Although the main focus for the November election was the presidential race, propositions are important as well, as they focus on statewide needs and reform. Here are 10 propositions from throughout the country that passed this year, making our country a little bit of a better place.
This election, Nevada had some positive changes. Nevada’s Question 2 passed, which enshrined a constitutional amendment that protected same-sex marriage. This was significant because it repealed Question 2 (2002), which stated that a marriage between a man and a woman was the only type of marriage the state recognized (though this was rendered unconstitutional by the 2015 marriage equality Supreme Court ruling). In addition, Nevada’s Question 6 passed, which will require Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to increase to 50% by 2030.
In New Mexico, Measure B passed, stating that the state will issue up to $9.7 million in bonds for improvements for academic, public school, tribal, and public libraries.
Washington had some changes as well. Following the passage of Referendum 90, public schools will have to provide comprehensive sex education to students in grades 6-12 starting in the 2021-22 school year and to K-5 students starting in the 2022-23 school year.
Another notable win was Utah’s Constitutional Amendment A. This states that beginning in January 2021, the state constitution will update its gender terminology and replace it with gender-neutral language. This means that Utah’s state constitution will make reference to (for example) “all persons” instead of “all men.”
In California, proposition 17 and 14 passed. Proposition 17 allows those on parole to vote, something that has never been the case previously. Additionally, Prop 14 issues $5.5 billion in bonds for state stem cell research. This will fund grants to organizations doing stem cell and other medical research, as well as training, treatment, and research facility construction.
In Arizona, Proposition 208 passed; this imposes a 3.5% tax surcharge on annual incomes over $250,000 for a single person or married people filing separately and $500,000 for married couples. This money will go towards public education for things like teacher salaries and retention programs, as well as the Arizona Teachers Academy.
In Mississippi, Measure 1, Initiative 65 was just passed to allow for medical marijuana use for those with certain health conditions when a physician believes the benefits outweigh the health risks. This measure also taxes the marijuana at a sales rate, as to not exceed the state’s sales tax rate, which as of 2020 was 7%.
Nebraska is also making positive changes. The passing of Amendment 1 will remove the exception for slavery as a punishment for criminal convictions from the state’s constitution. Nebraska had one of 12 state constitutions to outlaw slavery but include this exception. In 2018, people in Colorado approved a similar ballot measure, also removing the exception clause from their state constitution.
We hope these progressive propositions bring a smile to your face. This information comes from Ballotpedia, which you can use to find more information about propositions as well as other aspects of the political process.