On Tuesday, Nov. 6, California voters will head to the polls. This year’s ballot has eleven new measures for voters to decide on. The measures cover everything from rent control and the gas tax to eliminating daylight savings. Here’s a non-partisan look at the propositions up for consideration. (On July 18, 2018, Proposition 9, which proposed splitting up California into three states, was removed from the ballot by order of the California Supreme Court.)
Proposition 1: Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond
Proposition 1 authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs for low-income residents, veterans, farmworkers, manufactured and mobile homes, infill, and transit-oriented housing. (A general obligation bond is a common type of municipal bond that is secured by a state or local government’s pledge to use legally available resources, including tax revenues, to repay bondholders.)
A YES on Prop 1 would allow the state to sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund veterans and affordable housing.
Supporters argue the chronic shortage of housing in California is problematic for future economic growth. Prop 1 would be a step toward addressing the issue of affordable housing.
Prop 1 would increase state costs to repay bonds. Californians would average paying $170 million dollars more in taxes over the next 35 years. Opponents of the proposition don’t want their taxes raised for a solution they see as a “bandage,” or a short-term fix, for a bigger problem.
Proposition 2: Use Millionaire’s Tax Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds Measure
Proposition 2 amends the Mental Health Services Act to fund the “No Place Like Home” program. The existing initiative comes from a proposition passed in 2004, which uses revenue from the millionaire’s tax to fund county mental health programs. Proposition 2 would redirect that revenue to the “No Place Like Home” program, financing housing for people with mental illness without raising taxes.
A YES vote on Prop 2 would allow California to use revenue from the existing county mental health funds to pay for housing for the homeless who are mentally ill.
Supporters argue that it would create as many as 20,000 permanent homes, reducing the number of mentally ill people on the streets.
Opponents argue the money should be spent on treatment and other services, not housing. They believe building just housing without requiring treatment will force much more mentally ill into homelessness.
Proposition 3: Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative
Proposition 3 authorizes about $8.9 billion in state general obligation bonds for various infrastructure projects. The majority of the revenue would go towards safe drinking-water projects and watershed and fishery improvements. The money would also go to habitat protection, dam repairs, and other environmental programs.
A YES on Prop 3 would allow California to allocate money for continued work on various water and environmental projects.
Supporters say the measure secures safe, reliable and clean water for Californians and drought protection.
Prop 3 would increase taxes to repay bonds, averaging $430 million annually over the next 40 years. Opponents fear they would be taxed for an initiative that would fund projects that don’t guarantee the production of new, usable water.
Proposition 4: Children’s Hospital Bonds Initiative
Proposition 4 would authorize $1.5 billion for renovations and expansions at several qualifying pediatric hospitals, including five connected to the UC system–Davis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Irvine, and San Diego.
A YES on Prop 4 would allow for the construction, expansion, renovation and equipping of children’s hospitals–both private and public.
Supporters advocate for Prop 4’s ability to increase the number of patients hospitals can take in, and it provides funding for new medical technology and research.
Opponents believe California should be looking at the bigger picture when it comes to improving health care in the state.
Proposition 5: Property Tax Transfer Initiative
Proposition 5, also known as the “Property Tax Transfer Initiative,” removes certain transfer requirements for elderly homeowners. The measure amends an earlier property tax measure–Prop 13, which passed in 1978–to allow homeowners 55 and older to transfer their property tax adjustments from their prior home to their new home, no matter the new home’s value or location or the buyer’s number of moves.
A YES on Prop 5 would allow elderly homeowners and severely disabled citizens to be eligible for property tax savings when moving and allow them to maintain their Prop 13 tax adjustments without a “moving penalty.”
Supporters believe the measure will eliminate tax obligations for people 55 and older on fixed incomes. This is especially helpful for older homebuyers to purchase more practical homes closer to their families.
Opponents say Prop 5 is another tax break for wealthy Californians since most buyers and sellers affected by the “moving penalty” are cashing in on gains in property values. The measure also could result in $1 million in revenue cuts for schools, police services, parks, roads, and other services.
Proposition 6: Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative
Proposition 6 would repeal last year’s measure that raised fees on gas and vehicle registration to pay for road repairs. The measure would wipe out Senate Bill 1, a major funding deal passed by the legislature. SB1 was passed to tackle a maintenance backlog of nearly $130 billion for California highways, roads, and bridges. Last November, the tax increased gas prices 20 cents per gallon.
A YES on Prop 6 would end the SB1 portion of the taxes you pay at the pump and put more than $5 billion a year back into drivers’ wallets.
Supporters believe Prop 6 will lower gas prices immediately.
California reportedly has some of the worst roads and bridges in the country. Prop 6 would eliminate $5 billion annually in local transportation funding. Opponents of Prop 6 say the 6,500 projects connected to SB1 are essential for the state. The elimination of this funding jeopardizes the safety of bridges and roads and affects anti-congestion projects.
Proposition 7: Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure
Contrary to popular belief, Proposition 7 would not in fact abolish daylight saving time. Instead, it allows the legislature to decide how California’s time should be set. If passed, the legislature could then establish year-round Daylight Saving Time in the state with a two-thirds vote and Congressional approval. Changes to Daylight Saving would have to be consistent with federal law.
Daylight Saving is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that the evening daylight lasts longer. Daylight Saving Time was originally established in California in 1949. At the time, proponents cited energy conservation. Arizona and Hawaii are the only two U.S. states that do not observe daylight saving time.
A YES on Prop 7 could change the current daylight saving time period–early March to early November.
Supporters say the biannual time changes are hazardous to the health and productivity of children, the workforce and seniors and that changing it would set a more consistent schedule.
Opponents say that during the winter, it would be darker for another hour, which would burden parents taking their kids to school.
Proposition 8: Limits on Dialysis Clinics’ Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative
Proposition 8 would regulate how much outpatient kidney dialysis clinics charge for treatment. The measure would require clinics to issue refunds on bills exceeding more than 115 percent of the cost of caring for patients. Clinics would also be forced to accept patients regardless of their insurer or method of payment, and report costs, revenue, and charges to the state.
A YES on Prop 8 means kidney dialysis clinics would have their revenues limited and could be required to pay rebates to health insurance companies that cover patient's treatment.
Arguments for: Supporters believe Prop 8 supports an investment in quality health care, such as sanitation and patient care and that the proposition stops overcharging for dialysis costs.
Many nurses, doctors, patients, the American Nurses Association of California, California Medical Association, and American College of Emergency Physicians of CA oppose the measure because it would result in the closure of many dialysis clinics across the state. Opponents believe Prop 8 could dangerously reduce access to care, putting many patients who need dialysis treatment at risk.
Proposition 10: Local Rent Control Initiative
Proposition 10 would allow local authorities to enact rent control policies. The measure would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and its ban on certain types of rent control, including protections for tenants of single-family homes, condominiums, and apartments built after 1995.
A YES on Prop 10 would allow cities to decide their individual rental laws. It would give local governments the authority to establish rent control and limit the amount landlords could raise rent annually.
Supporters think Prop 10 will drive down rent prices. They argue spiraling rent prices are key factors in rising poverty, income inequality, and long commutes.
Opponents say the measure is bad for renters and homeowners. If landlords and developers lack economic incentive to bring properties to market, opponents say housing will be in shorter supply.
Proposition 11: Ambulance Employees Paid On-Call Breaks, Training, and Mental Health Services Initiative
Proposition 11 set on-call rules for private-sector ambulance drivers during their breaks. Currently, these companies can keep their employees on-call during rest and meal breaks. If an employee’s mandatory break gets interrupted, they are required to take the rest of their break later in their shift. It also provides first responder training for natural disasters and active shooting situations. The measure is backed by American Medical Response, which provides medical transportation services–including drivers and ambulances–to about 4,000 cities and towns nationally.
A YES on Prop 11 would allow private-sector ambulance companies to continue requiring employees to be on-call and reachable by cell phone during their paid breaks.
Supporters think EMTs and paramedics should be reachable during breaks to save lives. They also support more disaster training that meets FEMA standards.
Opponents think paramedics and EMTs should be given the same labor law rights as everyone else in the industry and in other industries.
Proposition 12: Farm Animal Confinement Initiative
Proposition 12 bans the sale of meat and animal-based products sourced from animals confined in small pens and cages. The measure would define what is and isn’t “too small” by setting specific minimum space requirements. Currently, a proposition approved in 2008 that took effect in 2015 sets limits for pen sizes and cages, but they vary depending on the animal and its behavior.
A YES vote on Prop 12 would replace the Prop 2 requirements with standardized square footage requirements for all animals.
Supporters think this proposition helps lessen animal cruelty. They also think animals raised in tight spaces might lead to the production of unhealthy food products. The Humane Society launched a campaign committee in support of Prop 12.
Some opponents disagree with this proposition because they disagree with caging animals in general. PETA opposes the measure, believing it perpetuates a system that promotes production in inhumane factory farms. If passed, Prop 12 would legalize the caging of these animals until at least 2022.
Francis Agustin contributed to this story.
Want to read more before Election Day: check out our coverage below:
One of our reporters went to Politicon, here is what he found.
Here we analyzed the three most important propositions for USC students.
And here, the editor of the Politics Desk talks about his voting experience in the midterm elections.
Correction: We originally said that DST was established in 1967 in California. The correct date is 1949.