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Propositions for the November 20222 general election
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Election 2022: A voter’s guide to California’s ballot propositions

From abortion rights and kidney dialysis to sports betting and taxing the wealthy to help fund wildfire management and electric vehicle incentives, The Coast News breaks down all seven statewide propositions on the November ballot.

Prop. 1

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to overturn Roe v. Wade after nearly 50 years, California’s Proposition 1 seeks to permanently enshrine abortion protections and reproductive rights into the state constitution.

While reproductive rights are already protected under California law, this amendment would take a step further by including language that protects the fundamental right to opt for an abortion and to use (or refuse) contraceptives. The proposition would not narrow or limit existing rights to privacy and equal protection under state law.

The proposition is championed by State Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) in partnership with Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and NARAL Pro-Choice California.

Supporters of the proposition argue it would protect reproductive care and the right to abortions while keeping medical decisions safe between patients and their providers. Meanwhile, those against the proposition call Prop 1 an “extreme and costly proposal” allowing late-term abortions “up to the moment of birth” at the expense of taxpayers.

According to the state’s voter information guide, Prop. 1 would have no direct fiscal impact as reproductive rights are already protected under state law.

— Samantha Nelson

Prop. 26

Proposition 26 would allow in-person sports betting specifically at California’s four racetracks and tribal casinos, which would pay a share of bets made to the state. In-person sports betting as well as roulette and dice games would be allowed at tribal casinos, which would shoulder some of the state’s regulatory costs.

Racetracks would be required to contribute 10% of bets made to the state, while individual tribes offering sports betting would decide the terms in their compact with the state regarding how much revenue to contribute.

Revenue from Prop. 26, anticipated to be in the tens of millions of dollars annually, would be placed into a California Sports Wagering Fund. Around 40% of this money would go toward state spending on K-12 schools and community colleges, and the remaining 60% for related costs and other state spending priorities.

The measure is officially supported by 31 California tribes and tribal organizations, including eight tribal governments in San Diego County. Proponents say it not only supports tribal sovereignty, but also offers a well-regulated avenue for sports betting.

“Prop 26 continues the promise that California voters made to tribes to give them the exclusive rights to casino gambling,” said campaign spokeswoman Kathy Fairbanks. “If you’re looking between 26 and 27, we believe 26 is hands down the better approach, the more responsible approach, and the more regulated approach to establishing sports betting in California.”

The 22nd District Agricultural Association, which manages the Del Mar Racetrack, is all but banking on the proposition being passed. The district is currently in the process of selecting an operator to develop a first-class sportsbook at the track where residents could place sports bets in addition to continuing to bet on horse races.

Opponents to Prop. 26 allege that the measure gives tribal governments offering in-person sports gambling more leeway to sue smaller cardrooms not operated on tribal lands, potentially limiting a crucial revenue source to many jurisdictions.

— Laura Place

Prop. 27

Backed by out-of-state gaming companies like DraftKings and FanDuel, Proposition 27 would allow licensed gambling companies and tribes to offer online and mobile sports betting to Californians 21 and older outside of tribal lands.

The measure would allocate 10% of bets made after subtracting certain expenses to a California Online Sports Betting Trust Fund, with proponents expecting these revenues to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Eighty-five percent of the fund would go towards homelessness, mental health and addiction programs and 15% toward underprivileged tribes.

Prop. 27 also requires the creation of a new unit to regulate online sports betting and set licensing requirements within the California Department of Justice, costs for which would be supported by revenue from the measure.

Supporters of the measure include various homelessness organizations and a handful of small, rural Native American tribal governments.

“The passage of Prop 27 will create the ongoing investment that will provide permanent solutions for our homelessness epidemic,”  said Tamera Kohler, CEO of the San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness. “We need to create a permanent source of revenue for homelessness and affordable housing programs that is specific to state and local needs if we are ever going to implement permanent solutions to the degree necessary to solve this crisis.”

Those in opposition include over 50 California tribal governments and organizations, including eight tribal governments in San Diego County, who allege it will harm the sovereignty of tribes that rely on having sole operation of gambling operations and make little difference in addressing homelessness. 

Gambling companies would be required to partner with a local tribal government and pay $100 million to obtain a five-year license to offer online gambling, with an additional $10 million required to renew the license.

Tribes seeking to offer online gambling under their name would be required to pay $10 million to obtain a five-year license and $1 million for each license renewal.

In both measures, sports betting on high school games would be prohibited.

Read more on Prop 26 and Prop 27 here.

— Laura Place

Prop. 28

This proposition would provide an additional $1 billion annually for arts and music education in all of California’s K-12 public schools, including public charter schools.

According to arguments in favor of Prop 28, barely one in five of the state’s public schools even have a full-time arts or music program – but that would change with the additional funding and without raising additional taxes.

Supporters also argue that arts education supports cognitive development and improves math and reading skills.

Nearly $9.9 million has been donated in support of Prop. 28. An argument against the proposal has yet to be submitted for the ballot.

— Samantha Nelson

Prop. 29

Proposition 29 lays out requirements for dialysis centers in the state that would be administered by the CDPH. These requirements to dialysis clinics are:

A physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant with at least six months of experience providing care to kidney patients must be onsite during treatment hours. A clinic may request an exception if there are not enough certified personnel in the clinic’s area.

Report infection-related data to the state — if no report is submitted the CDPH could issue a penalty of up to $100,000 to the clinic.

Disclose physician’s ownership stake in the center if the physical owns at least 5%.

Notify and get content from the CDPH before closing or “substantially reducing services”

Prop. 29 would also prohibit dialysis clinics from refusing care based on payment of the services — meaning the patient, a private entity, the patient’s health insurer, Medi-Cal, or Medicare could pay for the services.

A YES vote would be in support of implementing the above stated requirements and a NO vote would mean no change to dialysis center oversight.

This is the third attempt by SEIU United Healthcare Workers West to pass similar language in a state measure. Proposition 8 failed in 2018 and Proposition 23 failed in 2020.

— Jacqueline Covey

Prop. 30

In an effort to stem global warming numbers, Proposition 30 would require those earning more than $2 million per year to pay an additional 1.75% tax on annual personal income in excess of $2 million from January 2023 to January 2043. The revenue collected by the state would go toward zero-emission vehicle programs and wildfire response efforts.

The timeline could be moved up if the state reaches its GHG capture goals.

Zero-emission vehicle programs would get 80% of the millionaire tax, and 20% would go toward wildfire response and prevention activities.

Some of the “green” car programs include payments to help residents purchase ZEVs and new charging stations. In each program, at least half of the money will be dedicated to those who live in or near heavily polluted areas and in low income communities.

The fire fighting funds would help train and retain state firefighters, and other state agency activities to address wildfire prevention.

The fiscal impact of the prop is expected to generate $3.5 billion to $5 billion.

A YES vote would mean supporting the implementation of an additional 1.75 percent personal income tax on income over $2 million annually, and using those funds for ZEVs and wildfire prevention measures.

A NO vote means supporting no change on personal income tax.

— Jacqueline Covey

Prop. 31

Two years after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation banning the sale of certain flavored tobacco products in California, voters will have the final say on whether the law can move forward.

Proposition 31 prohibits in-person retailers and vending machines from selling flavored tobacco products, particularly e-cigarettes such as vape pens, tanks and mods, as well as flavor enhancers such as vape pods and menthol cigarettes. Hookah, cigars and loose-leaf tobacco are exempt from the ban.

The law originally signed in 2020 sought to limit youth tobacco use by banning the statewide sale of enticing flavors which critics say are geared towards kids, such as fruit and candy flavors, as well as menthol.

E-cigarettes have become the product of choice among most youth tobacco users, with a 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey finding that around 85% of youth e-cigarette users used flavored products.

Implementation of the law has been placed on hold since tobacco companies qualified the law for a referendum on the ballot. Since then, companies like Philip Morris USA and the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company have contributed around $15.1 million towards fighting the measure, according to state campaign data.

Those in opposition to Prop. 31 say the measure pushes the market for flavored products underground, harms adults aiming to reduce their tobacco use with e-cigarettes, and targets products used at higher rates by Black communities such as menthol cigarettes.

Around one-third of California jurisdictions currently have a flavored tobacco ban in place, and statewide, tobacco sales to those under 21 are already prohibited. Proponents of the bill say youth are still finding ways to access these products, which is why they should be taken off the shelves entirely.

— Laura Place

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