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National Implications for California’s November Initiative Campaigns

Updated: Jul 22

The Golden state will once more lead the nation in tax and social trends, depending on the results of the state's upcoming November 2022 ballot initiatives. Californians will vote to approve initiatives which range from reproductive rights, to a tax on the wealthiest residents, to online gambling, to health and safety updates.

Being the largest economy in the U.S. and the 6th largest economy in the world, makes California’s election the one to watch as billions of dollars and major policy shifts are on the line as voters debate and vote on seven statewide initiatives. The economic profits and social changes could lay out a path for other states to follow in the footsteps of California as they have before with other progressive legislation.

Proposition 1 has perhaps the biggest national implications, as it would codify the freedom for reproductive rights, or a woman’s right to have an abortion. This measure would amend the California Constitution to prohibit the state from denying or interfering with an individual's reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.

Proposition 30 would have a significant economic impact as it would increase taxes on those making $2 million or more and use the profits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase fire prevention across the state. The upper 2% will be watching this closely as it is purely a tax on the wealthy for the benefit of the whole state and its environment. The idea of taxing the rich to help fight climate change has been thrown around for years, but if California implements it successfully this could push activists to mobilize to try it in a number of other states, particularly since the federal government has been unable to pass significant climate legislation.

Propositions 26 and 27 is going to be a battle of the Native American tribes over online and in person adult gaming. Proposition 26 would allow for gambling on federally recognized Native American lands for persons over 21 years old. There would be a ten percent tax on the profits which would be used to enforce gambling laws and provide help to those battling with addiction. Proposition 27 would allow for online gambling for persons over 21 years old provided by federally recognized Native American tribes.

Proposition 29 is the latest in a long running battle between the Dialysis manufacturers and the state's nurses. It once again provides for nursing practices surrounding outpatient kidney dialysis clinics. This is the third time prop 29 has been on the ballot because of its restrictive nature. It would require nurse practitioners to have a license to give kidney dialysis to patients. In California, there are some clinics who don’t have licensed dialysis administrators which could lead to unsafe administration of this practice potentially leading to worse conditions down the road for the patient.

Propositions 31- this is the final chapter in California’s long running effort to eliminate smoking of any kind in the state. This measure would eliminate the vaping industry’s strongest products, flavored products. It would prohibit the sale of certain flavored tobacco products which have started many nicotine addictions in California’s youth.

Proposition 28 - This last initiative would increase funding for art and music education from K-12 with an increased focus on economically disadvantaged students. They have a simple message: provide equal opportunity to a good, well-rounded education which will allow students to reach their full potential with whatever they want to do in life.

This year's ballot line-up is diverse, impactful and may be the beginning of a new tax and health policy era not just in California but other states as well.

Qualified Initiatives (Full Text)

Proposition 1 The California 'Constitution declares that defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy are inalienable rights, and that a person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or equal protection of the laws. Existing law, the Reproductive Privacy Act, declares that every individual possesses a fundamental right of privacy with respect to personal reproductive decisions and prohibits the state from denying or interfering with a person's right to choose or obtain an abortion before viability of the fetus, or when the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the person. This measure would amend the California Constitution to prohibit the state from denying or interfering with an individual's reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. SCA 10 (Resolution Chapter 97, Statutes of 2022) Atkins. Reproductive freedom. (PDF)

Proposition 26 1886. (19-0029A1) AUTHORIZES NEW TYPES OF GAMBLING. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY AMENDMENT. Allows federally recognized Native American tribes to operate roulette, dice games, and sports wagering on tribal lands, subject to compacts negotiated by the Governor and ratified by the Legislature. Beginning in 2022, allows on-site sports wagering at only privately operated horse-racing tracks in four specified counties for persons 21 years or older. Imposes 10% tax on sports-wagering profits at horse-racing tracks; directs portion of revenues to enforcement and problem-gambling programs. Prohibits marketing of sports wagering to persons under 21. Authorizes private lawsuits to enforce other gambling laws. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state revenues, potentially reaching the tens of millions of dollars annually, from payments made by facilities offering sports wagering and new civil penalties authorized by this measure. Some portion of these revenues would reflect a shift from other existing state and local revenues. Increased state regulatory costs, potentially reaching the low tens of millions of dollars annually. Some or all of these costs would be offset by the increased revenue or reimbursements to the state. Increased state enforcement costs, not likely to exceed several million dollars annually, related to a new civil enforcement tool for enforcing certain gaming laws. (19-0029A1.)

Proposition 27 ALLOWS ONLINE AND MOBILE SPORTS WAGERING. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Legalizes online and mobile sports wagering, which currently is prohibited, for persons 21 years and older. Such wagering may be offered only by federally recognized Indian tribes and eligible businesses that contract with them. Individuals placing bets must be in California and not located on Indian lands. Imposes 10% tax on sports-wagering revenues and licensing fees. Directs tax and licensing revenues first to regulatory costs, then remainder to: 85% to homelessness programs; 15% to nonparticipating tribes. Specifies licensing, regulatory, consumer-protection, and betting-integrity standards for sports wagering. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state revenues, potentially reaching the mid-hundreds of millions of dollars annually, from online sports wagering-related taxes, licensing fees, and penalties. Some portion of these revenues would reflect a shift from other existing state and local revenues. Increased state regulatory costs, potentially reaching the mid-tens of millions of dollars annually, that would be fully or partially offset by the increased revenues. (21-0017A1.)

Proposition 28 PROVIDES ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR ARTS AND MUSIC EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Provides additional funding for arts and music education in all K-12 public schools (including charter schools) by annually allocating from the state General Fund an amount equaling 1% of required state and local funding for public schools. Allocates a greater proportion of the funds to schools serving more economically disadvantaged students. Schools with 500 or more students must spend at least 80% of funding to employ teachers and the remainder on training, supplies, and education partnerships. Requires audits and limits administrative costs to 1% of funding. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased spending likely in the range of $800 million to $1 billion annually, beginning in 2023-24, for arts education in schools. (21-0036A1.)

Proposition 29 REQUIRES ON-SITE LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL AT KIDNEY DIALYSIS CLINICS AND ESTABLISHES OTHER STATE REQUIREMENTS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Requires physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, with six months’ relevant experience, on site during treatment at outpatient kidney dialysis clinics; authorizes exemption for staffing shortage if qualified medical professional is available through telehealth. Requires clinics to disclose to patients all physicians with clinic ownership interests of five percent or more. Requires clinics to report dialysis-related infection data to the state. Prohibits clinics from closing or substantially reducing services without state approval. Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on source of payment. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state and local government costs likely in the low tens of millions of dollars annually. (21-0013.)

Proposition 30 PROVIDES FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY INCREASING TAX ON PERSONAL INCOME OVER $2 MILLION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Increases tax on personal income over $2 million by 1.75% for individuals and married couples and allocates new tax revenues as follows: (1) 45% for rebates and other incentives for zero-emission vehicle purchases and 35% for charging stations for zero-emission vehicles, with at least half of this funding directed to low-income households and communities; and (2) 20% for wildfire prevention and suppression programs, with priority given to hiring and training firefighters. Requires audits of programs and expenditures. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased annual state tax revenue ranging from $3 billion to $4.5 billion, with the additional revenue used to support zero-emission vehicle programs and wildfire-related activities. Potential increased state administrative costs paid from other funding sources that could reach tens of millions to the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Net decrease in state and local transportation revenue of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually in the initial years, and growing up to a few hundreds of millions of dollars annually after several years. (21-0037A1.)

Proposition 31 REFERENDUM CHALLENGING A 2020 LAW PROHIBITING RETAIL SALE OF CERTAIN FLAVORED TOBACCO PRODUCTS. If the required number of registered voters sign this petition and the petition is timely filed, there will be a referendum challenging a 2020 law on the next statewide ballot after the November 3, 2020 general election. The challenged law prohibits the retail sale of certain flavored tobacco products and tobacco flavor enhancers. The referendum would require a majority of voters to approve the 2020 state law before it can take effect. (20-0003.)

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