Direct ballot initiatives had a significant night on election day. Marijuana won on every ballot it had appeared on. The legalization of all drugs has won in Oregon. Decriminalizing hallucinogenic mushrooms had passed in Washington D.C., and Florida voted to increase the minimum wage with over 60% favorability. However, there have been other direct ballot initiatives which have raised the attention of many individuals, such as Colorado voters having approved a new paid family and medical leave law. Proposition 118, a measure that had the support of 57 percent and a sizable lead of nearly 400,000 votes, would require that employers provide 12 weeks of paid time off for childbirth and family emergencies. Within the past two decades only eight other states have created programs which bear resemblance. Colorado State Senator Faith Winter stated “The new law will ensure that mothers don’t have to return to work mere days after giving birth, and that cancer patients can take time to heal.”
Arizona passed a substantial law of its own, raising rates for the state’s wealthiest households. Known as Proposition 208, the measure aims to essentially set up a fifth income tax bracket for wealthy residents that would raise the top rate to 8% from 4.5%. This additional 3.5% tax will only apply on incomes above $250,000, and $500,000 for joint filers. The state’s joint legislative budget committee estimates to save $940 million per year, and revenue would be used for education-related expenses. The controversial measure was intended to allow Arizona to make important investments in education. Whereas opposition of the proposition argued that it would hurt small businesses that are taxed through the individual code on their owners’ returns.