Thank You Redondo Beach Chamber Chairman Circle Partners:

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
10/9/2020 Chamber of Commerce
California November Ballot Propositions

Proposition 14, the Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative

The ballot initiative would issue $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which was created to fund stem cell research. In 2004, voters approved Proposition 71, which created CIRM, issued $3.00 billion in bonds to finance CIRM, and established a state constitutional right to conduct stem cell research.

As of October 2019, CIRM had $132 million in funds remaining. On July 1, 2019, CIRM suspended applications for new projects due to depleted funds.

The ballot initiative would require CIRM to spend no more than 7.5 percent of the bond funds on operation costs. The remaining bond funds would be spent on grants to entities that conduct research, trials, and programs related to stem cells, as well as start-up costs for facilities. Some of the bond funds would be dedicated, including $1.5 billion for research on therapies and treatments for brain and nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and dementia. Upwards of 1.5 percent of the total funds would be spent on Community Care Centers of Excellence (CCCE), which would be sites that conduct human clinical trials, treatments, and cures. Upwards of 0.5 percent of the total funds would be spent on the Shared Labs Program (SLP), which are state-funded facilities dedicated to research on human embryonic stem cells.

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Proposition 15, the Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative

Proposition 15 would amend the California State Constitution to require commercial and industrial properties, except those zoned as commercial agriculture, to be taxed based on their market value. In California, the proposal to assess taxes on commercial and industrial properties at market value, while continuing to assess taxes on residential properties based on the purchase price, is known as split roll. The change from the purchase price to market value would be phased-in beginning in fiscal year 2022-2023. Properties, such as retail centers, whose occupants are 50 percent or more small businesses would be taxed based on market value beginning in fiscal year 2025-2026 (or at a later date that the legislature decides on). Proposition 15 would define small businesses as those that that are independently owned and operated, own California property, and have 50 or fewer employees.

The ballot initiative would make an exception for properties whose business owners have $3 million or less in holdings in California; these properties would continue to be taxed based on their purchase price. The ballot initiative would exempt a small business’s tangible personal property from taxes and $500,000 in value for a non-small business’s tangible personal property.

The state fiscal analyst estimated that, upon full implementation, the ballot initiative would generate between $8 billion and $12.5 billion in revenue per year.

Proposition 15 would make the California State Legislature responsible for passing laws for a phase-in of the market value-based tax on commercial and industrial properties, how often reassessments would occur (no less than three years between reassessments), and an appeals process for challenging reassessments.

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Proposition 16, the Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment

Proposition 16 is a constitutional amendment that would repeal Proposition 209, passed in 1996, from the California Constitution. Proposition 209 stated that discrimination and preferential treatment were prohibited in public employment, public education, and public contracting on account of a person's or group's race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Therefore, Proposition 209 banned the use of affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences in California.

Without Proposition 209, the state government, local governments, public universities, and other political subdivisions and public entities would—within the limits of federal law—be allowed to develop and use affirmative action programs that grant preferences based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting

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Proposition 17, the Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment

Proposition 17 is a constitutional amendment that would allow people on parole for felony convictions to vote in California.

Currently, the California Constitution disqualifies people with felonies from voting until their imprisonment and parole are completed. The ballot measure would amend the state constitution to allow people with felonies who are on parole to vote; therefore, the ballot measure would keep imprisonment as a disqualification for voting but remove parole status.

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Proposition 18, the Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment

Proposition 18 would allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary elections and special elections.

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Proposition 19, the Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment

The ballot measure would change the rules for tax assessment transfers. In California, eligible homeowners can transfer their tax assessments to a different home of the same or lesser market value, which allows them to move without paying higher taxes. Homeowners who are eligible for tax assessment transfers are persons over 55 years old, persons with severe disabilities, and victims of natural disasters and hazardous waste contamination.

The ballot measure would allow eligible homeowners to transfer their tax assessments anywhere within the state and allow tax assessments to be transferred to a more expensive home with an upward adjustment. The number of times that a tax assessment can be transferred would increase from one to three for persons over 55 years old or with severe disabilities (disaster and contamination victims would continue to be allowed one transfer).

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Proposition 20, the Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative

The ballot initiative would amend several criminal sentencing and supervision laws that were passed between 2011 and 2016.

The ballot initiative would make specific types of theft and fraud crimes, including firearm theft, vehicle theft, and unlawful use of a credit card, chargeable as misdemeanors or felonies, rather than misdemeanors. The ballot initiative would also establish two additional types of crimes in state code—serial crime and organized retail crime—and charge them as wobblers (crimes chargeable as misdemeanors or felonies).

The ballot initiative would require persons convicted of certain misdemeanors that were classified as wobblers or felonies before 2014, such shoplifting, grand theft, and drug possession, along with several other crimes, including domestic violence and prostitution with a minor, to submit to the collection of DNA samples for state and federal databases.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) has a parole review program in which felons convicted of nonviolent crimes, as defined in law, could be released on parole upon completing their sentence for his or her offense with the longest imprisonment term. The ballot initiative would require the parole review board to consider additional factors, such as the felon's age, marketable skills, attitude about the crime, and mental condition, as well as the circumstances of the crimes committed, before deciding whether to release a felon on parole. The ballot initiative would allow prosecutors to request a review of the board's final decision. The ballot initiative would also define 51 crimes and sentence enhancements as violent in order to exclude them from the parole review program.

In California, counties are responsible for supervising paroled felons convicted of non-serious and non-violent crimes, as defined in law, and who were not classified as high-risk sex offenders nor classified as needing treatment from the state Department of Mental Health. Counties have discretion on whether to petition the judicial system to change a felon's post-release supervision terms or status. The ballot initiative would require local probation departments to ask a judge to change the conditions or status of a felon's post-release supervision if the felon violated supervision terms for the third time.

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Proposition 21, the Local Rent Control Initiative

The ballot measure would replace the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Costa-Hawkins), which was passed in 1995. Prior to the enactment of Costa-Hawkins, local governments were permitted to enact rent control, provided that landlords would receive just and reasonable returns on their rental properties. Costa-Hawkins continued to allow local governments to use rent control, except on (a) housing that was first occupied after February 1, 1995, and (b) housing units with distinct titles, such as condos, townhouses, and single-family homes.

The ballot measure would allow local governments to adopt rent control on housing units, except on (a) housing that was first occupied within the last 15 years and (b) units owned by natural persons who own no more than two housing units with separate titles, such as single-family homes, condos, and some duplexes, or subdivided interests, such as stock cooperatives and community apartment projects.

Under Costa-Hawkins, landlords are allowed to increase rent prices to market rates when a tenant moves out (a policy known as vacancy decontrol). The ballot measure would require local governments that adopt rent control to allow landlords to increase rental rates by 15 percent during the first three years following a vacancy.

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Proposition 22, the App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative

Proposition 22 would consider app-based drivers to be independent contractors and not employees or agents. Therefore, the ballot measure would override Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), signed in September 2019, on the question of whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors.

The ballot initiative would define app-based drivers as workers who (a) provide delivery services on an on-demand basis through a business’s online-enabled application or platform or (b) use a personal vehicle to provide prearranged transportation services for compensation via a business’s online-enabled application or platform. Examples of companies that hire app-based drivers include Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. The ballot measure would not affect how AB 5 is applied to other types of workers.

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Proposition 23, the Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative

The ballot measure would require chronic dialysis clinics to:

•             have a minimum of one licensed physician present at the clinic while patients are being treated, with an exception for when there is a bona fide shortage of physicians;

•             report data on dialysis-related infections to the state health department and National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN);

•             require the principal officer of the clinic to certify under penalty of perjury that he or she is satisfied, after review, that the submitted report is accurate and complete; and

•             provide a written notice to the state health department and obtain consent from the state health department before closing a chronic dialysis clinic.

The ballot measure would also state that a chronic dialysis clinic cannot "discriminate with respect to offering or providing care" nor "refuse to offer or to provide care, on the basis of who is responsible for paying for a patient's treatment.

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Proposition 24, the Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative

Proposition 24, also known as the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act of 2020, would expand or amend the provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), create the California Privacy Protection Agency, and remove the ability of businesses to fix violations before being penalized for violations. The ballot initiative would require businesses to do the following:[1]

•             not share a consumer's personal information upon the consumer's request;

•             provide consumers with an opt-out option for having their sensitive personal information, as defined in law, used or disclosed for advertising or marketing;

•             obtain permission before collecting data from consumers who are younger than 16;

•             obtain permission from a parent or guardian before collecting data from consumers who are younger than 13; and

•             correct a consumer's inaccurate personal information upon the consumer's request.

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Proposition 25, the Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum

As of 2019, California utilized a cash bail system to release detained criminal suspects before their trials. Suspects paid a cash bond to be released from jail pending trial with the promise to return to court for trial and hearings. The cash bond was repaid to suspects after their criminal trials were completed, no matter the outcome. The Judicial Council of California, which is the rule-making department of the state's judicial system, described bail as a tool to "ensure the presence of the defendant before the court." The state's countywide superior courts were responsible for setting cash bail amounts for crimes, and judges were permitted to adjust the cash bail amounts upward or downward. Suspects could post bail with their own money or through a commercial bail bond agent, who pays the full bail amount in exchange for a non-refundable premium from suspects. In California, there was no law setting or capping premiums on bail bonds. According to the California Department of Insurance, agents typically charged around 10 percent.

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