Highland voters will join the rest of the state in casting ballots on a dozen California propositions, eight placed on the ballot by petitions and four by the state Legislature.
Getting the most attention — and campaign contributions — is Proposition 22, which would retain the traditional treatment of “gig” workers or independent contractors.
The App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative would exempt Lift and Uber drivers along with delivery companies from Assembly Bill 5.
AB 5 was introduced in response to a California Supreme Court ruling in April 2018 that upheld a lower-court ruling that said most workers should be entitled to labor protections, such as minimum wage laws, sick leave and unemployment and workers’ compensation.
The California Legislature enacted AB 5 on a party-line vote rebuffing Republican opposition in December 2019. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law, and it took effect on Jan. 1.
Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have pledged to spend $30 million in support of Proposition 22.
In the arguments in favor, proponents say app-based drivers prefer to work as independent contractors by a 4-1 margin.
“These drivers have other jobs, family obligations or health issues and need flexibility to continue this work and supplemental income to support their families,” says the argument written by Lyft driver Jerome George.
More than 80 percent of drivers work less than 20 hours a week, have other jobs or responsibilities and can’t work set shifts as employees, including:
• Parents who work while kids are in school.
• Family members who work odd hours so they can care for aging parents or other loved ones.
• Working families, retirees and students who need supplemental income.
In November 2019, the California Trucking Association, representing about 70,000 truck drivers in the state, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, challenging both the California Supreme Court Dynamex ruling and AB 5.
In the argument against the proposition, opponents point out that Proposition 22 applies only to app-based driver, delivery companies and transportation companies.
AB 5 also affects gig musicians (where the term originated) and newspaper freelancers, including those who contribute to the Redlands Community News and Highland Community News.
The Recording Academy has expressed concerns. The National Press Photographers Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors sued the state of California, alleging that AB 5 violates the First and Fourteenth amendments.
Proposition 14: Stem cell research
Authorizes $5.5 billion state bonds for stem cell and other medical research, including training, research facility construction and administrative costs. Dedicates $1.5 billion to brain-related diseases. Appropriates general fund money for repayment. Expands related programs. Will increase state costs to repay bonds estimated at about $260 million per year over the next roughly 30 years.
Preposition 15: Funding schools and local government
Increased funding for public schools and local government.
Taxes such properties based on current market value instead of purchase price. Would increase property taxes on commercial properties worth more than $3 million to provide $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools.
Proposition 20: Parole changes and felony upgrade for certain crimes
Limits access to parole program established for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term of their primary offense by eliminating eligibility for certain offenses. Authorizes felony sentences for certain crimes now treated as misdemeanors.
Opponents: NoOnProp20@gmail.com or NoProp20.vote
Proposition 21: Rent control
Allows local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Local limits on rate increases may differ from statewide limit.
Proposition 22: Gig economy and independent contractors
Classifies app-based drivers as “independent contractors,” instead of “employees,” and provides independent-contractor drivers other compensation, unless certain criteria are met.
Proposition 23: Kidney dialysis
Requires physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant on site during dialysis treatment. Prohibits clinics from reducing services without state approval. Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on payment source.
Proposition 24: Consumer privacy
Permits consumers to prevent businesses from sharing personal information, correct inaccurate personal information and limit businesses’ use of “sensitive personal information,” including precise geolocation, race, ethnicity, and health information. Establishes California Privacy Protection Agency.
Proposition 25: Eliminate the bail system
Replaces money bail with system based on public safety and flight risk. Fiscal Impact: Increased costs possibly in mid hundreds of millions of dollars annually for a new process for release from jail prior to trial. Decreased county jail costs, possibly in high tens of millions of dollars annually.
Propositions placed on the ballot by the California Legislature
Proposition 16: Diversity
Allows diversity as a factor in public employment, education and contracting decisions.
Permits government decision-making policies to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in order to address diversity by repealing constitutional provision prohibiting such policies.
Proposition 17: Right to vote after a completing a prison term
Restores voting rights upon completion of prison term to those who have been disqualified from voting while serving a prison term. Fiscal impact annual county costs expected to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars statewide, for voter registration and ballot materials.
Proponents: YesonProp17@gmail.com or Yeson17.vote
Proposition 18: Allowing 17-year-olds to vote
Allows 17-year-old to vote in primary and secondary elections if they turn 18 before the next general election.
Proposition 19: Changing property tax rules
Allows homeowners who are over 55, disabled, or wildfire/disaster victims to transfer primary residence’s tax base to replacement residence. Changes taxation of family-property transfers. Establishes fire protection services fund.
Proponents: info@Yeson19.vote or Yeson19.vote.