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We make every effort to stay away from politics, after all, our mantra is “No Politics, Just Food for the Soul.” Every so often, we find it necessary to provide facts and/or opinion pieces about the world we live in, or measure outlines to assist our readers in navigating the waters of online news.
With the upcoming General Election just around the corner, Leeza London has put together an outline on all the 12 measures that will appear in this year’s California ballot.
Here’s a brief guide on the 12 State Measures on the California ballot. Some are pretty straight forward, and don’t require further explanation, however, some are a little vague, so I have included additional information to assist you in making your decision before you get in to that voting booth on election day.
Of course, you should do your own research as well, but if you wanted a quick and simple guide, this may help.
State Measure 14 – Stem Cell Research
Voting yes will authorize the state to fund stem cell research through a $5.5 billion state bond, that would be a loan that California would have to pay back with interest over 30 years, using its taxpayer-supported general fund.
Voting no means there will be no money to fund stem cell research.
The supporters for a Yes vote are Cedars-Sinai, City Of Hope, The Michael J Fox Foundation, and other research groups. There are no organizations opposing this measure.
State Measure 15 – Commercial Property Tax
Currently, commercial properties are taxed the same way as residential properties; their tax is based on their purchase price, with an increase of 2% each year. Voting yes on Measure 15 will change the way commercial properties are taxed.
They will be taxed based on their current market value, which will be assessed every 3 years. This will significantly increase the amount of money owners of commercial property will have to pay in property tax every year. Properties worth less than $3m and agricultural properties will be exempt.
The increased taxes will be used for additional funding for local government and schools. The state does not specify how much of the money raised will go to the schools and how much to the government. Also, keep in mind, that when the commercial property owners expenses go up, so does your rent. Many of you may have an office, or a café, or a clothing boutique on a commercial property that is worth over $3m.
If this measure passes, your rent will be going up. If you are barely making ends meet now, this will put you out of business.
Of course we want to raise money for schools, but this measure does not guarantee a set amount that it will be allocating to schools. But it does guarantee that it will be putting a huge strain on property owners with this additional tax, and the property owners will be passing on the cost to you, the tenant. Don’t be fooled by the ads saying they are going after major corporations, like Disneyland or Universal Studios. If that were the case, they would be implementing this tax increase on properties worth over $50m. But $3m is about the cost of an 8 unit strip mall, or a 4 story office building in Los Angeles.
This will be affecting the middle class, which will trickle down and affect the lower income households as well.
State Measure 16 – Diversity
Voting yes means public institutions can consider race, sex, ethnicity, or national origin when it comes to hiring, offering a job, or college admissions.
Voting no means none of those factors can be considered.
Supporters say voting yes would increase diversity and help address inequality. The people opposing this measure call it divisive and discriminatory.
State Measure 17 – Restoring Voting Rights to
Former Prisoners while On Parole
Voting yes means giving people back their right to vote after they have served their time in prison, but still on parole.
Voting no means people would remain unable to vote while on parole after completing their prison sentence.
The California Democratic Party supports this measure. Republican State Senator Jim Neilson opposes it.
State Measure 18 – Allows 17 year olds to vote
Voting yes on this measure allows 17 year-olds to vote in the primary and special elections, if they will turn 18 by the next general election. Washington DC and 18 other states already practice this.
People who support this measure are the California Democratic Party, who say it will motivate young people to become life long voters.
Those opposed say since most 17 year-olds are still under strong influence from their parents, it is not conductive to independent thought and they would be voting under pressure from their parents.
State Measure 19 – Transferring Tax Base / Increasing Tax
on Inherited Homes
Voting yes would allow homeowners who are over the age of 55, disabled, or wildfire/disaster victims to transfer their primary residence tax base to a new replacement residence.
A yes vote would also require higher taxes from people who have inherited homes if they do not use them as their primary residence. So, if you inherit a home, and are not going to use it as your primary residence (say you’re going to use it as a vacation home or rent it out), you will be taxed according to the current market value.
Voting no means that if seniors sell their home and buy a new one, they will have to pay the current value property tax on their new home, and not be able to carry over their low property tax from their previous residence. Supporter of this measure say it will allow seniors to sell their home to downsize without increasing their property tax.
Those opposed say it would increase the tax on inheritance so high that the families would not be able to afford keeping their family home.
State Measure 20 – Parole Restrictions
Voting yes increases penalties on people who have committed misdemeanors, theft and drug crimes, increases the list of crimes that are required to collect DNA samples, can change a crime from a misdemeanor to a felony, and would roll back the changes within the past decade that were intended to reduce the inmate population of California.
Voting no means keeping in place the recently passed criminal justice reform.
Supporters include the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Those opposed include the California Democratic Party and former Gov. Jerry Brown.
State Measure 21 – Rent Control
Voting yes means that local governments can cap rent increases on housing that’s more that 15 years old. It does not affect landlords who own fewer than three properties.
Voting no means keeping the current restrictions that prevent local governments from imposing rent control on housing built after 1995, or earlier like in Los Angeles where most apartments constructed after 1978 can’t be restricted.
Supporters include the Los Angeles Tenants Union. Those opposed include Gov. Gavin Newsome, who has cited that the has already signed a law in 2019 that already caps rent increases across the state to 5% plus inflation.
State Measure 22 – Independent Contractors
Voting yes means allowing Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare or delivery companies to classify their drivers as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. This would mean that the companies would not be required to offer benefits, minimum wage, or sick pay.
Voting no means that these corporations will not be exempt from providing their drivers from wage protection and health benefits.
State Measure 23 – Kidney Dialysis Clinics
Voting yes requires that a doctor, nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant to remain on site of a dialysis clinic while treatment is taking place. The clinics would also have to offer the same care to patients regardless of their source of payment or insurance, report infections, and get permission from the state health department before closing down.
Voting no means that you oppose these new rules. Supporters include the Service Employees International Union-United Health Care Workers West.
Those opposed include Dialysis companies and the California Medical Association, who say that it would increase costs to patients and make the doctor shortage worse.
State Measure 24 – Consumer Privacy Laws
Voting yes means it will prevent businesses from sharing their consumers’ personal information, it would allow consumers to correct inaccurate personal information, and it will limit businesses‘ use of sensitive personal information, such as their location, race, and health information. This will prompt companies to send out emails and pop up messages that will let their consumers opt out of having their information sold.
Voting no means keeping in place the current privacy laws, which will continue to be over seen by the Department of Justice.
Supporters of this measure include former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and the Consumer Watchdog. Those opposed include the ACLU, who say it requires people to jump through more hoops to ensure their privacy.
State Measure 25 – Flight Risk
Voting yes eliminates the cash bail system, and means upholding a law passed by the State Legislature in 2018. This measure bases bail on a person’s assessed risk on failing to appear in court, rather than on a cash system. If a person is considered low risk, they are released from jail. Those deemed medium risk can either be released or detained depending on local rules. And those deemed high risk remain in jail with a chance to ask the judge for a release.
Voting no means that suspects would continue to pay cash bail, have bond companies pay on their behalf, or wait in jail while they wait for their trial.
Supporters for this measure include Gov. Gavin Newsome and a long list of Democrats and philanthropists. Those opposed include bail bond companies, and the ACLU, who warn that the assessments could be racially and socioeconomically biased.