• Ariana Jones

California Propositions November 2020

Updated: Sep 16

What's on your ballot? Don't know? We've got you covered!


There are 11 propositions for this year's election on November 3rd. Here is a quick and comprehensive explanation of every proposition and its fiscal impact. Check your voter registration status at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.

Get out, vote, and make the change you want to see!


Prop 14: Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative (Bonds)

$5.5 billion bonds for California stem cell research and changes to institute's governance structure and programs. California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) would use 7.5% of the bond on operation costs. The amount of 1.5 billion dollars will be dedicated to "research on therapies and treatments for brain and nervous system diseases." Around 1.5% of overall funds will go towards Community Care Centers for Excellence, allowing human clinical trials, treatments, and cures. 0.5% of total funds will be directed to the Shared Lab Program, which researches human embryonic stem cells. The remaining funds will be dedicated to grants which conduct research, trials, programs, and start-up costs for those facilities.

Fiscal Impact: State costs increased $260 million per year for around 30 years.

Prop 15: Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative (Taxes)

Rather than tax commercial and industrial properties (exempt: commercial agriculture) by the purchase price, Prop 19 would require tax based on market value. If passed, landowners will pay the current market price. Which is known as a split roll because the purchase price will still be assessed residential properties. In the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the ballot exempts properties with business owners with 3 million or fewer property holdings and small business tangible personal property.

Split roll: A taxation on business buildings and industrial buildings that are higher than residential properties. Split roll is a mean of reducing or keeping a lower rate of property taxes on homeowners.

Fiscal Impact: Increase in taxes for cities, counties, and increase funding in public school districts and community colleges.

Prop 16: Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment (Affirmative Action)

Proposition 209, passed in 1996, would be repealed by Prop 16. Prop 209 banned affirmative action (race-based or sex-based) due to the discrimination and preferential treatment prohibited in public employment, public education, and general contracting based on a person's or group's race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Federal law would define affirmative action.

Fiscal Impact: No effect considering it does not change any policies or programs. Any fiscal product is of "high uncertainty."

Prop 17: Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment. (Suffrage)

Support 17 would allow those with felony convictions on Parole to vote in the state of California.

Fiscal Impact: Increased county costs for registration and ballot materials (annual). Increase costs to update voter registration cards and systems (once).

Two states allow people who are imprisoned to vote (Maine and Vermont). Currently, 19 states allow people who have felonies while simultaneously on Parole to vote.

Prop 18: Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment (Suffrage)

Primary Voting would grant 17-year-olds who will turn 18 at the next general election to vote.

Eighteen other states allow this.

Fiscal Impact: Increased cost for counties to send and process materials specifically for 17-year-olds would be $1 million every two years.

Prop 19: Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment (Taxes)

Prop 19 allows homeowners 55 or older, severely disabled, or whose homes were destroyed by a natural disaster (ex: fire) to transfer their primary residence property taxes to a replacement residence, anywhere in California. Prop 19 would limit the tax benefits for home transfers when passed from parent-to-child/grandparent-to-grandchild, in cases when the receiver does not use the property as their primary home (rental home or second home). This ballot measure will reallocate the most resulting state revenues to fire protection services and local government taxation charges.

Fiscal Impact: Schools and local governments possibly gain millions of dollars from property tax revenue. Other tax increases that would mostly be spent towards fire protection.

Prop 20: Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative (Law Enforcement)

This ballot will allow specific theft (firearm and vehicle), fraud crimes, and unlawful uses of a credit card, a felony rather than a misdemeanor. This ballot will also require a person convicted of specific misdemeanors (shoplifting, grand theft, drug possession, domestic violence, and prostitution with a minor, to forfeit a DNA sample for state and federal databases. Prop 20 would also change how felons convicted of nonviolent crimes are released (currently, upon complete sentence, is put on Parole). Prop 20 would demand the parole review board to consider factors such as age, attitude with crimes, marketable skills, mental state, circumstances of the crime that has been committed before allowing release. This ballot will also redefine 51 crimes and sentence enhancements as violent in order to exclude persons from the parole review program. Prop 20 would call for changes to Prop 47 (2014) and 57 (2016).

Fiscal Impact: Increased correctional costs annually due to an increase in the population of county jails and supervision, tens of millions of dollars annually. Increase state and local costs, several million dollars annually, for court. Increase enforcement costs for collecting and processing DNA samples, a few million dollars annually.



Prop 21: Local Rent Control Initiative (Housing)

Prop 21 would replace the ballot of 1995, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Under this act, landlords are allowed to increase rent prices to market rates when a tenant moves out. This proposition allows the local government to initiate rent control on housing units (exclusion: housing first occupied within the last 15 years and units owned by persons who own no more than two housing units with separate titles). In addition, local governments that adopt rent control to allow landlords to increase rent rates by 15% during the first three years after a vacancy.

Fiscal Impact: A potential reduction in state and local revenue over time.

Prop 22: App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative (Business)

This proposition would consider app-based drivers as independent contractors and not as employees or agents. This prop will define workers who provide delivery services that are considered on-demand and a personal vehicle to provide these services and collect payment through an online platform (think Uber, Doordash, etc.) as app-based workers. The ballot would enforce labor and wage policies to app-based companies. This would include a net earnings floor (120% of states minimum wage applied to driver's time, 30 cents per mile, a limit of hours of working in 24 hours, healthcare subsidies, accident insurance, and accidental death insurance. Work time would begin when accepting a delivery/rideshare and completion of that request. Prop 22 would require these companies to develop anti-discrimination and sexual harassment policies. Companies such as Doordash, Lyft, Uber, Postmates, and Instacart support this ballot.

Fiscal Impact: Small increases in state taxes paid by app-based drivers and investors.

Prop 23: Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative (Healthcare)

This initiative would require at least one licensed doctor to be at a chronic dialysis clinic during treatment (exemption being a shortage of physicians). Prop 23 would prohibit dialysis clinics from closing without state approval and refuse to service patients due to the source of payment of treatment. Lastly, this initiative would require reports regarding dialysis-related infections from dialysis clinics.

Fiscal Impact: State and local government costs will increase annually in the millions of dollars.

Prop 24: Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative (Business)

(California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act of 2020)

Prop 24 will expand on the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. This prop will create the California Privacy Protection Agency and remove businesses' ability to fix violations before being penalized for violations. Prop 24 would require businesses not to share personal information upon the request of the consumer. Also giving consumers the option to opt-out from having their personal information disclosed for either advertising or marketing, must get permission before collecting information from younger than 16 years old (triple penalties for violations). Prop 24 will also require permission from a parent/guardian for those consumers under 13 and correct personal information if inaccurate when a consumer requests.

Fiscal Impact: State cost will increase annually (estimated at least $10 million) for a new agency to enforce consumer privacy laws and the unknown impact of state and local tax due to new requirements to protect personal data.



Prop 25: Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum (Trails)

Pop 25 would replace California's use of cash bail for all suspects awaiting trial. Rather than the cash bail system, it would use risk assessment as the tool to determine release while waiting for a trial date. The risk assessment is a category from low-high risk. The factors of risk assessment include the likelihood to show up to court and threat to public safety. Low-risk suspects would be released from jail. High-risk suspects would remain in jail (with an option to advocate their release to a judge). Medium risk suspects could be either released or kept in jail, a decision that comes from the local court.

Fiscal Impact: Includes decreased county jail costs, increased state and local costs that include creating a new process for the release of suspects from jail.


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