Assistant Campus Life Editor
If you are voting in California, there are some things you might need to know about the ballots. There will be 12 propositions on your ballot for the election on Nov. 3, 2020. To find a more in-depth guide to the propositions, read the Official Voter Information Guide here.
Trigger Warnings: racism, rape, human trafficking
*Disclaimer: this does not reflect any opinions of those at the QC. it is merely a breakdown of the propositions that are on the ballots in California.
Proposition 14 is titled “Authorizes Bonds Continuing Stem Cell Research. Initiative Statute” and would issue $5.5 billion in bonds towards the state’s stem cell research institute. It is backed by the California Democratic Party, Robert N. Klein II, as well as organizations such as the University of California Board of Regents and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The total estimated cost is $7.8 billion with $260 million paid per year over the next roughly 30 years.
For: Prop 14 will fund treatments and research for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s, other mMental hHealth and bBrain Conditions, and more. The proposition would also increase patient affordability and access by using the funding to expand trials. Prop 14 also argues that it would boost California’s economy by creating jobs and new revenues. Doctors, Nobel Prize Scientists, over 70 leading Patient Advocate Organizations, urge YES on 14.
Against: Prop 14 commits billions of dollars during California’s economic and budget crisis. Arguments against Prop 14, made by Vincent Fortanasce, M.D., and Patrick James Baggot, M.D., claim that funding the research is not worth the cost to pay back. Prop.14’s costs could lead to the possibility of an increase in tax or layoffs.
Proposition 15 is known as “The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020” and on the ballot will be titled “Increases Funding for Public Schools, Community Colleges, and Local Government Services by Changing Tax Assessment of Commercial and Industrial Property. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” This Prop increases funding by requiring commercial and industrial real property be taxed based on current market value, instead of the purchase price. Prop 15 closes property tax loopholes benefiting wealthy corporations, cuts small business taxes, and reclaims billions of dollars to invest in our schools and local communities. Schools and Communities First provides a list of its supporters here but some of its biggest supporters are Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, California Democratic Party, Green Party of California, Dolores Huerta, American Federation of Teachers, and the ACLU of Northern and Southern California. For a full list of those who oppose Prop 15, such as the California State Conference of the NAACP and various Chambers of Commerce, click here.
For: Commercial properties will be assessed based on their actual fair market value. Prop 15 does not affect homeowners and renters. Prop 15 protects small businesses and cuts their taxes. Wealthy corporations will be taxed equitably and the money will be reinvested in the community.
Against: Arguments against Prop 15 are concerned about the protection placed by Prop 13 for homeowners. Prop 15 may also cause a rise in the cost of living in California, which would affect low-income families the most. The proposition will cost more than $1 billion to implement, which strains local governments.
Proposition 16 is a legislative constitutional amendment titled “Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment”. Prop 16 allows diversity as a factor in public employment, education, and contracting decisions. legislative constitutional amendment. There is no direct fiscal impact from this proposition and costs nothing for state and local government. Voting yes on this measure would repeal Article I, section 31, of the California Constitution, which was added by Proposition 209 in 1996. For reference, Proposition 209 banned the use of affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences in California. The Opportunity for All Coalition is leading the campaign for Yes on Prop 16. It is currently supported by various members of Congress like Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.
For: Prop 16 expands equal opportunity to all Californians. The amendment would expand access to fair wages, good jobs, and quality schools for everyone. Supporters of Prop 16 state that its passing would give women of color an equal shot at job promotions and leadership positions, expand career and educational opportunities in science and technology for girls, and remove barriers to equal opportunity.
Against: Arguments against Prop 16 state that the change will divide us at a time we need to unite. It is also argued that prohibiting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin is a fundamental aspect of being American. The concern that comes from Prop 16 is favoring one race over another in government jobs, promotions, or layoffs. To see who is against Prop 16, check out Californians For Equal Rights. (hyperlink: https://californiansforequalrights.org/our-coalition/)
Proposition 17, the Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment, is a constitutional amendment that restores voting rights to people who have been convicted of a felony as soon as they complete their prison term. The only fiscal impact predicted from this amendment would be increased annual costs on ballots and voter registration. The state has prohibited certain people to be registered to vote including those in state prison or on state parole. There are currently 50,000 people on state parole. Prop 17 is supported by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, the ACLU of California, and the California Democratic Party.
For: It restores a person’s right to vote upon completion of their prison term. 19 other states allow people to vote after completing their prison term. Yes on Prop 17 states that parole is meant to be rehabilitation to integrate people back into their communities, which should include the right to vote. Two-thirds of California’s legislators support Proposition 17.
Against: In California, parole is legally a part of one’s prison sentence. Those against Prop 17 claim that it denies justice to crime victims and would allow people convicted of murder, rape, and child molestation to vote before finishing their sentence. Half of the parolees are convicted of new crimes within three years.
Proposition 18 is a legislative constitutional amendment that, if passed, permits 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections — based on if they will turn 18 by the next general election. By permitting them to vote, the fiscal impact will affect counties voting costs. California allows people age 16 – 17 to pre-register to vote so that when they turn 18 they are automatically registered. In California, there are over 100,000 17 year-olds pre-registered to vote as of June 2020.
For: Nearly half of the states already allow 17 year-olds that will be 18 by the general election to vote. Youth voters are underrepresented in electoral decisions.
Against: The Election Integrity Project California believes that 17-year-olds should not be given the opportunity to vote because they are still minors. Others also argue that 17 year-olds rarely have experience working living wages and paying taxes, thus leaving them inexperienced in matters that voting impacts. Research shows that their brains are not fully developed.
Proposition 19 is the Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment. It allows homeowners who are over 55, disabled, or disaster victims to transfer their primary residence’s tax base to the replacement residence. State and local governments would benefit from millions of dollars in tax revenue.
For: Prop 19 allows people to move anywhere in California while maintaining their original lower property tax bill. It also narrows the unfair tax loopholes for inheriting property, especially those that would not be used as a primary residence or farm.
Against: Proposition 19 eliminates Proposition 58, passed in 1986, which allowed people to pass their home and up to $1 million of other property. Reassessments of properties mean higher property taxes.
Proposition 20 is an initiative titled the “Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative” that authorizes felony sentences for certain offenses currently treated only as misdemeanors. The fiscal impact would be an increase in state and local correctional facilities and costs. Prop 20 increases penalties for theft crimes, changes the prison release system, changes decisions made by Prop 57, and requires law enforcement to collect DNA of people convicted of certain crimes.
For: Prop 20 increases the penalties for crimes that are considered non-violent such as “drugging and raping somebody, raping a developmentally disabled person, spousal abuse, a drive-by shooting, human trafficking of a child” says Assemblymember Jim Cooper. It increases penalties for serial theft and organized retail theft. The Prop also would expand DNA collections.
Against: Prop 20 will use tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on the prison system instead of rehabilitation, mental health resources, and support for victims. Those against the proposition believe it will cut services needed by the community. NoProp20.vote states that it is a prison spending scam.
Proposition 21 is the Local Rent Control Initiative. It allows local governments to set rent control for properties over 15 years old. Prop 21 also allows rent increases at the start of a new tenancy of up to 15 percent% over three years. About one-fifth of Californians live in cities with rent control. Over time, the proposition will cause a loss in tax revenue. Yes on 21, is leading the campaign support and is sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. It is supported by Bernie Sanders, the California Democratic Party, and Dolores Huerta. For more information on Yes on 21 supporters, their website lists Prop 21’s endorsements. No On Prop 21 also has its lists of opponents of the measure here.
For: By establishing rent control, Prop 21 will reduce homelessness by providing reasonable and predictable rent increases slowly. The Prop also ensures a profit for landlords. Single-family residence owners will not be affected by the changes from this measure. Prop. 21 allows our communities to preserve affordable housing and encourages the construction of new homes.
Against: Opponents of Prop 21 state that it would make the housing crisis worse and offers no real solutions. Civil rights leaders, affordable housing advocates, seniors, veterans, and a broad coalition of business and labor organizations oppose Prop. 21. It also reduces state and local funds by millions of dollars. The Prop contains no provisions to reduce rents or stop homelessness. 60% of voters rejected a similar measure in 2018.
Proposition 22 is the App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative. Prop 22 considers app-based drivers independent contractors. Currently, independent contractors are not covered by many state employment laws, but they would be entitled to other compensation. The measure criminalizes the impersonation of drivers. Prop 22 would lead to an increase in state income taxes from the app-based drivers. In August 2019, DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber each placed $30 million into campaign accounts to fund this a ballot initiative campaign. Save App-Based Jobs & Services provided a list of supporters. It is opposed by Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the California Labor Federation. For a full list of opponents of Proposition 22 click here.
For: Prop 22 requires the companies to pay 120 percent of the local minimum wage for time spent while driving, not while on standby. The measure requires companies to pay for health insurance for those who work 15 hours or more a week. It would also prohibit drivers from working more than 12 hours a day. VoteYesProp22.com states by a 4:1 margin, app-based drivers want to be independent.
Against: “App-based companies paid $5,000,000 to put 22 on the ballot. And they say they’ll spend another one hundred million to pass it,” says Jerome Gage, Lyft Driver. Uber and Lyft do not currently pay minimum wage, overtime, or paid sick leave. It continues to allow companies to exploit their workers for profit. Drivers would only be guaranteed $5.64 an hour under Prop 22.
Proposition 23 is the Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative. It requires one licensed physician to be on-site at outpatient dialysis clinics. Prop 23 requires clinics to report dialysis-related infection data to the government. It also prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on the source of payment for care. It increases state costs by tens of millions. It is supported and sponsored by SEIU-UHW West.
For: Prop 23 requires a physician or nurse practitioner to be in the clinic when patients are being treated. Informing the government of infections protects patients. Dialysis corporations cannot close their clinics or reduce service unless approved by the state. It prohibits clinics from discrimination against patients based on insurance.
Against: Prop 23 is funded by one special interest group with no expertise in dialysis. The California Medical Association urges no on Prop 23. Prop. 23 hurts minority patients and those in disadvantaged communities the most. The proposition would increase health care costs by $320,000,000 annually. More than 100 leading organizations strongly urge no, including DaVita, Inc., California Medical Association, California NAACP State Conference.
Proposition 24 amends consumer privacy laws. The “Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative” amends the provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, creates the California Privacy Protection Agency, and removes the ability of businesses to fix violations before being penalized for violations. It will increase state costs by about $10 million annually for a new state agency. It is supported by Andrew Yang and the California NAACP State Conference. Californians for Consumer Privacy have a list of supporters here. It is opposed by Dolores Huerta, ACLU of California, the Media Alliance, and others.
For: Prop 24 makes privacy laws stronger. It limits the sharing of personal information. Consumers could direct businesses to make reasonable efforts to correct personal data. This proposition would enforce a new penalty up to $7,500 for violations of consumer privacy rights of minors. Proposition 24 creates a new state agency, the CPPA, to oversee and enforce the consumer privacy laws in California.
Against: The creation of the CPPA would increase state costs by millions of dollars annually. New consumer privacy laws would also increase the workload of the Department of Justice and court costs.
Proposition 25 is a veto referendum to “Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum”. A yes on Prop 25 will replace the money bail system with a system based on a determination of public safety and flight risk. Fiscally, Proposition 25 will possibly increase state and local costs millions of dollars annually for a new process for releasing people from jail prior to trial. It can also possibly decrease county jail costs by changing the bail system. Proposition 25 is a referendum on Senate Bill 10, pretrial release and detention. It creates a new process for release before arraignment. It is supported by the California Democratic Party and has a full list of supporters here. No on Prop 25 also provided a list of opponents here, which include the NAACP and United Latinos Vote.
For: Those in favor of Proposition 25 want to end money bail due to its unfairness and costliness. A yes on Prop 25 makes release determined on safety and not if the offender can afford bail. Money bail is discriminatory. Vote Yes On Proposition 25 says that it “makes our communities safer by ensuring jail space is reserved for those who are actually dangerous and shouldn’t be released, instead of the poor.” Money bail is also costly for taxpayers; Prop 25 saves taxpayers millions of dollars.
Against: Proposition 25 is costly because it requires additional court hearings. Prop. 25 will cost local governments millions of dollars more each year. Opponents state that California’s recent experiment with no bail during the pandemic was unsuccessful. Prop 25 relies on computer profiling which has been shown to discriminate against minorities and people from neighborhoods with higher concentrations of immigrants and low-income residents. The proposition eliminates the choice of bail, which is a constitutional right. “Prop. 25 will endanger public safety and makes it harder for police and sheriff’s departments to do our jobs,” says Chad Bianco, Riverside County Sheriff.
With this breakdown of each California proposition, the Quaker Campus hopes readers feel more prepared to go out and vote!
Featured image: Courtesy of Getty Images