A proposition guide to help California voters

As the general election approaches, many eager California voters are deciding which propositions they value most. As a tool to aid folks after checking the general election guide in its entirety, readers can find a breakdown of each proposition’s main goals below. 

All information in this article is accorded to the California Official Voter Information Guide signed by the Secretary of State Alex Padilla.  

Proposition 14

Prop. 14 centralizes around conducting research. If passed, $5.5 billion will be sold in general obligation bonds to fund stem cell research. A total of $1.5 billion of the funds would be dedicated to studying Alzheimer’s, Parkison’s, stroke, epilepsy and other brain conditions. The proposition is estimated to cost $7.8 billion with the state paying $260 million a year for 30 years to repay the interest on the general obligation bonds. 

Voting yes on Prop. 14 means one supports the funding of stem cell research, as the scientific research can save lives. Voting no on Prop. 14 means one does not support the funding of stem cell research as it will be quite costly for the state.

Proposition 15 

This proposition wants to change the prices of property taxes for large company buildings. It will increase property taxes on commercial and industrial property based on their current market value instead of what the property was purchased for. 

Small businesses, residential properties, agricultural land and businesses who have properties worth less than $3 million are exempt from the proposition and will not be taxed more than usual. All the increased property taxes will fund K-12 public schools, community colleges and local government systems. It is estimated to give $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion to fund those public institutions over time.

Voting yes on Prop. 15 means one supports increased property taxing of commercial business to give more funding to local governments and schools. Voting no on Prop. 14 means one does not support increased property taxing of commercial businesses as it has the potential to hurt the businesses paying more expensive property taxes. 

Proposition 16 

Prop. 16 is an affirmative action program to be effective within government decision-making policies. It will allow the government to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin to address diversity for public employment, education and contracting. It would repeal Prop. 209, which prohibits affirmative action and was written in the California Constitution in 1996.

Voting yes on Prop. 16 means one supports the affirmative action program that aims to create equal opportunity for all. Voting no on Prop. 16 means one does not support this program and wants to ensure there are no groups receiving preferential treatment by state institutions.

Proposition 17 

Prop. 17 restores voting rights for ex-prisoners. It will allow those in state prisons or on state parole to vote after finishing their prison term. There are currently 50,000 or so people on state parole. The proposition would increase annual county costs by an estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy more voter materials for the new voters. 

Voting yes on Prop. 17 means one supports granting prisoners and state parolees their voter rights back after serving their prison term, as they have done their time and should be allowed to reenter society. Voting no on Prop. 17 means one does not support granting prisoners and state parolees their voter rights back after serving their prison term, as some of the people have committed crimes such as rape and human trafficking and therefore should not have a civil voice.  

Proposition 18 

Prop. 18 will allow 17-year-old’s who are going to be 18 during the next general election to vote in the primary or special elections while only 17. As for its fiscal effects, the proposition will increase county costs between hundreds of thousands of dollars to a million dollars to pay for new voting materials for the age group. 

Voting yes on Prop. 18 means one supports having 17-year-olds vote in the primary and special elections if they will be 18 by the general election to increase youth voice and votership. Voting no on Prop 18. means one does not support having 17-year-olds vote in the primary and special elections if they will be 18 by the general election because there are many taxation decisions in the primary and special elections that minors are unfit to make decisions about. 

Proposition 19

Prop. 19 will allow homeowners who are 55-years-old or older, severely diabled or whose homes were destroyed by fires or other natural disasters to transfer their primary residence’s current property tax value onto a replacement home. 

Voting yes on Prop. 19 means one supports granting eligible homeowners the opportunity to transfer their property tax value to a new home to create housing relief for seniors, wildfire victims and people with disabilities. Voting no on Prop. 19 means one does not support granting eligible homeowners the opportunity to transfer their property tax value to a new home because it could increase property taxes for individuals who are trying to sell their inherited property. 

Proposition 20

Prop. 20 will reform certain incarceration and parole systems. It would change the penalties of serial theft and organized retail theft, where if someone has committed either of those two crimes two or more times in the past, on the third occasion their crime will be considered as a misdemeanor or a felony instead of only being considered a misdemeanor.

It will also change parole practices. Nonviolent inmates who pose a threat to society upon release will receive more limitations when officials are deciding to place them in a parole program or not. The proposition will also allow more DNA testing on those convicted of certain misdemeanors. It is estimated to increase correctional and court costs by tens of millions of dollars annually.

Voting yes on Prop. 20 means one supports changing parole and misdemeanor policies to prevent the early release of inmates who committed nonviolent crimes such as domestic violence. Voting no on Prop. 20 means one does not support changing parole and misdemeanor policies as it would cost millions of taxpayer dollars and because there are already sufficient rehabilitation programs in place for inmates. 

Proposition 21

This proposition will allow local governments to establish rent control on properties that are 15 or more years old. The effects of rent control may include people moving to different homes less frequently and may cause more landlords to sell property rather than renting it out.

Voting yes on Prop. 21 means one supports local rent control as they believe increases in rent pricing are driving people out of their neighborhoods. Voting no on Prop. 21 means one does not support local rent control as it has the potential to prevent the building of new homes.

Proposition 22

Prop. 22 will make all rideshare and food delivery service app workers independent contractors and not employees. It requires companies to pay the minimum wage for driving time but not for waiting time for those workers.

Financially, the proposition is estimated to decrease the prices of these apps’ services, where people would then buy those services more frequently and drivers would make a higher earnings.

Voting yes on Prop. 22 means one supports granting rideshare and food delivery app drivers the opportunity to be independent contractors so they make a higher income. Voting no on Prop. 22 means one does not support granting rideshare and food delivery app drivers the opportunity to be independent contractors as they will not receive the same benefits as a regularly categorized employee would.

Proposition 23

This proposition impacts the patients who use kidney dialysis clinics. It will require one licensed physician to be on site at kidney dialysis clinics. It also requires clinics to report their collected data from their dialysis patients. 

Prop. 23 prohibits refusing to treat patients based on their source of payment for care and from closing clinics without state approval.

Voting yes on Prop. 23 means one supports having one doctor on site at kidney dialysis clinics to oversee dialysis treatments as it will ensure the safety of patients. Voting no on Prop. 23 means one does not support having an on-site physician to oversee dialysis treatments as it will allocate clinic money to pay new doctors and would put clinics at risk of closing due to that loss of money.

Proposition 24 

Prop. 24 will require businesses that earn more than $25 million in revenue or receive 50% or more of their annual revenue from selling personal data to meet consumer data privacy requirements. Some of those requirements include telling consumers how they will use their data and disclosing what data about the consumer has been collected by the business. An estimated $10 million will be spent on creating state agencies to enforce consumer data privacy requirements.

Voting yes on Prop. 24 means one supports requiring businesses to comply with consumer data privacy requirements to protect people’s personal data from being abused. Voting no on Prop. 24 means one does not support requiring businesses to comply with consumer data privacy requirements because it may create new ways to collect individuals private information. 

Proposition 25

Prop. 25 will replace the money bail with a new system for releasing arrested persons before their arraignment. It eliminates release on bail and will create a new process for release before arraignment, according to the arrested person’s risk of threatening public safety and chance they will return to court for their arraignment. 

It will require almost all of those charged with misdemeanor crimes to be automatically released from jail before arraignment unless they are posed as a threat in some way. 

An assessment staff will decide if those convicted of felonies and certain misdemeanors will be released or not before arraignment. The proposition is estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year to fund the new process and pay for new assessment staff members across the state. 

Voting yes on Prop. 25 means one supports getting rid of bail in order to give equal opportunity to all who are charged for crimes. Voting no on Prop. 25 means one does not support discarding the bail system because the new assessment process deciding who will be released or not could be skewed by racial profiling.

To check the full details and arguments surrounding the propositions, view the Official Voter Information Guide at https://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/pdf/

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