Tuesday, November 6 isn’t a national holiday, but there are some who believe it should be one. It’s Election Day all across this country and is one of the most critical midterm elections in a generation. Besides the House, Senate, and Gubernatorial positions in play, interesting ballot measures are to be decided upon in several states. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that the outcomes could change lives, whether they pass or fail. Today, Gildshire fixes its piercing gaze at some of these ballot measures that will mean so much to so many.
Colorado voters will decide on Tuesday about measures for parks, education, and mental health. One particular ballot measure (2-A) in Denver would provide for $45 million per year in park construction, as well as green space establishment and maintenance. Another Colorado ballot measure would provide $45 million for a combination of suicide prevention and much-needed housing for folks in the developmentally disabled community.
In the Great State of Arizona, one key election decision is already in the book, courtesy of the state Supreme Court. The high court struck down a proposal to clean up the political process by eliminating some of the so-called “dirty money.” The Proposition officially failed to gather enough valid signatures to make the ballot. Conservative groups worked hard to keep the measure off the ballot, partly because the proposal would have amended the state Constitution and make major campaign donors reveal their identity. Elsewhere, though, on the Arizona ballot, voters will decide on Prop. 127, which would enhance the mandate to move the sunniest state in the land toward clean energy. Supporters of this bill say it will cut the price Arizonans pay for their energy, and clean the air. Opponents of Proposition 127 claim the proposal will raise rates.
Fifteen states will decide on a total of 20 ballot issues that have public education in the description. Some would add money earmarked for private school tuition vouchers.
Minimum wages are on the minds of many on Tuesday, as several state ballots include wage increases for the lowest earners among us. This has become an important issue nationally as the gap spanning minimum wages between the states is only getting larger. It is already the largest in our nation’s history. Currently, minimum wages span from a low of $7.25 an hour in ten states and Puerto Rico to $13.25 an hour in Washington D.C. The Massachusetts minimum will become $12/hour on January 1, 2019. Washington State has the third highest minimum at $11.50, but Washingtonians approved an increase that will match Massachusetts, also on the first of January.
Legalized gambling is spreading across the country due to some recent federal court rulings. However, one state has an initiative on its ballot to stem the tide of legal wagering. Florida’s voters will determine whether to institute a ban on dog racing. Also, Floridians will vote on whether to require voter approval before a new casino can be built. Finally, on Florida’s ballot is a measure to keep the cap on commercial property taxes at its current ten percent.
Ah, California. Elections in the Golden State are always interesting, and this midterm ballot includes an important decision amongst the measures up for a vote. Prop. 6 is a Republican-sponsored attempt to repeal the fuel-tax increase imposed in 2017 by the California Legislature. If passed, it cuts $5 billion per annum in the statewide bridge and road repair agenda. Also, it would make it much more difficult for Sacramento to increase fuel taxes in the future. In reality, California abandoned almost all bridge and road repairs over several years because of budget shortfalls. Since the Legislature-passed tax increase, a frenzy of road construction projects across California has gotten underway. If Proposition 6 passes the roads and bridges will remain in the state of disrepair they have been in for years. Californians know dreadful roads. We’ll see if they “know” them well enough to reject Prop. 6.
Do you live in California, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, or a state slated to decide the minimum wage? If so, then you should vote! If not, then you should vote anyway. There are important issues to be decided wherever you live. Gildshire will re-visit this subject a few days post-election. We will break down who won, who lost and what it all means for the future of your state and the country. Whew! We had better get some sleep!