A Plain English Guide to Propositions on California’s November 2022 Ballot

A Plain English Guide to Propositions on California’s November 2022 Ballot

California voters will be asked to vote on 7 statewide ballot measures in the November 2022 election – but the titles and descriptions written by state politicians are intentionally confusing and downright misleading. Reform California has a simple voter guide that cuts through the clutter and explains the November 2022 ballot measures in “Plain English.”

It happens every election cycle in California. Voters open their ballots to find a long list of ballot measures with confusing ballot titles. The process leaves most voters frustrated, if not angry.

It shouldn’t be this way. The non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) recommends that initiative titles and summaries should be “concise, accurate, and impartial.” Sadly in California the politicians are trying to manipulate the vote by giving favorable titles and summaries to ballot measures they like and unfavorable titles and summaries to ballot measures they don’t like.

Fortunately, Reform California offers voters a “Plain English” voter guide to simplify the process and decode the manipulative language used by politicians.

“You have to be careful and know what you’re voting for – especially because this year there are hidden tax increases on the ballot and competing gambling initiatives as well,” warns Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California. 

Here is a “plain English” rundown of the seven statewide ballot measures on California’s 2022 ballot: 

Prop 1:

Official Title: Reproductive Freedom. Constitutional Amendment.

Plain English Translation: Eliminates Any Restrictions on When Abortions Can Be Performed

Prop 1 is being sold publicly as merely a codification of a pro-choice position in the California state constitution but it actually goes far further than that. The actually text of this ballot measure would repeal the current ban on abortions after 23 weeks of a pregnancy and allow the right to a late-term abortion up to the moment of birth. Prop 1 would give California one of the most extreme abortion laws in the country. This measure may also interfere with existing state laws that allow for Sexually Violent Predators to be placed under mandatory chemical treatment to limit their sex drive and desires. Reform California recommends a NO vote.

Prop 26:

Official Title: Authorizes New Types Of Gambling. Initiative Constitutional and Statutory Amendment.

Plain English Translation: Protects and Expands Gambling Rights of Native American Tribes 

Prop 26 affirms the current practice of allowing only 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. It would also allow on-site sports wagering at privately operated horse-racing tracks in specified counties for ages 21 and up. This ballot measure was placed on the ballot by tribal gaming groups to compete with Prop 27 which is sponsored by corporate interests.

Prop 27:

Official Title: Allows Online And Mobile Sports Wagering. Initiative Constitutional and Statutory Amendment.

Plain English Translation: Allows Private Businesses to Engage in Online Gambling to Compete with Native American Tribes

Prop 27 would expand gambling in California beyond casinos currently operated by Native American tribes by allowing private businesses to operate online and mobile sports wagering for persons 21 and up. Native American tribes say this competition from private businesses will undermine their ability to fund programs for their tribes. Reform California recommends a NO vote.

Prop 28:

Official Title: Provides Additional Funding For Arts And Music Education In Public Schools. Initiative Statute.

Plain English Translation: Earmarks Mandatory Funding from the Existing State Education Budget for Arts and Music Programs

Prop 28 is an earmark – or a requirement that the state spend at least a certain amount of funds from the state budget for the exclusive benefit of art and music programs. The earmark mandates that 1% of required state and local funding for public schools be set aside for arts and music programs and then allocates a greater proportion of the funds to schools serving more economically disadvantaged students. Earmarks are not free money – so any earmark will have to come at the expense of other educational programs for fundamental academic areas like reading, writing, arithmetic, etc. Reform California recommends a NO vote.

Prop 29: 

Official Title: Requires On-Site Licensed Medical Professional At Kidney Dialysis Clinics And Establishes Other State Requirements. Initiative Statute

Plain English Translation: Imposes Costly Regulations on Kidney Dialysis Clinics to Benefit Organized Labor Unions

Prop 29 may be familiar to voters since it has been rejected TWICE before in 2018 and 2020. Why does it keep appearing on the ballot? Wealthy labor unions force the measure on the ballot in an attempt to impose new costly regulations on kidney dialysis clinics that would benefit the interests of the unions. Prop 29 requires specific medical personnel on site during treatment at outpatient kidney dialysis clinics – whether or not the personnel are even needed. The measure also increases mandatory state reporting and prohibits clinics from closing or substantially reducing services without state approval. A “no” vote keeps your doctors and clinics more independent from state control. Reform California recommends a NO vote.

Prop 30:

Official Title: Provides Funding for Programs to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Increasing Tax on Personal Income Over $2 Million. Initiative Statute.

Plain English Translation: TAX INCREASE – Increases Income Taxes to Fund a Variety of New Government Programs

Prop 30 is a massive income tax increase – even though California already has the highest income taxes in the country of any state. Prop 39 imposes a 1.75% tax increase for personal incomes over $2 million. Revenue for the proposition aims to go toward climate change measures, but the definition of programs eligible for these new funds is quite broad as to allow the funds to be used in a wide-range of ways. Reform California recommends a NO vote.

Prop 31:

Official Title: Referendum Challenging A 2020 Law Prohibiting Retail Sale Of Certain Flavored Tobacco Products

Plain English Translation: Should California Ban the Sale of Flavored Tobacco?

Prop 31 is a “referendum” or question on whether an proposed state law should be implemented or rejected. State Senate Bill, SB 793, which prohibits the retail sale of certain flavored tobacco products and tobacco flavor enhancers. A “yes” vote would uphold and pass the law into effect, banning the retail sale of these flavored tobacco products. A “no” vote would overturn the law and tobacco companies would be allowed to sell flavored tobacco products in the state. 

To access Reform California’s full Plain English Voter Guide, visit www.ElectionGuideCalifornia.org

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