Voters Weighing In On Various State Ballot Measures


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - In addition to deciding the working status of ride-hailing drivers in Proposition 22, voters will be weighing in on 11 other statewide ballot measures today.

The issues facing voters range from the future of the cash-bail system, funding for stem cell research and a possible change to the state's longstanding Proposition 13 property tax system.

-- Proposition 14 would authorize the state to issue $5.5 billion in bonds to fund additional stem cell research projects. Of that money, $1.5 billion would be dedicated to research and therapies for brain and nervous system conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and stroke. The money would be on top of $3 billion that voters approved in 2004. The bonds would be repaid through the state's general fund, with costs estimated at an average of $260 million a year for 30 years.

-- Proposition 15 would revise the state's property tax rules set by 1978's famed Proposition 13. At its heart, Proposition 15 would base property tax rates on current market value for commercial properties valued at more than $3 million, rather than using the purchase price. The measure would generate an estimated $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in revenue per year, with the funds earmarked for schools and local government. Opponents say the measure will lead to increased costs of goods provided by impacted businesses, while supporters say it will close what they call a ``loophole'' and provide schools with needed funding.

-- Proposition 16 would essentially reinstate the concept of affirmative action in the state, allowing the consideration of race, ethnicity and gender in government decisions such as hiring, awarding of contracts and university admissions. The measure would repeal Proposition 209, which was passed by voters in 1996. The measure was prompted by the rising debate over systemic racism in public institutions, with supporters saying it will improve access and opportunities for under-represented groups. But opponents say the measure legalizes discrimination and preferential treatment based on race and ethnicity.

-- Proposition 17 would restore voting rights for people who have served prison time but are on parole. Backers say having voting rights restored makes parolees less likely to re-offend. But opponents argue it gives violent criminals the right to vote before fully completing their prison sentence and term of parole.

-- Proposition 18 would amend the California Constitution to allow 17-year-old residents to vote in primary elections, provided they will turn 18 before the ensuing general election. Supporters say it will boost civic engagement among youth, but opponents say 17 is too young to allow voting.

-- Proposition 19 would provide property tax relief for people who are over 55, disabled or disaster victims by allowing them to purchase a new home but continue paying property tax rates based on their previous residence. It would also limit the tax break provided when a parent passes a home or property to an adult child.

-- Proposition 20 would limit access to the parole system for select offenses. It would also increase penalties for some theft-related crimes and would require DNA samples to be taken from people convicted of certain misdemeanors.

-- Proposition 21 would allow local governments to impose rent-control measures on residential properties more than 15 years old. Supporters say it will expand the inventory of affordable housing to help combat homelessness, but opponents question whether it will actually offer any protection for renters and will remove protections for landlords.

-- Proposition 23 would set rules for kidney dialysis centers, including a requirement for a physician, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant to be present during treatment. Supporters insist it will improve conditions at dialysis centers, but opponents say it will actually force the closure of thousands of centers, limiting access to treatment.

-- Proposition 24 is designed to increase consumer privacy protections, giving consumers the right to be informed if their information is being collected or sold while limiting businesses' use of sensitive personal data.

-- Proposition 25 is a referendum on a state law that eliminated the system of cash bail in the state and replaced it with a process of basing pre-trial custody on public safety and flight risk. Backers of the law say the cash system favors wealthy defendants, but opponents say the resulting system is discriminatory and gives too much discretion to judges who will make custody decisions.

For a more comprehensive breakdown of the issues you'll see on the ballot, check out Kris Ankarlo's podcast - Propositioned.

Photo: Getty Images

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