FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — There are a lot of things on your November ballot. Along with local, statewide, and national candidates to choose from — and local measures — there are 12 statewide propositions on the ballot for Californians to decide.
It’s a lot of information, so we’re breaking down the basics of all 12.
Proposition 14 would dedicate $5.5 billion to stem cell and other medical research of brain-related diseases, including training, building construction, and administrative costs. The funds, obtained through general obligation bonds, would be paid back by taxpayers over approximately 30 years at $260 million per year.
A YES vote means the state government can sell bonds to pay for stem cell and other medical research at the price of about two hundred and sixty million taxpayer dollars per year for thirty years
A NO vote means California’s government cannot sell bonds to fund the research.
Supporters say it will fund treatments and cures for life-threatening diseases.
Opponents say it will commit billions of dollars that the state cannot afford.
Proposition 15 changes the way commercial properties are taxed. Currently, commercial properties are taxed based on the purchase price and adjusted for inflation every year. This proposition would tax properties based on current market value, increasing property taxes on commercial properties, and providing anywhere from $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools. The change would not affect commercial agriculture properties.
A YES vote means commercial property owners will pay taxes based on current market value and not purchase price, raising their taxes and providing funds to local governments and schools.
A NO vote maintains current property tax code on commercial properties and provides no additional funds.
Supporters call it a “fair and balanced reform” that would close property tax loopholes.
Opponents say it is a property tax increase that will raise the cost of living in the state.
Proposition 16 would change state law that prohibits the use of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin as it pertains to public employment, education, and contracting. This would allow state and local government, public universities, and other public entities to grant preferences based on those factors.
A YES vote would allow race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin to be used as factors in public employment, education, and contracting.
A NO vote would prohibit the use of those factors in public employment, education, and contracting.
Supporters say it promotes diversity, fights wage discrimination, systemic racism, and opens up opportunities for people of color.
Opponents say it eliminates the prohibition on discrimination and preferential treatment based on race, sex, color ethnicity, or national origin.
Proposition 17 would allow a person who has been convicted of a felony and served their prison term to regain their right to vote while on parole. Lawmakers expect this to cost taxpayers collectively in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for voter registration cards and systems.
A YES vote would allow convicted felons who have served prison terms to regain their right to vote while on parole.
A NO vote continues to prohibit those on parole from voting.
Supporters say it would align California with other states and that reports indicate that those who have voting rights restored are less likely to commit future crimes.
Opponents say it would grant violent criminals the right to vote before paying their debt to society and denies justice to crime victims.
Proposition 18 would allow those who are 17 years of age to vote in primary and special elections if they will turn 18 years old before the next general election. This would cost taxpayers collectively anywhere from hundreds of thousands to a million dollars every two years.
A YES vote would allow 17-year-olds who would be 18 before the next general election to vote in primary and special elections.
A NO vote would continue to prohibit 17-year-olds from voting until they turn 18.
Supporters say it allows first-time voters to participate in a full election cycle and would boost youth engagement in elections and help create more lifelong participants.
Opponents say that since laws prohibit 17-year-olds from smoking, drinking, and tanning due to their brains not being fully developed, the voting age should not be lowered.
Proposition 19 would allow homeowners who are disabled, wildfire or disaster victims, or are over 55 years of age to transfer their property tax base to a replacement home even if it is to a more expensive home. The proposition would also require people who inherit homes but do not use them as a primary residence to pay property tax based on the current value of the home. Lawmakers expect local governments to gain tens of millions in revenue per year from proposition 19.
A YES vote would allow those who are over 55, are disabled or are a victim of a wildfire or disaster to save on property taxes and require inherited homes not used as primary residences to be taxed at current values.
A NO vote would continue to limit tax savings to some homeowners over 55 years of age who meet other qualifications and would not alter the eligibility of inherited homes for tax savings.
Supporters say it limits taxes on seniors, disabled homeowners, and wildfire victims.
Opponents say it limits parents’ abilities to pass their homes on to their children.
Proposition 20 makes specific crimes currently specified as misdemeanors chargeable as either a misdemeanor or a felony which in some cases would restrict early parole for those convicted. Additionally, Proposition 20 would expand DNA collection from persons convicted of drug, theft, and domestic violence-related crimes to help solve violent crimes and exonerate the innocent. Lawmakers say taxpayers will collectively pay tens of millions of dollars more every year for increased correctional, court, and law enforcement costs.
A YES vote changes some crime specifications from a misdemeanor to either a misdemeanor or felony limiting access to early parole and requires DNA samples from people convicted of certain misdemeanors.
A NO vote would not change the specification of some crimes and would continue to require DNA samples only from those convicted of felonies, sex offenses, or arson.
Supporters say it closes a loophole that allows convicted child molesters, sexual predators, and others convicted of violent crimes to be released from prison early — and helps solve rapes, murders, and other serious crimes using DNA.
Opponents say it is a prison spending scam that lengthens already severe state sentences in California and that special interests want to scare voters into spending tens of millions on prisons.
Proposition 21 allows local governments to limit the amounts that landlords charge for leasing residences more than fifteen years old. This would not apply to landlords who own no more than two homes. Lawmakers say this could cost state and local government somewhere in the high tens of millions of dollars per year over time.
A YES vote allows cities and counties to enact more kinds of rent control to more properties.
A NO vote maintains the current limits on rent control.
Supporters say elected leaders; affordable housing providers; and senior, veteran, and homeless advocates agree it will prevent homelessness.
Opponents say it will make the housing crisis worse by undermining the strongest statewide rent control law in the country.
Proposition 22 allows app-based transportation like Uber and Lyft and delivery drivers from services like DoorDash to be classified as independent contractors. Additionally, Prop 22 would create new labor and wage policies for those workers. Drivers would choose when, where, and how much to work but would forego benefits and protections provided to employees.
A YES vote allows app-based rideshare and delivery companies to hire drivers as independent contractors not classified as employees.
A NO vote would require those companies to hire drivers as employees. Drivers would have less control over when, where, and how much to work, but would receive benefits and protections.
Supporters say it will keep app-based companies and hundreds of thousands of jobs from leaving California.
Opponents say it protects exploited drivers who are denied sick leave, healthcare, and unemployment.
Proposition 23 would make it mandatory for a doctor to be present while patients are being treated at California dialysis clinics, and would require clinics to treat patients no matter their source of payment for care. Lawmakers expect this to increase government costs by tens of millions of dollars every year.
A YES vote requires a doctor to be on-site while patients are being treated at dialysis clinics.
A NO vote would not change laws requiring a doctor to be present at dialysis clinics.
Supporters say it combats poor hygiene in dialysis clinics, improves staffing, and stops discrimination based on patients’ insurance.
Opponents say it will force many community dialysis clinics to shut down and would increase health care costs.
Proposition 24 would expand California’s data privacy laws. The sharing of consumers’ personal information would be more limited. Additionally, Prop 24 would create a California Privacy Protection Agency. The proposition will cost taxpayers collectively at least ten million dollars but likely not more than the low tens of millions.
A YES vote would expand California’s privacy laws and establish a state Privacy Protection Agency.
A NO vote would mean California would continue following current privacy laws enforced by the state’s Department of Justice
Supporters say it would strengthen privacy laws, hold corporations accountable when they violate fundamental rights, and protect kids online.
Opponents say it will allow “pay for privacy” schemes and makes it harder to stop tech giants from selling customer information.
Proposition 25 would uphold Senate Bill SB10. That bill eliminated the cash bail system. Instead, a criminal suspect is assessed as to their risk of failing to appear in court. Those deemed low risk are released from jail. Those deemed a medium risk can be either released or detained depending on local rules, and those deemed high risk remain in jail with a chance to ask a judge for their release.
A YES vote would eliminate the cash bail system in exchange for risk assessment.
A NO vote would keep the cash bail system in place.
Supporters say it replaces money bail with a fairer and safer process and ends “blatant discrimination.”
Opponents say the new system is discriminatory and would cost taxpayers millions of dollars per year.