California Propositions: A Voter’s Guide to the 2020 Ballot Measures

by | Sep 30, 2020 | Meet the Candidates

There are 12 props on the California ballot. Here’s everything you need to know before voting.

PROP 14
AUTHORIZES BONDS CONTINUING STEM CELL RESEARCH. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Authorizes $5.5 billion state bonds for: stem cell and other medical research, including training; research facility construction; administrative costs. Dedicates $1.5 billion to brain-related diseases. Appropriates General Fund moneys for repayment. Expands related programs. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds estimated at about $260 million per year over the next roughly 30 years.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: The state could sell $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds primarily for stem cell research and the development of new medical treatments in California.
NO A NO vote on this measure means: The state could not sell $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds primarily for stem cell research and the development of new medical treatments in California.

PROP15
INCREASES FUNDING SOURCES FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, COMMUNITY COLLEGES, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES BY CHANGING TAX ASSESSMENT OF COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Taxes such properties based on current market value, instead of purchase price. Fiscal Impact: Increased property taxes on commercial properties worth more than $3 million providing $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: Property taxes on most commercial properties worth more than $3 million would go up in order to provide new funding to local governments and schools.
NO A NO vote on this measure means: Property taxes on commercial properties would stay the same. Local governments and schools would not get new funding.

PROP 16
ALLOWS DIVERSITY AS A FACTOR IN PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, AND CONTRACTING DECISIONS. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by the Legislature
Permits government decision-making policies to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in order to address diversity by repealing constitutional provision prohibiting such policies. Fiscal Impact: No direct fiscal effect on state and local entities. The effects of the measure depend on the future choices of state and local government entities and are highly uncertain.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: State and local entities could consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public education, public employment, and public contracting to the extent allowed under federal and state law.

NO A NO vote on this measure means: The current ban on the consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public education, public employment, and public contracting would remain in effect.

PROP 17
RESTORES RIGHT TO VOTE AFTER COMPLETION OF PRISON TERM. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by the Legislature
Restores voting rights upon completion of prison term to persons who have been disqualified from voting while serving a prison term. Fiscal Impact: Annual county costs, likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars statewide, for voter registration and ballot materials. One-time state costs, likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, for voter registration cards and systems.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS

YES A YES vote on this measure means: People on state parole who are U.S. citizens, residents of California, and at least 18 years of age would be able to vote, if they register to vote.

NO A NO vote on this measure means: People on state parole would continue to be unable to vote in California.

PROP 18
AMENDS CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION TO PERMIT 17-YEAR-OLDS TO VOTE IN PRIMARY AND SPECIAL ELECTIONS IF THEY WILL TURN 18 BY THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION AND BE OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by the Legislature
Fiscal Impact: Increased statewide county costs likely between several hundreds of thousands of dollars and $1 million every two years. Increased one-time costs to the state of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS

YES A YES vote on this measure means: Eligible 17-year-olds who will be 18 years old by the time of the next general election may vote in the primary election and any special elections preceding the general election.
NO A NO vote on this measure means: No one younger than 18 years of age may vote in any election.

PROP 19
CHANGES CERTAIN PROPERTY TAX RULES. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by the Legislature
Allows homeowners who are over 55, disabled, or wildfire/disaster victims to transfer primary residence’s tax base to replacement residence. Changes taxation of family-property transfers. Establishes fire protection services fund. Fiscal Impact: Local governments could gain tens of millions of dollars of property tax revenue per year, probably growing over time to a few hundred million dollars per year. Schools could receive similar property tax gains.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS

YES A YES vote on this measure means: All homeowners who are over 55 (or who meet other qualifications) would be eligible for property tax savings when they move. Only inherited properties used as primary homes or farms would be eligible for property tax savings.
NO A NO vote on this measure means: Some homeowners who are over 55 (or who meet other qualifications) would continue to be eligible for property tax savings when they move. All inherited properties would continue to be eligible for property tax savings.

PROP 20
RESTRICTS PAROLE FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES CURRENTLY CONSIDERED TO BE NON-VIOLENT. AUTHORIZES FELONY SENTENCES FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES CURRENTLY TREATED ONLY AS MISDEMEANORS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Limits access to parole program established for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term of their primary offense by eliminating eligibility for certain offenses. Fiscal Impact: Increase in state and local correctional, court, and law enforcement costs likely in the tens of millions of dollars annually, depending on implementation.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: People who commit certain theft-related crimes (such as repeat shoplifting) could receive increased penalties (such as longer jail terms). Additional factors would be considered for the state’s process for releasing certain inmates from prison early. Law enforcement would be required to collect DNA samples from adults convicted of certain misdemeanors.

NO A NO vote on this measure means: Penalties for people who commit certain theft-related crimes would not be increased. There would be no change to the state’s process for releasing certain inmates from prison early. Law enforcement would continue to be required to collect DNA samples from adults only if they are arrested for a felony or required to register as sex offenders or arsonists.

PROP 21
EXPANDS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS’ AUTHORITY TO ENACT RENT CONTROL ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures

Allows local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Local limits on rate increases may differ from statewide limit. Fiscal Impact: Overall, a potential reduction in state and local revenues in the high tens of millions of dollars per year over time. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or more.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: State law would allow cities and counties to apply more kinds of rent control to more properties than under current law.
NO A NO vote on this measure means: State law would maintain current limits on rent control laws cities and counties can apply.

PROP 22
EXEMPTS APP-BASED TRANSPORTATION AND DELIVERY COMPANIES FROM PROVIDING EMPLOYEE BENEFITS TO CERTAIN DRIVERS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures

Classifies app-based drivers as “independent contractors,” instead of “employees,” and provides independent-contractor drivers other compensation, unless certain criteria are met. Fiscal Impact: Minor increase in state income taxes paid by rideshare and delivery company drivers and investors.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: App-based rideshare and delivery companies could hire drivers as independent contractors. Drivers could decide when, where, and how much to work but would not get standard benefits and protections that businesses must provide employees.
NO A NO vote on this measure means: App-based rideshare and delivery companies would have to hire drivers as employees if the courts say that a recent state law makes drivers employees. Drivers would have less choice about when, where, and how much to work but would get standard benefits and protections that businesses must provide employees.

PROP 23
ESTABLISHES STATE REQUIREMENTS FOR KIDNEY DIALYSIS CLINICS. REQUIRES ON-SITE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Requires physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant on site during dialysis treatment. Prohibits clinics from reducing services without state approval. Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on payment source. Fiscal Impact: Increased state and local government costs likely in the low tens of millions of dollars annually.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: Chronic dialysis clinics would be required to have a doctor on-site during all patient treatment hours.
NO A NO vote on this measure means: Chronic dialysis clinics would not be required to have a doctor on-site during all patient treatment hours.

PROP 24
AMENDS CONSUMER PRIVACY LAWS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Permits consumers to: prevent businesses from sharing personal information, correct inaccurate personal information, and limit businesses’ use of “sensitive personal information,” including precise geolocation, race, ethnicity, and health information. Establishes California Privacy Protection Agency. Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs of at least $10 million, but unlikely exceeding low tens of millions of dollars, to enforce expanded consumer privacy laws. Some costs would be offset by penalties for violating these laws.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: Existing consumer data privacy laws and rights would be expanded. Businesses required to meet privacy requirements would change. A new state agency and the state’s Department of Justice would share responsibility for overseeing and enforcing state consumer privacy laws.
NO A NO vote on this measure means: Businesses would continue to be required to follow existing consumer data privacy laws. Consumers would continue to have existing data privacy rights. The state’s Department of Justice would continue to oversee and enforce these laws.

PROP 25
REFERENDUM ON LAW THAT REPLACED MONEY BAIL WITH SYSTEM BASED ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND FLIGHT RISK.

SUMMARY – Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures

A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, law replacing money bail with system based on public safety and flight risk. Fiscal Impact: Increased costs possibly in mid hundreds of millions of dollars annually for a new process for release from jail prior to trial. Decreased county jail costs, possibly in high tens of millions of dollars annually.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: No one would pay bail to be released from jail before trial. Instead, people would either be released automatically or based on their assessed risk of committing another crime or not appearing in court if released. No one would be charged fees as a condition of release.

NO A NO vote on this measure means: Some people would continue to pay bail to be released from jail before trial. Other people could continue to be released without paying bail. Fees may continue to be charged as a condition of release.

 

 

 

 

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