Did the California Propositions You Voted For Pass? (2020)

Say Hello To Your New Laws, California

Now that the election is (mercifully) finally over, and the California Secretary of State has certified the results today, we will have 5 new laws in California. This is because 5 of the ballot propositions were approved by over 50% of voters.

Per state law, the ballot propositions that passed take effect on the 5th day after the vote has been certified by the Secretary of State (December 16, 2020).

Did you get the results you were hoping for? I got 7 out of 12. Guess we can’t win them all.

Propositions that Passed

Prop 14: There will be more money for stem cell research. It’s a bond, meaning the state (that is, us the taxpayers) borrows the money and pays interest on the loan (about $260M/year for 30 years).

Prop 17: Parolees will now be eligible to vote. When a person is granted parole, this means they are released early from prison, usually for good behavior. Under this new law, parolees will have their voting rights restored immediately upon release from prison. (No longer need to wait until their parole is finished before being allowed to vote again).

Prop 19: Homeowners over 55, disabled, and wildfire/disaster victims will now be eligible for property tax savings when they move. Prop 19 also cracks down on the practice of wealthy homeowners transferring their home to an adult child in which the property tax payment doesn’t change.

Prop 22: App-based drivers (Uber, Lyft etc.) will now be classified as “independent contractors,” instead of “employees,” and be provided certain benefits. There are pros and cons to being an independent contractor rather than an employee, and some workers prefer it while others do not. This new law classifies drivers on Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and similar apps as independent contractors instead of employees. (Exempts them from AB5). But the proposition also provides that they get certain new benefits including a minimum wage slightly above the general state minimum wage (but only for time spent driving, not waiting for a ride request); a monthly health insurance stipend for some drivers; new medical and disability benefits if a driver is injured while driving; and new rules pertaining to rest periods, sexual harassment and criminal background checks.

Prop 24: We now have stronger consumer privacy laws. California recently passed sweeping privacy protections, including the right to opt out of companies selling their data, and the right to have the data deleted. Prop 24 goes a bit further, covering more businesses, and establishing an agency dedicated to enforcing privacy laws.

Propositions that Did NOT Pass

Prop 15: Would have increased property taxes on commercial properties. In 1978, California voters passed Prop 13, which said that annual property taxes would be based on the purchase price, not the current market value. Prop 15 would have changed this so that for commercial properties (not residential) worth more than $3M, the yearly tax would be based on market value.

Prop 16: Would have allowed affirmative action. This proposition would have allowed the government and state colleges and universities to consider a person from an underrepresented race, ethnicity, or gender as a positive factor in hiring, admissions, or government contracts.

Prop 18: Would have allowed 17 year olds to vote in primaries if they will be 18 by the general election.

Prop 20: Would have increased punishment for certain crimes. Prop 47 in 2014 reduced penalties for certain theft and drug crimes. Prop 20 would have reversed some of that, so that people who commit certain theft-related crimes (such as repeat shoplifting) could receive increased penalties.

Prop 21: Would have expanded ability of local governments to implement rent control. Although there is a statewide rent control law, many local governments have even stronger rent controls than the state. But cities and counties are currently limited in their power to impose rent controls. Prop 21 would have allowed cities and counties to apply rent control to housing that is more than 15 years old, with the exception of some single-family homes.

Prop 23: Would have increased regulations on kidney dialysis clinics. Would require a medical professional on-site during dialysis treatment. The clinics would be required to offer the same level of care to patients regardless of whether the treatment is paid for by private insurance or a government-funded program such as Medi-Cal or Medicare.

Prop 25: Would have ended cash bail. California passed a law in 2018 banning cash bail. The law said that suspects awaiting trial should be released or not based on whether a judge believes they are a danger to the community. It would no longer be based on whether a person could come up with bail money or not. This proposition was on the ballot to let voters decide whether to approve the law or not. They did not.

What do we do now?

Did any props not pass that you really wanted? Or vice versa? There’s always next time – 2022 to be specific. If you are interested in getting a proposition on the next ballot, check out our Guide to the Rules for California Ballot Propositions.

For more info on all these propositions, be sure to check out the official Secretary of State Voter Guide.

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