Californians say no to rent control, make Uber-Lyft drivers independent contractors and keep cash bail system

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Voters cast their ballots at the polling place located within L.A.’s Union Station on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
In the midst of a pandemic that defined a tumultuous presidential campaign, voters across the United States stood up to fears of coronavirus infection, threats of intimidation at Union Station, Los Angeles. Citizens attended the polls for U.S. president. (Photo by Deccio Serrano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Californians had several interesting ballot measures to consider this week and collectively decided to turn their backs on government oversight when it came to rent control and app-based drivers who work for Uber and Lyft.

They also elected to keep the current cash bail system.

Prop 21, which would have given independent cities the ability to institute rent control, was soundly defeated. A similar measure four years ago was also turned down. Cities would have been allowed to limit how much landlords who owned properties older than 15 years could charge for rent. People owning fewer than two rental properties would have been exempt. Other protections for property owners were included in the measure, but it was defeated nonetheless.

Another intriguing ballot measure was Prop 22.

If approved, it would have defined Uber and Lyft drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, which would the app-based ride-sharing companies to guarantee drivers a minimum wage or other employment benefits. 

Prop 22 was a response to California Assembly Bill 5, which tried to rein in abuses by companies who rely on contract labor. AB5 protected freelance workers in particular Uber and Lyft drivers.

The companies insisted, despite several court rulings against them, that they were exempt from the law.

Prop 25, the ballot measure that would have abolished California’s cash bail system was rejected by the state’s voters.

Proponents wanted to replace the use of money bail as a condition for getting out of jail while awaiting trial. Judges would have gone to a “risk assessment system” determining a defendant’s flight risk. The higher the risk, the lower the chances of being released from jail.

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