By Nancie Silver and Ann Nye —
The Palos Verdes Democrats met in person and on Zoom on Sunday, October 16 to hear about the CA Ballot Propositions, presented by the League of Women Voters in Palos Verdes (LWV).
Editor’s Note: To help the reader delve more deeply into the details of the presentation, we’ve annotated the time that the discussion occurs in the video (e.g., 1:30 is 1 minute 30 seconds). The video is provided at the end of this article.
00:09 Ann Nye, 2nd Vice President and program moderator, introduced the League of Women Voters representatives. Nancy Mahr is Voter Services Director, Katy Watkins is 1st V.P.- Programs, and Ann Nye covers Government. They will be discussing the seven CA Ballot Propositions, and two LA County Measures.
01:08 Nancy Mahr spoke briefly about the LWV and about the information they will present today. The League is non-partisan, and it has both an education and an advocacy arm, with today’s presentation focusing on education. Nancy reiterated that the statements discussed today for proposition supporters and opponents are the arguments made by these two sides, not the views of the LWV.
02:11 Nancy Mahr presented PROPOSITION 1, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
THE QUESTION: Shall the California State Constitution be amended to expressly provide the right to reproductive freedom as a fundamental right protected by the State Constitution?
FISCAL IMPACT: No direct fiscal effect.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: CA Medical Association, CA Nurses Association, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, League of Women Voters of CA, and others
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: Dr. Anne Marie Adams, Gynecologist; Tak Allen, President of International Faith Based Coalition; Assemblymember Jim Patterson; Pacific Justice Institute, and others.
MONEY RAISED BY EACH SIDE: Supporters have raised $13.5 million. Opponents have raised almost $100,000.
A YES VOTE supports amending the State Constitution by adding reproductive freedom as an expressly protected right.
A NO VOTE opposes amending the Constitution to provide a right to reproductive freedom.
09:00 AUDIENCE QUESTION: Does Federal law supersede state law? If Republicans get a supermajority and pass a federal ban on abortions, what protection would Prop. 1 provide to California women?
ANSWER: Nancy Mahr said Federal law and the Federal Constitution have supremacy over State law and state constitutions, however, it is usually held that the states have the right to address issues of health and safety for the people of the state. It all depends how the law was written and how the courts interpret it. Federal law could overrule CA law, but it would provide some protection.
11:20 Katy Watkins discussed PROPOSITION 26, ALLOWS IN-PERSON ROULETTE, DICE GAMES, SPORTS WAGERING ON TRIBAL LANDS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.
THE QUESTION: Should California (a) increase the allowable gambling activities at American Indian owned casinos, (b) allow betting on sports events at casinos or horse racing track, and (c) allow private lawsuits to enforce certain gambling laws?
FISCAL IMPACT: Prop 26 could increase state revenues from tax payments made on sports betting at racetracks and civil penalties for violations of the law, potentially reaching tens of millions of dollars annually. Some of these revenues would support increased state regulatory and enforcement costs that could reach the low tens of millions of dollars annually.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: A large coalition of Native American tribes that run casinos including Pechanga and Aqua Caliente, four privately owned horse-racing tracks, and others.
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: Several small Indian casinos, and others.
MONEY RAISED BY EACH SIDE: Supporters have raised $111 Million. Opponents have raised $42 Million.
A YES VOTE means California would increase the allowable gambling activities at American Indian owned casinos and allow betting on sports events at casinos and horse racing tracks.
A NO VOTE means onsite betting on sports events would continue to be illegal in California and American Indian owned casinos would continue to be unable to offer roulette and games played with dice.
21:14 Katy Watkins presented PROPOSITION 27, ALLOWS ONLINE AND MOBILE SPORTS WAGERING OUTSIDE TRIBAL LANDS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.
THE QUESTION: Should California allow online and mobile sports betting for people 21 years of age or older?
FISCAL IMPACT: The size of Prop 27‘s fiscal impacts depends on variables such as the number of entities that offer online betting, the renegotiation of compacts caused by offering online betting, and the number of people that engage in online betting.
There is a potential for increases in state revenue reaching from hundreds of millions up to $500 million each year. There will be increased regulatory costs estimated to be in the mid tens of millions of dollars each year. Some or all these costs would be offset by the payments sports betting operators must pay to the State for regulation.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: Yes on 27 – Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support. Prop. 27 is backed by online gaming companies, including DraftKings and FanDuel, and three Native American tribes.
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: YES on 26, NO on 27 – Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, Sponsored by CA Indian Tribes.
MONEY RAISED BY EACH SIDE: Supporters have raised $281 Million. Opponents have raised $222 Million.
A YES VOTE on this measure means licensed tribes or gambling companies could offer online sports betting over the Internet and mobile devices to people 21 years of age and older on non-tribal lands in California.
A NO VOTE on this measure means sports betting would continue to be illegal in California and no changes would be made to the way state gambling laws are enforced.
28:44 Katy Watkins emphasized that Prop. 26 and Prop. 27 both legalize sports betting in some way. If both pass, it is possible that both will take effect. If a court finds that parts of the propositions are in conflict, the one that received the most YES votes will prevail.
AUDIENCE QUESTION – How will they regulate online betting for anyone under 21 years of age to ensure they are not engaging in gambling?
ANSWER: Don’t know, but there is some technology to help with determining age, but it’s not perfect.
32:30 Ann Nye presented PROPOSITION 28, PROVIDES ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR ARTS AND MUSIC EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
THE QUESTION: Should the State provide specific funding for arts and music education in public schools, an amount higher than the existing constitutional minimum amount required for public education?
FISCAL IMPACT: Prop 28 would increase State expenditures between $800m-$1billion annually. This is above the existing required constitutional expenditures from Prop 98, which link the minimum guarantee at close to 40% of the state General Fund. Prop 28 would also adjust the minimum guarantee by student attendance and changes in the cost of living.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: Website for supporters of this proposition – https://voteyeson28.org/
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: None
MONEY RAISED BY EACH SIDE: Supporters have raised over $10 Million to support this measure, with Austin Beutner being the main contributor (over $4M), California Teachers Association; Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft Executive & owner of the LA Clippers; Fender Musical Instruments, California State PTA, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), California Democratic Party. No opposition, so no money has been raised.
A YES VOTE on this measure means California would provide specific funding for arts and music education in public schools.
A NO VOTE on this measure means California would not provide specific funding for arts and music education in the public schools
45:30 AUDIENCE COMMENT: Debra Shrader, a local retired music educator in elementary school, spoke about this issue in detail. Very interesting.
48:35 Ann Nye spoke about PROPOSITION 29, REQUIRES ON-SITE LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL AT KIDNEY DIALYSIS CLINICS AND ESTABLISHES OTHER STATE REQUIREMENTS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
THE QUESTION: Should outpatient dialysis clinics be required to have a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant on site at all hours when patients are being treated, and should they be required to provide various clinic-related information to patients and the State?
FISCAL IMPACT: There are fiscal implications for both the clinics, and state and local government if this passes. The clinics would probably have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more annually for staff salaries. State and local governments might have to pay tens of millions of dollars more annually if clinics close and patients must go to more expensive facilities such as emergency rooms, or if clinics negotiate higher reimbursement rates.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (over $7.7M), Un-itemized Contributions (over $8M) and the CA Democratic Party.
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: The main contributors are the top three dialysis clinics – Davita, Inc. (over $42M), Fresenius Medical Care (over $27M), US Renal Care ($6M – list of supporters at NoProp29 website).
MONEY RAISED ON EACH SIDE: Supporters have raised over $16 Million. Opponents have raised $86 Million.
A YES VOTE on this measure means chronic dialysis clinics would be required to have a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant on-site during all patient treatment hours.
A NO VOTE on this measure means chronic dialysis clinics would not be required to have a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant on-site during all patient treatment hours.
1:03:13 Katy Watkins spoke about PROPOSITION 30, PROVIDES FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTION AND PREVENT WILDFIRES BY INCREASING TAX ON PERSONAL INCOME OVER $2 MILLION. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
THE QUESTION: Should the tax rate on personal income above $2 million be increased by 1.75 percent and the revenue dedicated to zero-emission vehicle subsidies, zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, such as electric vehicle charging stations; and wildfire suppression and prevention programs?
FISCAL IMPACT: Increased annual state tax revenue ranging from $3 billion to $4.5 billion. Potential state administrative costs paid from other funding sources could reach hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Decrease in state and local transportation revenue (e.g. gas taxes) of up to several hundred millions of dollars. These costs would be offset by the increased revenue from Prop 30.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: Environmental and public health groups, unions representing firefighters and electrical workers and clean transportation businesses and the CA Democratic Party. However, the Yes on 30 Clean Air Coalition campaign is funded almost entirely by Lyft, which has spent over $45 million (out of $47 million) in support of the measure.
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: Votenoprop30 campaign, Gov Newsom, CA Republican Party, and CA Teachers Association.
MONEY SPENT BY EACH SIDE: Supporters have raised over $47 Million. Opponents have raised over $14 Million.
A YES VOTE means CA will increase the tax rate on personal income above $2 million by 1.75 percent and dedicate the revenue to zero-emission vehicle subsidies, zero-emission vehicle infrastructure; and wildfire suppression and prevention programs.
A NO VOTE means CA will not increase the tax rate on personal income above $2 million by 1.75 percent.
1:17:58 Nancy Mahr spoke about PROPOSITION 31, REFERENDUM ON 2020 LAW THAT WOULD PROHIBIT THE RETAIL SALE OF CERTAIN FLAVORED TOBACCO PRODUCTS.
THE QUESTION: Should the law enacted by the California Legislature to ban the sale of certain flavored tobacco products be approved?
FISCAL IMPACT: This measure could decrease state tobacco tax revenues by tens of millions of dollars annually to about $100 million. The use by tobacco consumers is uncertain. Last year, tobacco taxes raised about $2 billion, which was used for health care programs.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: Yes On Proposition 31 – Committee to Protect California Kids, the American Heart Association, CA Medical Association, Michael Bloomberg, CA Teachers Association, LA Times, the Democratic Party.
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: No on 31 – Californians Against Prohibition coalition and its main contributors include tobacco companies Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, and the CA Republican Party.
MONEY SPENT BY EACH SIDE: Supporters have raised over $8 Million. Opponents have raised over $2 Million.
A YES VOTE upholds the current law, Senate Bill 793 (SB 793), which prohibits the sale of some flavored tobacco products.
A NO VOTE repeals SB 793 and allows the continued sale of flavored tobacco products.
1:31:44 Nancy Mahr presented COUNTY MEASURE A, CHARTER AMENDMENT – PROVIDING AUTHORITY TO REMOVE AN ELECTED SHERIFF FOR CAUSE.
THE QUESTION: Should the LA County Board of Supervisors, by a four-fifths vote, be authorized to remove a Sheriff from office for cause after written notice and an opportunity to be heard?
FISCAL IMPACT: If Measure A were to pass, the fiscal effects would be negligible.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: LA County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, Hilda Solis, Holly Mitchell, Janice Hahn, and The Fairness Project Non-Profit and ACLU Southern CA
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and Freeway Towing, Inc. in Monterey Park, CA
MONEY SPENT BY EACH SIDE: Supporters have raised over $200,000. Opponents have raised over $10,000.
A YES VOTE means the County Charter will be amended to authorize the County Board of Supervisors to remove an elected Sheriff for cause on a 4/5th vote of the Board of Supervisors.
A NO VOTE means the Charter will remain as it stands and the Supervisors will not be authorized to remove an elected Sheriff from office.
1:36:33 Ann Nye spoke about COUNTY MEASURE C, Los Angeles County Cannabis Business Tax Measure.
THE QUESTION: Shall the County enact a tax in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County on cannabis businesses?
FISCAL IMPACT: Measure C is expected to generate approximately $10.3 million to $15.2 million annually, until ended by the voters.
SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: LA County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, Hilda Solis, Holly Mitchell, Janice Hahn and LA Times.
OPPONENTS INCLUDE: The LA County Registrar reports the Libertarian Party CA Chair and Libertarian Los Angeles County Chair.
MONEY SPENT BY EACH SIDE: The LA County Registrar did not report any contributions to this Measure.
A YES VOTE supports enacting taxes on cannabis businesses in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, including $10 per square foot for cultivation; a 6% tax on gross retail receipts; a 2% tax on testing facilities’ gross receipts; a 3% tax on gross distribution receipts; and a 4% tax on the gross receipts of manufacturing and other marijuana business facilities.
A NO VOTE opposes enacting taxes on cannabis businesses in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.