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Author: Sonia Ortega

This year’s presidential election was without a doubt one for the history books, and while the entire nation was bracing themselves for whatever outcome may come, California was considering major changes as well.

This year’s propositions stirred conversations on a variety of subjects amongst them: healthcare, education, the death penalty, taxes, firearms, oh, and you might have heard a little something about Marijuana legalization as well… So aside from now having to pay for your grocery bags throughout the state, what exactly has changed?

Proposition 51

As construction costs and school renovations continue to grow, this will now allow for a $9 million bond to be used for modernizations of K-12, charter, vocational schools, and community colleges. Despite opposition from The Howard Jarvis Tax Payers Association, as well as from Gov. Brown, this measure passed with a 54% support rate.

Proposition 53

A “yes” vote supported requiring voter approval before the state could issue more than $2 billion in public infrastructure bonds that would require an increase in taxes or fees for repayment. The measure fell shy of required voter approval, with a 41% support rate. The proposed tunnels to move water through the Sacramento to San Joaquin River Delta and California High-Speed Rail were two projects that would have required voter approval if Proposition 53 was approved.

Proposition 54

We often talk to our clients about the importance of transparency, and how when moving forward with a measure, community trust can be built up so long as they are educated and aware of how proposed funds will be spent. Proposition 54 is a direct reflection of that, and with a strong 65% support, California will now require the legislature to publish a bill online for 72 hours prior to it passing.

Proposition 59

A “yes” vote supported advising the state’s elected officials to use their authority to overturn the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, potentially through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This measure passed with a 52% support rate.

Proposition 64

In California, the possession or use of marijuana for recreational purposes was illegal going into the election. The passage of Proposition 215 in 1996 legalized medical marijuana. With 56% support rate, Proposition 64 made it legal for individuals to use and grow marijuana for personal use on November 9, 2016. However, the sale and subsequent taxation of recreational marijuana will not go into effect until January 1, 2018.

For more information, and the complete list of CA approved measures please visit: