. We thought you’d want to check out the top initiatives in search…after all, their success or failure can create ripple effects on your hometurf.
1. Proposal 1 — if money talks, there’s enough of it swirling around this Michigan initiative for it to shout. We’ll see if Michigan voters are listening.
2. Proposition 71 — proposes that the state of California sell $3 billion in bonds to pay for stem cell research, a first in medical research for a state.
3. Proposition 66 — adjusts California’s “Three Strikes” law so that you won’t be doing life for merely stealing candy from a baby.
4. Proposition 68 — officially listed as “Non-Tribal Commercial Gambling Expansion. Tribal Gaming Compact Amendments. Revenues, Tax Exemptions.” Oh…well, when you put it that way…we still don’t get it.
5. Proposition 70 — tribal gaming is a hot topic in California, especially since this bid would extend current contracts for another 99 years and expand existing casino operations.
6. Proposition 72 — in an attempt to address increasing health care costs, this proposition requires medium and large companies provide health care coverage for their employees.
7. Proposition 200 — this resident-driven initiative seeks to update Arizona’s voter registration system while addressing illegal immigration and staying within federal law.
8. Proposal 2 — taking the issue of marriage into state hands, this Michigan proposal would define it as a union between a man and a woman.
9. Proposition 60 — if passed, it would amend the California state constitution to protect the current party primary election system.
10. Proposition 65 — this constitutional amendment would require voter approval for any California legislation that reduces certain local government revenues from January 2003 levels.