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California Proposition 14: Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative
Oppose — NO on Prop 14
Sixteen years ago, California voters approved a $3 billion state bond issue for stem cell research. The money has all been spent and researchers drafted Proposition 14, a $5.5 billion bond for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Authorizes $5.5 billion in state general obligation bonds to fund grants from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to educational, non-profit, and private entities for: stem cell and other medical research, including training; stem cell therapy development and delivery; research facility construction; and associated administrative expenses.
Dedicates $1.5 billion to research and therapy for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, epilepsy, and other brain and central nervous system diseases and conditions.
- Appropriates General Fund monies to pay bond debt service.
From Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times:
"The initiative’s ambitious financial ask could remind voters that, for all its achievements, the program’s initial $3-billion expenditure has so far failed to yield a single marketable clinical product. That’s despite the sales pitch for Proposition 71 in 2004—that all that stood in the way of “cures” for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injuries and other maladies was money.
The initiative’s promoters also projected that taxpayers would reap a financial windfall from their spending — indeed, that the program would pay for itself by generating at least $14 billion from royalties and reduced health costs for California. That hasn’t happened, and the bar will be much higher for the proposed new borrowing. Assuming an interest rate of 5%, a 30-year, $5.5-billion bond would cost taxpayers $275 million in interest every year for three decades.
Robert Klein, the Initiative's sole funder, fails to set forth a clear justification for nearly doubling CIRM’s funding for the next 10 years. It places new restrictions on how the money can be spent, depriving CIRM’s governing board of the flexibility it needs to serve a science that is evolving at a dizzying pace."
Moreover, the proposal perpetuates the cardinal error of Proposition 71 of rendering the program virtually immune to legislative oversight, despite its immense demand on taxpayer resources. Like Proposition 71, the new measure bars the Legislature from making amendments without a 70% vote in both houses, almost certainly an unattainable goal."
Official Ballot Opposition: Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society "California faces an enormous budget deficit and proposals to slash high-priority social programs that benefit all of us by investing in healthcare, housing, jobs, education, and other pressing needs."
Recommendation: Oppose — NO on Prop 14
Prop 15: Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government
Endorse — Yes on Prop 15
If passed, Prop 15 would amend California Tax code to require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed at their market value rather than their purchase price. This would change longstanding provisions of Prop 13 (1978) and create a “split-roll” between commercial and residential property.
Changes would take effect in FY 2022-2023. Some properties, such as retail centers with more than 50% occupancy of small business would have until FY 2025-2026 for changes to take effect. Exceptions would be made for small businesses and start-ups with $3m or less in holding in CA. These properties would continue to be assessed at their purchase price.
Prop 15 would also exempt small businesses tangible personal property from taxes and $500,000 of tangible personal property from non-small businesses.
It is estimated that, if passed, Prop 15 would generate $8b - $12b per year. This new revenue would primarily be dedicated to education funding.
Recommendation: Support — Yes on Prop 15
Prop 16: Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment
Endorse — Yes on Prop 16
If passed this proposition would repeal Prop 209 (1996) which banned the use of Affirmative Action involving race or gender based preferences in CA. This proposition would not require, but allow, state government, local governments, public universities, and other political subdivisions and public entities, to develop and use affirmative action programs that grant preferences based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in employment, education, and contracts within the limits of Federal Law.
There is no financial impact associated with passage of Prop 16.
Recommendation: Support — Yes on Prop 16
Proposition 17: Constitutional amendment that would allow people on parole for felony convictions to vote in California
Support — Yes on Prop 17
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. It is estimated that 50,000 parolees would have their voting rights reinstated if this measure pass
Taina Vargas-Edmond, executive director of Initiate Justice, stated, "The removal of the right to vote is not based in an interest in public safety. Rather, it is rooted in a punitive justice belief system that intentionally attempts to rob marginalized people of their political power."
The Brennan Center for Justice provided an argument to the state Legislature, which said, "California is one of only a handful of states that denies the right to vote to people on parole but allows people on probation to vote. Few people, including election administrators, understand the difference between probation and parole. And as Californians know, those distinctions are becoming increasingly opaque and confusing as new forms of supervision get created. The result is that eligible voters think that they cannot or refrain from voting out of fear that they may be breaking the law, a phenomenon we call "de facto disenfranchisement."
Recommendation: Support — Yes on Prop 17
Proposition 18: Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds
Support — Yes on Prop 18
Constitutional amendment to allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary elections and special elections
[No further explanation given]
Recommendation: Support — Yes on Prop 18
Proposition 19: Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment
Support — Yes on Prop 19
Would permit homeowners who are 55, severely disabled, or whose homes were destroyed by wildfire or disaster, to transfer their primary residence’s property tax base value to a replacement residence of any value, and increases allowable transfers from one to three. It would close the “Lebowski loophole” by limiting tax benefits of inherited property and allocates resulting increased tax revenues to fire protection services.
Recommendation: Support — Yes on Prop 19
Proposition 20: Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative
Oppose — No on Prop 20
This initiative would add crimes to the list of violent felonies for which early parole is restricted; recategorize certain types of theft and fraud crimes as wobblers (chargeable as misdemeanors or felonies); and require DNA collection for certain misdemeanors.
Recommendation: Oppose — No on Prop 20
Proposition 21: Local Rent Control Initiative
Support — Yes on Prop 21
Local Rent Control Initiative that would let local governments enact rent control on housing that was first occupied over 15 years ago, with an exception for landlords who own no more than two homes. Currently, a law passed 25 years ago, Costa Hawkins, is preventing local government from protecting tenants, even those impacted by COVID 19. Proposition 21 will reform Costa Hawkins so that City Council Members and County Supervisors can, once more, act in the interest of their constituents. Proposition 21 is not mandatory and gives local elected officials the tools they need to stop increasing homelessness, evictions and gentrification.
Recommendation: Support — Yes on Prop 21
Proposition 22: App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative
Oppose — No on Prop 22
Has been sponsored by Uber, Lyft and other similar companies and would create special labor and wage policies which would apply only to the drivers for these companies. Prop 22 would make the drivers independent contractors, and would overrule a law passed in September, 2019 (Assembly Bill 5).
Recommendation: Oppose — No on Prop 22
Proposition 23: Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative
Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative would require a licensed physician on site at dialysis clinics, mandate infection data reporting to state and federal government, and prohibit clinic closures without state approval. Though the proposition’s goals are worthy, its main supporter, Service Employees International Union, faces a large coalition of opponents claiming increased health costs and possible clinic closures. PPDC recognizes the inherent problems with having only two companies in the United States provide services to Dialysis patients while having concerns about the claims of the opposition.
No consensus on Prop 23
Proposition 24: Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative
Oppose — No on Prop 24
Internet privacy is too important and nuanced to be put in force by a broad ballot measure like Prop 24. CCPA, which Prop 24 changes, has only been law in California for less than a year and should be amended through lawmakers -- not a new state agency created at the ballot box through Prop 24. Instead of protecting your privacy, Prop 24 creates a "privacy slow lane" unlike the current CCPA law. Privacy matters, but this revision of CCPA isn't worth your vote. PPDC joins the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Recommendation: Oppose — No on Prop 24
Proposition 25: Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum
Oppose — No on Prop 25
SB 10 was designed to make California the first state to end the use of cash bail for all detained suspects awaiting trials. The legislation would replace the state's cash bail system with risk assessments to determine whether a detained suspect should be granted pretrial release and under what conditions. Replacing cash bail with the arbitrary criteria used in risk assessments will likely lead to the increased incarceration of young people and in particular, those of color. In addition, we do not agree with the hiring of 300 probation officers for the purpose of surveilling suspects deemed high risk.
Recommendation: Oppose — No on Prop 25
Charter Amendment Measure J: Los Angeles County, California, Budget Allocation for Alternatives to Incarceration
Support — Yes on Measure J
—Amending the county's charter to require that no less than 10% of the county's general fund be appropriated to community programs and alternatives to incarceration, such as health services and pre-trial non-custody services;
—Authorizing the Board of Supervisors to develop a process to allocate funds; and
—Authorizing the Board of Supervisors to reduce the amount allocated with a vote of 4-1 during a declared fiscal emergency.
Recommendation: Support — Yes on Measure J
Measure RR: Bond measure to upgrade, modernize and replace aging school facilities, update technology, and address inequities in L.A. schools. (Will not increase taxes)
Support — Yes on Measure RR
More than 70 percent of our public schools were built over 50 years ago. Too many of these buildings are deteriorating, contain health hazards like asbestos and contaminated drinking water, and generally do not meet standards for 21st Century learning and school safety. Such disparity is unfair and puts students at risk of falling behind in preparing for college and careers simply because of where they live. It’s important to note that Measure RR will not increase taxes — rather it extends without increasing the tax rate currently authorized for voter-approved Los Angeles Unified School District bonds. Moreover, it is subject to strict independent oversight and accountability requirements. Not only will Measure RR benefit our kids and lay the foundation for a stronger future workforce, it will immediately create thousands of quality jobs benefiting the region’s economy.
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