California’s 12 ballot propositions explained

California voters have 12 propositions on the November ballot to untangle. Here’s a primer on what you need to know before casting your votes.

Proposition 14: Stem cell research

What would it do: Have California continue funding stem cell research, by borrowing up to $5.5 billion, which taxpayers would pay back with interest over the next 30 years.

Supporters say: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s stem cell research has led to clinical trials, biotech jobs, and research toward treatments or cures for ailments affecting half of California families. The measure would dedicate $1.5 billion for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, epilepsy, and other brain and central nervous system diseases.

Opponents say: We gave it a try, but funding stem cell research didn’t lead to the kind of life-saving cures voters hoped for in 2004. The federal government no longer bans federal dollars from supporting embryonic stem cell research.

Who’s for it: University of California Board of Regents; The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; The Latino Cancer Institute; Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California; Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Who’s against it: Jeff Sheehy, board member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Where’s the money: For: $12,810,328; Against: $250

Proposition 15: Business property taxes

What would it do: Hike property taxes on big businesses, raising billions for schools and local governments. Now, under California’s landmark Proposition 13, owners pay property taxes based on the price they originally paid for their real estate. Prop 15 would tie property taxes for many large businesses to the property’s current, likely higher, market value, netting $6.5 to $11.5 billion — 60% for cities, counties and special districts, and 40% for schools and community colleges. It would not affect homeowners.

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Supporters say: Proposition 13 has provided a massive break to some of the state’s larger businesses. If this passes, a small fraction of those would pay the vast majority of the higher taxes.

Opponents say: It would be senseless to pass one of the biggest tax increases in California history in the middle of a cataclysmically bad recession.

Who’s for it: Joe Biden and Gov. Gavin Newsom; California Teachers Association; California Democratic Party; Mark Zuckerberg

Who’s against it: California Chamber of Commerce; California Retailers Association; Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association; California NAACP

Where’s the money: For: $67,745,755; Against: $55,150,938

Proposition 16: Restoring affirmative action

What would it do: Restore affirmative action in California — illegal here since 1996 — meaning universities and government offices could factor in someone’s race, gender or ethnicity in making hiring, spending and admissions decisions.

Supporters say: California is far more diverse than it was in the mid-1990s, when Republican Gov. Pete Wilson backed propositions to banish affirmative action and deny undocumented immigrants access to public services. Structural racism exists and to preach a color-blind philosophy is to be blind to the impacts of racism.

Opponents say: Allowing schools and government offices to make decisions based on race, ethnicity or sex is its own kind of prejudice. Some Asian-Americans fear their children would be denied spots at coveted UC schools.

Who’s for it: California Community Colleges; University of California; California State University; Gov. Gavin …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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