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2024 Elections: California Initiatives on the November Ballot – NEWSnet

2024 Elections: California Initiatives on the November Ballot – NEWSnet

Illustration of the election season

Illustration of the election season


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (NEWSnet/AP) — The minimum wage, same-sex marriage and anti-shoplifting laws are among 10 statewide ballot measures California voters are expected to consider in November.

Here’s a list of the proposals state voters will vote on in November:

The measure asks voters for permission to borrow $10 billion to build and repair public schools.

Most of that money, $8.5 billion, would go to elementary and secondary schools. The rest, $1.5 billion, would go to the state’s community colleges.

This would formally remove the ban on same-sex marriage from the California Constitution, approved by voters in 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked California from enforcing the ban since 2013.

The proposed amendment would delete the provision and replace it with text stating that “the right to marry is a fundamental right.”

The measure asks voters for permission to borrow $10 billion for a variety of environmental programs and projects.

The bulk of the money, $3.8 billion, would go to improving drinking water systems and preparing for droughts and floods. Wildfire preparedness programs would receive $1.5 billion, while programs to combat sea-level rise would receive $1.2 billion.

The remainder would go to parks and outdoor recreation programs, clean air initiatives, extreme heat preparedness, biodiversity protection and farm and ranch sustainability.

It would amend the state constitution to make it easier for local governments to seek voter permission to borrow money, as long as they use the funds to build affordable housing or public infrastructure.

This would amend the California Constitution to prohibit forced labor in all its forms.

Current law allows for criminal sanctions as an exception, and prisoner rights advocates are concerned about working conditions in prisons. It is not uncommon for incarcerated people to be forced to work for less than $1 an hour.

The measure would raise California’s minimum wage to $18 an hour. It currently stands at $16 an hour in most industries and $20 an hour for fast food workers.

It would repeal a state law that prohibits cities and counties from capping rents on single-family homes, condominiums and apartments built after 1995.

Supporters of the proposal say it would help prevent homelessness. Opponents say it would hurt family homeowners and discourage the construction of affordable housing.

Several cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose, already have local rent control policies.

This would allow California’s Medicaid program to permanently pay pharmacies directly for prescription drugs.

California began doing this in 2019 after the governor signed an executive order authorizing such payments. The move would make it law.

It would require the state to pay doctors more to treat patients covered by Medicaid, the government-funded health insurance program for low-income people, by redirecting some taxes to managed care organizations.

The law would make shoplifting a criminal offense for repeat offenders and increase penalties for certain drug offenses, including those involving fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. It would also give judges the power to order people charged with multiple drug offenses to undergo treatment.

Supporters of the initiative said it was needed to close loopholes in existing laws that make it difficult for law enforcement to punish shoplifters and drug dealers.

Opponents said the proposal would disproportionately jail poor people and those with drug addictions rather than targeting the ringleaders of organized shoplifting.

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