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Editors Note: When this story was originally published, there were 12 propositions on the November ballot. The California Supreme Court blocked Proposition 9, the Three Californias initiative, from the ballot on July 18.
Californians will vote on a dozen ballot measures this fall, a decline from the 17 that appeared during the last presidential election — but still a testament to the fact that “citizens love” the initiative process, according to one expert.
“Poll after poll shows that not only citizens support strongly the initiative process, but they believe they do a better job making policy then the Legislature and the governor,” said Wesley Hussey, an associate professor of political science at Sacramento State.
Lawmakers finalized the Nov. 6 propositions on Thursday, and state voters will decide on everything from rent control and the transportation tax to splitting the Golden State into three and even getting rid of daylight saving.
As usual, getting up to speed on a dozen measures will be a heavy lift for voters. But the scope of the propositions isn’t likely to diminish in future years. As Hussey explained, the way that initiatives get on the ballot likely won’t change any time soon, because voters “are pretty much against any major, or even somewhat minor, reform to the process.”
Here’s a roundup of Nov. 6 propositions:
Affordable Housing And Home-Purchase Assistance For Veterans: If passed, Proposition 1 would authorize the sale of $4 billion in bonds to finance existing housing programs, as well as infrastructure work and grants to match a local housing trust fund dollar-to-dollar. One-quarter of this $4 billion would help veterans purchase farms, homes and mobile homes.
Using Mental Health Dollars For Low-Income Housing: Proposition 2 would free up $2 billion in bonds to pay to build housing that includes mental health services for chronically homeless people. The original bonds are part of the Mental Health Services Act, approved by voters in 2004 to provide mental health services to Californians. Legislators tried to appropriate this money two years ago, but that law has been tied up in courts ever since.
Revisiting Daylight Saving: California lawmakers have flirted with ditching seasonal time changes for years. Proposition 7 itself would not make permanent or abolish daylight saving time. The measure repeals a 1949 voter-approved proposition that established Daylight Saving Time in California. This would leave it up to the Legislature to decide how the state’s time should be set. The Legislature could then establish year-round Daylight Saving Time in California with a two-thirds vote and Congressional approval. The driving force behind the measure, San Jose Democratic Assemblymember Kansen Chu, has been fighting to end spring-forward/fall-back time changes for the past few years with no success — until his bill ended up on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk this week. Brown signed it, and now, it’s up to the voters to decide whether or not the Legislature gets the chance to end seasonal time changes.
Authorizing Bonds for Safe Drinking Water and Water Infrastructure: With Proposition 3 voters will decide whether to authorize $8.87 billion in state bonds for water infrastructure. The majority of the revenue would go to safe drinking-water projects and watershed and fishery improvements, with money also going to habitat protection, dam repairs and other programs. The proposition also gives priority to disadvantaged communities, and would require some projects to come up with matching funds from non-state sources.
Granting Property Tax Break to Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons: Proposition 5 would grant a property tax break to property owners who are over 55 years old or severely disabled. The measure would allow them to transfer their property tax to a replacement property of equal or lesser value in a specific county.
Limiting Dialysis Clinic Revenue: If passed, Proposition 8 would put a cap how much outpatient kidney dialysis clinics may charge patients, and would impose penalties for excessive bills. The measure would also prohibit clinics from discriminating against patients based on their method of payment. In a push for accountability, clinics would also be required to report annually to the state costs, revenue and charges
Update: The California Supreme Court blocked this measure from appearing on the ballot on July 18, 2018.
Proposition 9 is just the first step in a long — many say improbable — process toward potentially splitting California into three separate states. If passed, the measure would require the governor to send the proposal to Congress for a vote, and only with congressional approval would California be allowed to split itself. The proposed divisions would create three new states: Northern California, which would encompass Sacramento, San Francisco and the 40 northern counties of California; Southern California, which would include the counties along the Eastern and Southern borders, and California, which would be made up of Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The measure is the brainchild of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, who previously tried (and failed) to get a measure proposing to split California into six states on the 2016 ballot. Both of California’s two gubernatorial candidates have said that they oppose the initiative.
Increasing Requirements for Farm Animal Confinement: Proposition 12 bans the sale of meat derived from animals and their food products that are confined within certain areas. By 2021, the measure would also require that all eggs sold in California be from hens raised according to the United Egg Producers’ 2017 cage free guidelines. California passed a similar measure in 2008, Proposition 2, which banned the sale of certain animal products if the animals were confined in spaces that left them unable to turn around, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. Prop. 12 would take this one step further by laying out specific square footage requirements.
Repealing the Gas Tax: Lawmakers’ increase to the gas tax has been contentious since the moment it passed last year. Democratic state Sen. Josh Newman was recalled in June in part over his “yes” vote on the tax. Proposition 6 would allow voters to repeal the gas tax increase that currently generates revenue to pay for improvements to local roads, state highways and public transportation. Prop. 81 would also require that the Legislature submit any future tax or fee on gas or diesel fuel, or on those driving a vehicle on public highways, to voters. Gov. Jerry Brown came out hard against the measure when it qualified for the ballot, calling it “flawed and dangerous” in a tweet.
Allowing Local Authorities to Enact Rent Control: A measure seeking to give local authorities more freedom to enact rent control policies will be on the November ballot. Proposition 10 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, condos and apartments built after 1995.
Requiring Ambulance Employees To Be On-Call During Breaks: If passed, Proposition 11 would require ambulance workers at for-profit medical-response companies to be on-call during meal and rest breaks, meaning that they would need to be reachable by mobile device in case of emergency. Workers would be required to be paid at their regular rate during these breaks, and interrupted breaks would not be counted toward the breaks a worker is required to receive per shift. The measure also requires companies to provide additional specialized training to ambulance workers, and to offer mental health services to employees. Companies would be required to either offer 10 paid mental health services per year, or to offer medical insurance that covers long-term mental health care, if the company provides health insurance.
Authorizing Bonds for Children’s Hospitals: Proposition 4 would approve $1.5 billion of bonds to build, expand, renovate and equip qualifying children’s hospitals. The majority of funds would go to private nonprofit hospitals that provide services to children who qualify for certain government programs. This includes children with special needs who qualify for the for the California Children’s Services program. The rest of the funds would be allocated to the University of California’s acute care children’s clinics, and public and private nonprofit hospitals that serve qualified children.
Correction: Previous versions of this story misnamed Proposition 12, which establishes space requirements for farm animals, and misstated some of the details of Propositions 7 and 12. The story has been updated with the correct information.
SIGN UP HERE BY CLICKING ON THE LINK AND/OR DROP US A LINE AT firstname.lastname@example.org for the Aug. 25th session to be held in Rialto! Featured speakers will be experts who will discuss strategic communications, speaking, fundraising, campaign staff tips, and campaign messaging when running for office! Breakfast and lunch served. Donations of $25 are recommended.
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The DNC is committed to providing state parties and candidates at all levels with the information and tools they need to grow their base of support and build winning campaigns. With your help, we will invest in innovative solutions while building on the tried-and-true strategies of grassroots organizing.
Gone are the days when Democrats are unwilling to play in states or districts that are “too red.” We are organizing and competing everywhere to win elections in 2018 and beyond. Through our Every ZIP Code Counts program, the DNC increased its monthly investment to $10,000 to every state party across the country. We will be fighting to win seats — from the school board to the Senate — in communities across the country through an unprecedented commitment to grassroots organizing.
These programs are an effort to mobilize a record number of voters ahead of the midterms
SB 5 (Chapter 852, Statutes of 2017), De León.
ACA 5 (Resolution Chapter 30, statutes of 2017), Frazier.
ACA 1 (Resolution Chapter 105, statutes of 2017), Mayes.
ACA 17 (Resolution Chapter 190, Statutes of 2017), Mullin.
SCA 9 (Resolution Chapter 1, Statutes of 2018), Glazer.
Models, of course, disagree on how grim the forecast is for the Republicans, so any given model should not be taken as the last word. But Seth Masket at Mischiefs of Faction cites a midterm model that illustrates how difficult the situation is for them. The model is a simple one that relies on just Presidential approval and growth in real per capita disposable income (RDI). What it says is this:
[The model] predicts Democrats will pick up 45 to 50 House seats this fall, and take over 15 to 20 state legislative chambers. A loss of just 24 House seats would flip House control to the Democrats….Most years, this model works fairly well. It predicted Democrats losing 46 House seats in 2010 (they lost 63), and it predicted Republicans losing 40 House seats in 2006 (they lost 31).
You can see in the chart above how this works, with Trump’s approval running a little over 40 percent and RDI growth around 1 percent in the last year. It’s apparent that moving Trump’s approval rating around a little bit at a given level of economic growth does not change the forecast much. Plus Trump’s approval rating have been bouncing around between 37 and 42 percent since early last April so it’s hard to see the kind of mega-spike that might really change things.
A huge increase in RDI growth seems unlikely also though, of course, anything is possible. But as Masket observes:
Even if RDI growth jumped to 3 percent…the model would still predict Republicans to lose 37 House seats, more than enough to lose control of the chamber, and 14 state legislative chambers.
So the fundamentals don’t look good for Team Red. But it’s just one model so should be treated with caution. After all, there are lots of other factors like the various structural advantages Republicans take into an election like this. But even those have been declining as Nate Cohn has pointed out, knocking a couple of points off of the GOP’s “thumb on the scales”. This includes the effects of anti-gerrymandering court decisions, Democratic fundraising and candidate recruitment and Republican retirements.
It’s a long time ’til election day. But the basic story continues to be a positive one for Democrats, as these data and the results of recent special elections suggest.
Many think the issue of sexual harassment — embodied in the #MeToo movement — will work to the advantage of Democrats in upcoming elections. A mid-December NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey gave the party a three to one advantage over Republicans on the matter. But it is hardly guaranteed to do so.
Views of sexual harassment and of gender issues generally differ sharply by age, sex and partisan allegiance — all of which create substantial unpredictability. The issue has the potential to accelerate the growing discontent among well-educated white women with the Republican Party. But it could also intensify hostility to the liberal agenda among conservatives, particularly white men, many of whom view women’s complaints of discrimination as “an attempt to gain advantage” in the workplace.
This complex dynamic is illuminated, for example, in the work of Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, a psychologist at Tufts, who recently reported a growing divergence on gender issues between male and female voters under the age of 30.
In her paper, “How Gender Mattered to Millennials in the 2016 Election and Beyond,” Kawashima-Ginsberg found that in an election in which allegations of harassment and abuse against Donald Trump were central, support for the Democratic nominee dropped by 15 points from 2008 to 2016 among all young men between the ages of 18 to 29 (from 62 to 47 percent) and by 6 points among all women (from 69 to 63 percent). At the same time, turnout among young white men, many of whom supported Trump, shot up significantly.
“2016 saw the greatest number of votes cast by young white men in the past 12 years — markedly higher than their female counterparts,” Kawashima-Ginsberg wrote.
Text of this bipartisan approved bill here at this link: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1
The recall against our State Senator SD29 is unwarranted considering the following. In fact, he promoted a Constitutional amendment to assure the monies allocated would be spent on only the road repair projects.
This act shall be known, and may be cited as, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
Credits: Boxing glove by Swetha Kannan