Cristian Cerda | South Kern Sol

As the voting season starts to go into full effect, many will notice the constant political ads popping up on their television screens at home or on their own phones. Many of those ads are regarding the propositions registered voters will have a chance to vote on this November. 

There will be a total of seven state-wide propositions on the ballot this year. Whether you vote through mail-in-ballot voting or vote at the polls, these are seven positions that voters will have a chance to voice their opinion on.

Proposition 1: Reproductive Healthcare

On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the overturning of the landmark case Roe v. Wade. The overturning of the case, which protected a person’s right to an abortion under the United States Constitution, has now allowed for laws to be implemented by the states to ban access to abortion. In California — a state in which abortion and reproductive rights are heavily favored — voters will get to choose whether to make an amendment to the California Constitution, regarding reproduction rights. 

If passed, Proposition 1 would change the state’s constitution to say that the state cannot interfere with or deny a person’s right to decide on having an abortion and on whether or not to use contraceptives. 

Voting no on the proposition does not ban access to abortion or contraceptives in the state. Access to abortions and contraceptives is already available in the state, however, the passing of the proposition will only further protect it under the California Constitution.

Proposition 26: Casino Sports Gambling

If passed, Prop 26 would allow for in-person sports betting at tribal casinos and at racetracks in the state. Currently, gambling is limited in the state. Cardrooms, state lottery, tribal casinos, and horse race betting are the only forms of gambling allowed in the state. Prop 26 would require racetracks to make payments to the state, supporting regulatory costs. Tribal casinos would cover their own regulatory costs. 

Voting no on the proposition would continue the ban on sports gambling in the state and current laws and regulations would continue to be enforced.

Proposition 27: Online Sports Gambling

Similar to Proposition 26, Proposition 27 also involves sports betting. Proposition 27 would allow gambling companies and tribal casinos to offer online sports betting. If passed, it may be as simple as downloading an app to place a sports bet. Sports betting would now be allowed over the internet and through mobile devices as well as outside of tribal lands. 

Tribes and gambling companies would be required to make payments to the state for specific purposes, one of which is to address the homeless situation throughout the state. The proposition would bring along a new regulatory unit and would also assist in combating illegal sports betting. Current bans and laws against online sports betting are to remain in place if the proposition fails to get passed in November.

Proposition 28: Performing Arts Funding

According to California’s Legislative Analyst, around 60 percent of all public-school students are from low-income families. Typically speaking, schools with a high low-income student population, tend to need more funding compared to other wealthier or private and charter schools. If passed, Proposition 28 would provide additional funding to schools, specifically for performing arts. Funding would come from the state being required to match one percent of its prekindergarten to 12th-grade funds from the general fund. If failed, current funding amounts allocated for performing arts are set to remain in place.

Proposition 29: Dialysis Clinics

An analysis of current dialysis clinics in California, by the Legislative Analyst, found that roughly 80,000 Californians are treated at dialysis clinics each month, across the state. Proposition 29 would require that those clinics have a physician, nurse, or physician assistant on-site at all hours. The proposition would also require reporting of infection-related information to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) every three months, reporting who owns the clinic, prohibiting the refusal of care due to who the payer of the patient’s treatment is, penalizing and charging clinics who do not report information and also requires clinics to notify and obtain permission for the CDPH regarding potential reducing and closing of services. A no on the proposition would allow clinics to continue to operate as is. 

Proposition 30: Electric Vehicle and Environmental Funding

With the rise in electric vehicles (EV) and their infrastructure, one method of paying for these expenses revolves around this proposition. Proposition 30 would raise taxes by 1.75% on annual income above $2 million. The taxes generated from this raise would go towards electric vehicle infrastructure such as charging stations and assist in the purchase of new EVs. 

EV funding is where the bulk of the money will go towards. Environmental assistance such as wildfire prevention programs is also set to receive funding from the increased tax raise. Failure to pass the proposition will see no new taxes raised on those meeting the criteria.

Proposition 31: Tobacco Products

According to data from the California Department of Health (CDPH), California has a smoking rate of around 10 percent.  With increased health risks from smoking and second-hand smoking, efforts to combat the smoker rate in the state have recently included Proposition 31. The proposition would ban most flavored tobacco products at in-person stores and vending machines. The same goes for tobacco product flavor enhancers. 

A definition for what is considered flavored tobacco also would be implemented and penalty fees of $250 are set to happen if vendors fail to meet regulations. If passed, the state is estimated to lose up to $100 million in tax revenue. If the proposition does not get passed, it would simply mean that the selling of such products would continue as is, under current local, state, and federal law.

Ballot propositions can have significant impacts on the lives of Californians across the state. Propositions are ways for the public to voice their opinions on what truly matters to them. Election Day is set for November 8, 2022. Polls open at 7 a.m. PST and close at 8 p.m. PST.