Daily 49er

A guide to the props on the California ballot

Rent Control, Affordable Housing, Daylight Savings and the other eight propositions on the California November 2018 ballot broken down.

Midterm+elections+take+place+on+Tuesday%2C+Nov.+6.+California+ballots+will+include+11+different+propositions+%2811%2F5%29.+
Midterm elections take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6. California ballots will include 11 different propositions (11/5).

Midterm elections take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6. California ballots will include 11 different propositions (11/5).

Ryan Guitare | Daily 49er

Ryan Guitare | Daily 49er

Midterm elections take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6. California ballots will include 11 different propositions (11/5).

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Prop 1

Prop 1’s purpose is to address the housing crisis by investing in existing affordable housing for low-income residents, veterans and farmworkers, among others.

The investments will be paid for using obligation bonds which are seen as public debt. California already has $72.8 billion obligation bonds to repay, however, the state still has $33.5 billion not yet borrowed or issued in obligation bonds, as of Oct. 1.

$4 billion in bonds would be borrowed which would cost $170 million a year over 35 years. The total cost is close to $6 billion including interest.

The proposed law lays out eight different structures which will tackle housing in different avenues, including loans for veterans buying homes and encouraging more housing programs and methods.

Prop 2

Prop 2 would take funds from a preexisting tax revenue, the one percent millionaire’s tax, meant for the Mental Health Service Fund, in order to fund housing for the homeless who suffer from mental illness.

County mental illness programs could lose $140 million per year in order to pay the $2 billion bonds which the proposition will use.

Prop 2 was technically passed by the state under a different name in 2014. Due to a lawsuit claiming that voters didn’t vote for the tax revenue to be used for housing, the state attempted to bypass the courts by adding Prop 2 to the ballot.

If the vote doesn’t pass, the courts may still rule in favor of the 2014 legislature.

Voting yes means the state would use $2 billion in bonds paid for by county mental illness budgets to finance housing for homeless, mentally ill individuals.

Voting no means the state would not be allowed to use the revenue from the millionaire’s tax to fund the housing efforts for those with mental illness.

Prop 3

If passed, Prop 3 would authorize a $8.877 billion in bonds toward projects for water supply and quality watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance and groundwater sustainability and storage.

The proposition would cost the state $17.3 billion, with $8.4 billion in interest included. California would pay back the $17.3 billion to various companies over a 40-year period with annual average payments of $433 million.

Prop 4

Prop 4 would authorize the state to borrow $1.5 billion in bonds to fund grants that could be awarded to children’s hospitals. The grants will be used for construction, expansion, renovation and equipping children’s hospitals that qualify.

The total cost would add up to $2.9 million with interest and would be paid over 35 years.  Annual payments would average $84 million a year.

Private nonprofit children’s hospitals would receive 72 percent of the funds.

The University of California general acute hospitals would receive 18 percent of the funds. Among the five UC children’s hospitals are the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and University Children’s Hospital at UC Irvine.

The last 10 percent would fund other public and private hospitals.

Prop 5

Currently, homeowners who have owned houses longer than their neighbors most likely pay lower property tax, compared to the newer home owners. If a homeowner were to move, they would be subject to paying the market value tax on the new property.

Prop 5 attempts to amend Prop 13 which was passed in 1978 and established tax-assessed values on homes and the transfer of taxes to new homes. If Prop 5 passes, senior citizens or the severely disabled would be allowed to transfer their tax-assessed value to new homes with less restrictions.

The new home’s market value would no longer come into consideration. The homeowner may also move freely through California as many times as they wish.

It is unclear how much Prop 5 would cost the state. According to the initiative, “local governments and schools each could gain or lose tens of millions of dollars of property tax revenue per year, likely growing over time.”

The cost could be $150 million in the near term according to the fiscal report, and it may grow to $1 billion or more per year.

A yes vote would allow loose restrictions on seniors and severely disabled homeowners’ ability to transfer their property taxes.

A no vote would keep the current restrictions.

Prop 6

Prop 6 attempts to repeal Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which  raised the gas tax and vehicle fees to fund transportation infrastructure. However, the tax was not voted on by the public.

The process to enact the tax increase into law in California was done with a two-thirds vote of each state legislative chamber and the governor’s signature. Prop 6 would also add voter approval to the process of increasing tax and vehicle fees in the future.

According to the California Senate Appropriations Committee, the measure is expected to generate an estimated $5.2 billion per year. The state has already begun using this revenue on repairs.

By repealing SB1, California gas prices and vehicle registration fees would drop. However, it would be at the expense of the $5.2 billion per year revenue the state could use for transportation infrastructure.

Prop 7

Californians change their clocks an hour ahead in March for daylight savings and an hour back in November when it ends.

Prop 7 would allow the California State Legislature to establish a year-round daylight savings time or change daylight savings dates and times eliminating the need to change the hours.

There is no direct fiscal impact with having a year-round daylight savings time.

According to the official argument: “University medical studies in 2012 found that the risk of heart attacks increases by 10 percent in the two days following a time change. In 2016, further research revealed that stroke risks increase 8 percent when we change our clocks. For cancer patients the stroke risk increases 25 percent and for people over age 65 stroke risk goes up 20 percent. All because we disrupt sleep patterns.”

A yes vote means California would be on a year-round daylight savings time.

A no vote means nothing will change.

If Prop 7 passes, it would still need approval on the federal level before California can implement the changes.

Prop 8

Prop 8 seeks to limit the profits made by dialysis clinics to 15 percent of the total cost as well as require annual reports regarding their clinic costs, patient charges and revenue.

According to the proposed law, California currently has at least 66,000 Californians undergoing dialysis treatment as well as two corporations earning $400 million each year on dialysis services.

The clinics would have 210 days after the fiscal year to issue refunds on profits exceeding the 15 percent or they would be fined.

Among the fines and caps, clinics will no longer be able to refuse patients based on their source of payment for the dialysis service.

Though it does not directly cost anything to the government, other than labor, it is unclear what Prop 8 will do to the economy. Some dialysis centers may be unable to stay in business because of the mandated refunds.

Another situation that may occur is the spike in cost. Prop 8 limits the profit cap to 15 percent of the cost; however, dialysis centers can charge higher rates which would also raise the 15 percent.

DaVita, for-profit dialysis centers, has donated a total of $67 million toward the no on Prop 8 campaign.

A yes vote would allow the government to restrict the profit cap of dialysis centers.

A no vote would leave things how they are.

Prop 10

Prop 10 provides one way of combating the growing rent issues. Voting yes for Prop 10 allows cities to expand rent control. Voting no means Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act stays.

Currently, the Costa-Hawkins law restricts local governments’ ability to enforce rent control on apartments built after 1995 and single family houses. Costa-Hawkins also allows landlords to charge market value on vacant apartments.

Under Costa-Hawkins, moving into an apartment means paying what the landlord sees as, “market value” rent. Meanwhile, neighbors living in the building for long periods of time may be paying much lower.

Landlords will still be allowed to make a profit and the proposed law reaffirms it: a landlord’s right to a fair rate of return on a property shall not be abridged.

If Costa-Hawkins is repealed, local governments must take into consideration the “fair rate of return” when implementing rent control.

Prop 11

Prop 11 directly address the ambulance industry and stems from a lawsuit from 2016, Augustus v. ABM Security, in which the California Supreme Court ruled that work breaks must be uninterruptible including in the event of an emergency.

Although the Augustus case applies for private security, the California Legislative Analyst notes on-call break practices are similar for EMTs and paramedics.

Prop 11 would allow things to stay as they are; EMTs and paramedics would continue to be on-call during their breaks, while also addressing issues in the field.

Companies would be required to pay regular rates during breaks. Also, if interrupted, the break would not count toward the mandated breaks. Finally, companies would need to manage staffing levels to provide adequate breaks.

The initiative would also grant training to emergency responders for dealing with situations such as active shooters, natural disasters among others.  

A yes vote would have ambulance providers stay on-call even when taking their breaks.

A no vote would mean ambulance providers must be undisturbed while taking their breaks.

Prop 12

Prop 12 stems from 2008’s Prop 2, when voters passed an initiative which intended to ban the confinement of pregnant pigs, calves raised for veal and egg-laying hens in facilities where animals weren’t allowed to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs.

Prop 12 sets specifics square feet for the animals. Prop 12 also bans the sale of animal products to facilities that do not give the minimum space required.

Calves must have at least 43 square feet of usable floor by 2022, and egg laying hens must have at least 1 square foot by 2020. Prop 12’s fiscal impact is unclear. There may be a decrease in state and local tax revenue, while also costing California millions to enforce it.

Prop 12 has gained support from groups such as the Center for Food Safety and the Humane Society. Those opposing it include People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Friends of Animals.

A yes vote would establish the minimum space requirement for these animals, and ban the sale of products that did not meet the space requirements.

A no vote would keep the Prop 2’s guidelines for housing animals, not establish a minimum, and not ban the sale of products that did not meet the requirements.

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