Abortion, Gambling, Taxes, Kidneys, Arts: California's 7 Ballot Initiatives

Abortion, Gambling, Taxes, Kidneys, Arts: California's 7 Ballot Initiatives
Activists gather outside the U.S. Courthouse to demonstrate in support of abortion, in downtown Los Angeles on May 3, 2022. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
The Labor Day weekend has launched the sprint to the Nov. 8 election. But already voters have been inundated with weeks of ads on TV and social media for two gambling initiatives. Here’s a rundown of the choices placed before California voters.

Proposition 1

Proposition 1 would insert the right to an abortion into the California Constitution. Abortion has been legal in the state since 1967. And the 2002 Reproductive Privacy Act, passed by the Legislature, further codified the procedure.

But in June the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision mandating legalized abortion in all 50 states. That threw the issue back to the states. As a result, some states, such as Florida and Texas, have reinstituted an abortion ban. California is going in the opposite direction, seeking to codify legalization in the state constitution.

Pro-life groups say Prop. 1 would guarantee abortion right up to seconds before birth, which they call “partial-birth abortion.”

Propositions 26 and 27

Propositions 26 and 27 concern sports gambling on Indian reservations. In California, if two initiatives are similar and both pass, the one getting the most votes becomes law. These two already are breaking records for the amounts spent in favor and against.
According to Ballotpedia, so far $73 million has been raised in favor of Prop. 26 and $42 million against. And for Prop. 27, $100 million was raised by those in favor and $114 million against. That’s with two months left in their campaigns.
Here’s the essence of what voters will see on their ballots. The language was written by Attorney General Rob Bonta, who unlike some previous attorneys general has properly taken a neutral stance in his descriptions for these and the other measures:

Prop. 26: “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.” The key is “on tribal lands.”

Prop. 27: “Legalizes online and mobile sports wagering, which currently is prohibited, for persons 21 years and older.” The key is “online and mobile.”

“The latter is very much in line with state gambling laws that have swept the country in recent years,” Bloomberg reported. “The campaign is dividing California’s tribes, which enjoy a monopoly on many casino games in the state. A handful of smaller tribes are aligning themselves with upstart online betting operators, such as DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel, to push for Proposition 27.

“Sports betting has exploded in the US since the Supreme Court allowed it to expand outside of Nevada four years ago.”

The California Legislature was supposed to fix this situation. Typically, it shirked its duty due to lobbying from all sides, and left the regulations up to the voters.

Proposition 28

Proposition 28 provides from $800 million to $1 billion for K-12 arts education. It would come from the current state general-fund budget. There’s no tax increase. If the recent cornucopia of state budget surpluses continues, funding will be easy. But if the state swings back to deficits, as commonly happens, the added spending will add to pressure for higher taxes.
Critics also contend this is “ballot-box budgeting,” which hamstrings local control of funds.

Proposition 29

Proposition 29 is the third recent attempt to regulate the kidney dialysis industry. In this case, it would mandate higher staffing levels. It’s sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Critics say it would increase costs to the companies providing the dialysis.

Previously, Proposition 23 in 2020 was rejected by 63 percent of voters. It would have added several requirements to the clinics, such as having a physician on site for care.

And Proposition 8 in 2018 likewise was rejected by 59 percent of voters. It would have limited dialysis company profits.

Proposition 30

Proposition 30 would impose a tax of 1.75 percent on filers with income of $2 million or more. It would raise up to $4.5 billion a year. The money would fund electric-car infrastructure and wildfire prevention. It is sponsored by Lyft, which is moving toward an electric fleet of cars.
Critics say it would boost the state’s top income tax rate to 15.05 percent from 13.3 percent. That would make it the highest in the nation and encourage rich people to leave. Gov. Gavin Newsom opposes it.

Proposition 31

Proposition 31 would ban flavored tobacco products. Proponents say these products, largely menthol cigarettes, are aimed at children and minorities, harming their health. Opponents in the tobacco industry say adults should make their own decisions and the state already bans tobacco sales to those under 21.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.