Results You Need to Know About California Propositions

A graph showing the percentage of votes that approved and decline each 
proposition in 2020 election.

Infographic created by Antonio Heras on Photopea

A graph showing the percentage of votes that approved and decline each proposition in 2020 election.

Antonio Heras, Staff Writer

With the 2020 presidential election decided, results from California’s 12 propositions are in. 

This year’s propositions decided on taxes, government, housing, healthcare, businesses, and employee benefits for app based drivers. For California there were 12 propositions on the ballot, propositions 14 – 25. Here are the results and how they affect Californians.

Proposition 14: Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative

This proposition helps generate money needed to keep California’s stem cell agency, Calif. Institute for Regenerative Medicine, open and expand its research. This is one of the 12 propositions that was approved, and had a close race as 51% of the votes said “yes” while 49% said “no.” So that means California will sell  $5.5 billion worth of bonds to investors and taxpayers will pay the money back over the next 30 years, with interest over the course of the sale.

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

For Prop. 15, it amended the California State Constitution to require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on their market value while also providing new funding for schools and local government. This was declined with 52% of the votes that disproved Prop. 15, while the other 48% approved it. Since it was declined, property taxes on large businesses will stay the same and there will no new funding.

Proposition 16: Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment

Prop. 16 wanted to restore affirmative action in California, meaning government and universities could use people’s race, gender, or ethnicity as a factor when hiring, spending, or decisions on admissions. Around 57% of the votes declined the proposition to keep Proposition 209, which stated the government and public institution could not discriminate against people on the basis of race, sex, color, or origin in public employment, education, and contracting.

Proposition 17: Voting Rights Restorations for Persons on Parole Amendment

Prop. 17 wanted to restore a person who has completed their prison term, the right to vote. This is somewhat a controversial Prop., as some people see this lawful and others aren’t convinced. It won 59% of the votes, so anyone on parole is allowed to vote, so long as they’re U.S. citizens, residents to California, and are 18 years old.

 Proposition 18: Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment

This proposition would allow any one at the age of 17 to vote in primary and special elections. As many already know, voters must be 18 in order to be eligible to participate in any local, state, or federal election. This constitutional amendment would have also allowed 17 year olds that qualify under the proposition. However this proposition lost with 56% opposed while 44% supported it. This means there will be no change and no one younger than 18 will be able to vote in any election.

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

This amendment would give Californians 55 years and older, disabled homeowners, and wildfire victims a greater property tax break when buying a new home. Typically when citizens in California buy a new home their property taxes rise, but thanks to 51% of the votes that passed the amendment, the elderly are now paying less in property tax than young adults that bought the same house a year ago. This would also stop unfair tax loopholes and protect Prop. 13 savings.

Proposition 20: Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA collection Initiative

Proposition 20 would specifically increase penalties for people who committed theft-related crime while also making it more difficult for some convicted felons to qualify for early parole. This was defeated with 61% of the votes opposing it. The penalties will not change in the state’s process for releasing inmates from prison early. As for DNA collection, law enforcement will continue to be required to do so, but only from adults that have been arrested for a felony or who are required to be labeled a sex offender. 

Proposition 21: Local Rent Control Initiative

In this proposition, cities are allowed to pass rent control measures on most rental housing, so long as it is more than 15 years old. This could lead to a potential reduction in state and local revenues in the high tens of millions of dollars per year, according to the Legislative Analyst’s office. However, 59% of the votes opposed the proposition, while 41% supported it. This means state law will still have limits on rent control laws.  

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

Proposition 22 would allow app-based drivers as “independent contractors” rather than employees for Uber and Lyft.  Around 58% of the votes supported  and got this initiative passed, meaning drivers can decide where, when, and how much to work. However, they won’t get regular benefits and protection, businesses would provide to their employees.

Proposition 23: Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative

Prop. 23, will make it necessary for kidney dialysis clinics to have at least one physician present during all operations and report contamination data to the state. It would also have clinics get approval from the state’s health department before closing and forbid clinics to discriminate against patients based on their insurance type. 64% of the votes disproved the initiative and 36% supported it. This means that chronic dialysis clinics are not required to have a doctor on-site during treatment hours. 

Proposition 24: Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative

In this initiative, California’s data privacy law will change by letting people inform businesses to not share personal information including gender, location, race and health information. There will also be a new state agency and the Department of Justice will share responsibility for overseeing and enforcing consumer privacy laws. Along with allowing the government to charge companies around $7500 for disobeying children’s privacy rights. 56% of the votes approved Prop. 24,  which expand the state’s consumer data privacy laws.

Proposition 25: Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum

Prop. 25 will replace cash bail with an algorithm based on public safety and flight risk which would have made California the first state to ever do this. Currently, many Californians can afford cash bail, but poorer citizens have to wait for trial in jail or pay bail bond companies. 43% of the  votes supported the proposition, but 56% voted against it. So people will continue to pay bail in order to be released from jail before trial.