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In addition to candidates from president to local office, many voters will be faced with ballot measures they may know little about. Here are some of the many labor and education-related ballot measures; this is far from an exhaustive list, so please chime in in the comments with others. Most, if not all, of these measures have faced big spending from Super PACs and other Republican dark money groups to tilt the playing field even more in favor of billionaires and corporations.


Michigan has three key labor-related proposals. A No vote on Prop. 1 strikes down Public Act 4, the state's anti-democratic Emergency Manager law. A Yes vote on Prop. 2 enshrines the right to collective bargaining in the state's constitution. A Yes vote on Prop. 4 will create a registry for home care providers who have been properly screened, and gives home care providers access to better training.


A Yes vote on Prop. 30 would raise taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent and institute a 1/4 cent sales tax to fund schools and public safety. A No vote on Prop. 32 blocks this attempt to make it much harder for unions to raise money for political purposes cloaked in the guise of getting big money out of politics (something it doesn't do). Related, 10 ways Prop. 32 would hurt California.

Frying Pan News rounds up how some key partisan organizations have endorsed on all of California's ballot measures.

Voters in San Jose and Long Beach will also have the opportunity to raise the minimum wage. [Edit: the Long Beach measure applies only to workers in hotels with more than 100 rooms.]

Albuquerque, New Mexico

As I wrote Saturday, Albuquerque has a ballot question raising the city's minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, tying it to inflation, and increasing the minimum wage for tipped workers to 60 percent of the regular minimum over two years.


Idaho, which has in Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna one of the worst education villains in the country, has three education-related measures. Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters writes that:

In Idaho, parents should vote NO on Propositions 1, 2, and 3: Proposition One would limit the rights of teachers to collectively bargain over working conditions like class size, would effectively eliminate their job security and base their evaluation largely on test scores. Proposition Two would implement damaging and wasteful merit pay. Proposition Three would spend yet more funding on requiring online learning for students, which was passed into law after substantial contributions from for-profit virtual learning companies to the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. Many of the same companies, including K12 Inc., have given funds to push this proposition, along with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who contributed $200,000. Their involvement was only disclosed after a court order demanding that the shadowy group pushing these propositions reveal its donors.

Washington state voters and the state legislature have repeatedly rejected charter school measures, but they keep coming back, zombie-like. Initiative 1240 is the latest effort to authorize charter schools in Washington; a No blocks that yet again. More from Leonie Haimson:

Bill Gates and his cronies remain determined to overturn the popular will, and have contributed nearly $11 MILLION to achieve this end. Gates himself has given more than $3 million to the campaign, Alice Walton of Walmart fame has kicked in another $1.7 million, and Gates’ buddies Paul Allen of Microsoft and the Bezos family at have donated millions more. 91 percent of the funding for the massive campaign of this initiative has come from just ten people, all of them billionaires.

Meanwhile, those opposing the initiative include the Washington State PTA, the State Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters, the state Association of School Administrators, the state’s principals, the state teachers union, the Seattle NAACP, El Centro do la Raza, the Seattle Public Schools superintendent and countless school boards. They point out how this initiative would further drain resources from the public schools, which have already been found to be constitutionally underfunded by the courts, and would take accountability out of public hands.


Sticking with Leonie Haimson's writeup:

In Georgia, parents should vote NO on Amendment 1, which would create an appointed commission with the power to authorize charter schools over the opposition of democratically-elected local school boards and the state Board of Education. This constitutional amendment is opposed by the state PTA, the state School Superintendent, the Georgia School Boards Association, and many civil rights groups, who explain how this measure would divert hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the public schools, and into the hands of for-profit corporations, many of them with a lousy record of the schools they currently run, like K12 Inc.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 10:51 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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