Voters decided on several youth-related measures last month:
• Act 1, Restricting Adoption and Foster Parenting
Prohibits same-sex couples from adopting or becoming foster parents. Also bars any unmarried couple that is living together, regardless of sexual orientation, from adopting or serving as foster parents. The restriction applies to all adoptions in the state, including private adoptions of children not in foster care.
• Proposition 4, Abortion Parental Notification
Would have required parental notification and a two-day waiting period before a female under 18 could have an abortion. If the young woman refused to inform her parent or guardian, she would have had to write a report about the abuse that she feared from her parent, and the doctor would send the document to the authorities.
• Proposition 6, Safe Neighborhoods Act
Provisions included increasing penalties for drug- and gang-related crimes and allowing for gang-related offenders as young as 14 to be prosecuted as adults.
• Measure OO, Kids First!
Oakland measure requires the city to double its funding for youth programs by 2011. Opponents say it will force cuts in other city services.
• Question 2, Voting
Allows 17-year-olds to vote in primaries, as long as they will turn 18 by the time of the general election.
• I-155, Healthy Montana Kids
Increases eligibility for youth to be covered by state health insurance. For example, it covers children whose household income is up to $53,000 for a family of four, an increase from the previous maximum of $37,000. The state must also identify all of its uninsured children.
• Measure 54, Voting
Allows adults under age 21 to vote in school board elections.
• Measure 58, Bilingual Education
Would have limited lessons in a language other than English to two years for non-English-speaking students.
• Amendment 1, Age of Consent
Repeals a provision of the state constitution that says girls can consent to marriage at age 14. State law sets the age at 16 for both girls and boys.