Marijuana, minimum wage, universal preschool and more
Last week, Youth Services Insider profiled some of the state ballot initiatives up for voters to directly decide on Election Day. Here is a quick update on what happened with those initiatives, along with results from a few local measures.
Legalization: All four states with recreational marijuana on the ballot – Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota – approved legalization. And in a referendum that is sure to get more headlines, Oregon voters approved Measure 110, which decriminalizes the possession of more serious drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines.
There are now 15 states where marijuana is fully legal, and eight states where the drug is fully illegal.
Minimum Wage: With most of the vote in, Florida voters appear to have approved a plan to raise its minimum wage to $15 by 2026. This possibly sets up a massive referendum on the potential of increased wages on reduction of child maltreatment, a proposition that has found some merit in early research.
Risk Assessment: With 83% of the vote in, California is poised to reject a plan approved by voters two years ago that would replace cash bail with a risk assessment tool used to decide which suspects must be jailed before trial. As mentioned in our column, the state’s Democratic leadership supported a Yes vote to keep with the plan, but the NAACP and ACLU joined the bail industry in fighting it.
Local Funding: Props to the Children’s Funding Project for tracking the county and city measures that could have a big impact on youth spending, you can follow them as the organization continues to update on its Twitter page. Among the decided actions:
- In Florida, Leon and Escambia counties approved the establishment of children’s services councils, which will provide about $15 million combined for child well-being in the state.
- St. Louis, Missouri, approved a $2.3 million-per-year fund for early childhood services in the city’s poorest areas.
- Multnomah County, Oregon (Portland area) approved a universal preschool program priced at $202 million per year.