Californians will vote on 7 ballot measures this November | Health & Fitness

By ADAM BEAM Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California voters will weigh in on seven ballot measures this fall, the fewest to appear on a statewide general election ballot since 2014.

Thursday was the deadline to qualify measures for the November ballot. Secretary of State Shirley Weber confirmed that seven questions will appear in November. Six are ballot initiatives where supporters gathered enough signatures to place before voters and one was placed on the ballot by the state Legislature.

Two other initiatives that had qualified were withdrawn after state lawmakers reached a compromise and passed the legislation before the deadline. Lawmakers also rejected a possible question about whether to eliminate involuntary servitude as a punishment for a crime in the state constitution.

This year’s ballot measures ask voters to weigh in on a variety of issues, including abortion, sports betting and school funding.

This question placed on the ballot by the state Legislature asks voters to amend the state constitution to guarantee the right to abortion and contraception. Last month, the The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving it to states to decide whether to allow abortions. California is run by Democrats who support abortion rights, so the laws here aren’t changing anytime soon. But California’s right to abortion is based on the right to privacy in the state constitution. The US Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade found that the right to privacy does not guarantee the right to abortion, worrying supporters that the state’s abortion laws could be vulnerable in state courts. This amendment, known as Proposition 1, would leave no doubt that abortion is legal in California.

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Two ballot initiatives would amend the California constitution to legalize sports betting in California. But they would do it in different ways. Both would only allow federally recognized Native American tribes to conduct sports betting operations. The key question is how people would be allowed to place bets.

One initiative, Proposition 26, would allow people to bet on sports at privately operated horse racing tracks on Native American land in four counties. A portion of a 10% tax would help pay for law enforcement and gambling programs to help addicted people. This measure is supported by some Native American tribes.

Another measure, Proposition 27, would allow people to use their phones to place sports bets. A tax would pay for regulatory costs first, while 85% of what remains would go to homeless programs, while the remaining 15% would go to non-participating Native American tribes. This measure is supported by some sports betting houses.

Proposition 27 specifically includes language that says the voters declare that the two measures are not in conflict, and that if they both pass, they can both become law.

However, if both pass, there will likely be litigation to resolve the matter.

ARTS, MUSIC IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

This initiative, Proposition 28, would require lawmakers to use 1% of all state funding for public schools for music and arts education programs. That would be between $800 million and $1 billion each year, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. For schools with 500 or more students, at least 80% of the money must be spent to hire teachers, while the rest could be used for training, supplies, and educational partnerships. The initiative was placed on the ballot by the group Californians for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools.

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RAISE TAXES ON THE RICH

This measure, Prop 30, would raise taxes on the wealthy and use the money for wildfire prevention programs and incentives to help people buy electric cars to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The initiative, funded by a coalition of ride-sharing companies, labor and environmental groups; would raise taxes by 1.75% on people who have at least $2 million in personal income a year. That would generate between $3 billion and $4.5 billion in new revenue each year. Of that money, 45% would go to discounts and other incentives for the purchase of electric cars, 35% to charging stations and 20% to wildfire prevention programs, with an emphasis on hiring and training firefighters.

This initiative, Proposition 31, asks voters whether a 2020 law that banned the sale of certain flavored tobacco products in California should go into effect or be struck down. When the state Legislature passes a law, voters have the power to prevent it from going into effect if they can gather enough signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. That’s what tobacco companies did after lawmakers passed a law in 2020 to ban certain flavored tobacco products, arguing the products were designed to appeal to children. The law was delayed until voters could decide in November.

This measure, Proposition 29, would require the presence of a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant during treatment at an outpatient renal dialysis clinic. This will be the third consecutive general election that voters have been asked this question. The two previous measures failed. This measure is again supported by unions representing health workers. And again, the kidney dialysis companies object. some have suggested the subtext of these ballot initiatives reflects a broader battle by unions trying to organize workers at the state’s more than 600 kidney dialysis clinics.

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This story was first published on July 1, 2022. It was updated on July 2, 2022 to correct Proposition 27 language, which specifically includes language that says voters declare the two measures are not in conflict, and that if both are approved, both can become law. However, if both pass, there will likely be litigation to resolve the matter.

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