An overview of the props on California’s 2020 Ballot


Iman Baber

   On Nov. 3, California voters will not only be participating in the presidential election, but will have to make decisions regarding state policy by voting on the propositions approved to be in the California 2020 ballot. A total of 12 propositions will appear on this year’s ballot, concerning topics such as taxes, voting rights and other important issues. 

   As Californians, whether or not these propositions are enacted by law is an outcome that will directly affect our futures. However, it is also an outcome informed and dedicated voters can help shape. 

   The Paw Print has put together a brief overview of all 12 propositions appearing on the 2020 ballot, and what it means to vote “yes” or “no.” Cats, if you are registered to vote, be sure to take time to inform yourself and plan your decisions, because they will affect state policy in the years to follow. 

(Note: All presented information is taken from the California General Election Official Voter Information Guide. If you wish to read a more in depth analysis of the propositions, please visit


  • Prop 14

   Proposition 14 concerns the authorization and management of funds for research on stem cells and nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and others. This proposition would lead to the expansion of programs focusing on these areas of research. It would also authorize the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to hire at most 15 full-time employees who will develop new policies to increase affordability for patients who need treatments developed by research. Prop 14 allows the state to allot $5.5 billion for stem cell research grants through state general obligation bonds, while $1.5 billion will be dedicated to research of nervous system diseases. The total estimated cost to the state is $7.8 billion, in terms of new borrowing and interest. 

   Proponents of Prop 14 argue that its ratification will ensure investment in research that can lead to life-saving treatments for many medical conditions. Additionally, it will stimulate economic recovery, increase access and affordability of treatments for patients and demand transparency and accountability of use of funds. 

   Opponents of Prop 14 cite the economic effects of the proposal, arguing that an economy already brought to its knees due to the pandemic cannot afford to spend the additional $7.8 billion this proposition demands. The financial challenges may lead to layoffs and/or an increase in taxes. Additionally, other institutions, such as private organizations and the National Institute of Health, already delegate funds to such research. 


  • Prop 15

   Proposition 15 concerns increasing funding for public schools, colleges and local governments through changes in industrial and property tax assessment. This property will now be taxed based on its current market value. Properties worth less than $3 million are exempt from these tax changes. An estimated $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion will be generated in funding for schools and local governments. 

   Proponents of Prop 15 argue that it will close loopholes utilized by wealthy corporations to avoid paying taxes, and will benefit small businesses. Additionally, by boosting funding for public schools and colleges, Prop 15 will take steps to address economic and racial equity.  

    Opponents argue that Prop 15 will lead to an increase of living costs and raise taxes, as well as hurt small businesses by increasing rents for properties. 


  • Prop 16

   Prop 16 allows diversity to be a factor for consideration in government decisions by repealing Prop 29, which banned the consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. This will not repeal anti-discrimination laws, rather allow essentially affirmative action. 

   Proponents of Prop 16 argue that it will give much needed opportunities to minorities and underrepresented groups, such.. as women or people of color. They argue that it will take strides to address discrimination. 

   Opponents, however, argue that Prop 16 will do more harm than good, and will not help those that it intends to. They contend that it goes against the premise of equal rights. 


  • Prop 17

   Prop 17 will restore voting rights to those who have completed a prison term that had disqualified them from voting. There will be a fiscal impact for the state, with increased costs in order to update voter registration systems and cards. 

   Proponents argue that Prop 17 will encourage those who have completed their prison terms to reintegrate into society, citing how allowing this right makes it less likely that more crimes will be committed, and released prisoners pay taxes and act as members of communities. 

   Opponents contend that Prop 17 will allow those who have committed serious felonies to vote before they complete parole. 


  • Prop 18

   Prop 18 will amend the California Constitution, which previously only permitted Californians who were at least 18 years of age on an election date to vote at that election, to allow Californians who are 17 years of age to vote if they will be 18 by the time of the next general election. These individuals can participate in special or primary elections. This Proposition will have financial ramifications, with increased costs for the State to update voter registrations systems and materials. 

   Proponents of Prop 18 argue that it is an effective way to increase young voter participation, and will get youth involved in the political process early on, thus ensuring life-long political participation. Additionally, supporters contend that 17-year-olds can already work, pay taxes and enlist in the military, and thus should be allowed to participate in the election process. 

   Opponents argue that 17-year-olds are not yet legally adults, nor are their brains fully developed to maturity. Additionally, since this age group is in school for five hours every day, they will be susceptible to bias and influence from their classroom environments. 


  • Prop 19

   Prop 19 is meant to benefit homeowners who are over 55, are disabled or whose homes were destroyed in wildfires. The proposal is that these individuals can choose to transfer the property tax value to any residence of value anywhere in the state, thus opening the possibility to potentially transfer to a more expensive residence. 

   Proponents say that it will help close certain tax loopholes and benefit senior and disabled homeowners, as well as those whose houses were destroyed in a forest fire. 

   Opponents argue that this measure will hurt children who inherit their family homes, due to the bigger taxes. 


  • Prop 20

   Proposition 20 reclassifies some crimes that were previously misdemeanors as felonies. For example, theft under $950 will be now classified as a felony. Additionally, certain offenders will have DNA samples collected by the state. 

   Proponents argue that this Proposition prevents sex offenders, child molesters and others who commit serious crimes from being released early, and will help fight against California’s drug crisis. 

   Opponents argue that Proposition 20 will lead to an increase in prison spending, thus taking away money needed for mental health programs and rehabilitation. 


  • Prop 21

   Proposition 21 comes under the context of California’s impending housing crisis. It gives local governments authority to control rent on properties 15 years or older, and prohibits these controls to violate the landowner’s right to a fair financial gain. 

   Proponents argue that this Proposition is the needed change to fight the housing crisis in the state. These laws will help protect individuals from becoming outpriced from their homes, and help combat homelessness as well. 

   Opponents argue, however, that this Proposition will worsen the housing crisis because it does not address the shortage of housing, and does not have protections for seniors, the disabled or veterans. 


  • Prop 22

   Prop 22 classifies app-based drivers, such as those who work for Uber or Lyft, as independent contractors and not employees. 

   Proponents argue that this proposition will allow for the flexibility that many current drivers need to continue working. 

   Opponents say that Prop 22 will exempt app-based driving companies from giving their workers benefits, and will rather prove to be more detrimental for workers. 


  • Prop 23

   Prop 23 states that kidney dialysis clinics will require an onsite presence of a licensed physician, and for these clinics to report infection data to the state. 

   Proponents argue that Prop 23 will help prevent infection-related deaths stemming from kidney dialysis treatment. 

   Opponents argue that this Proposition will cause many clinics to close due to the increased costs that these locations will have to take, thus barring lifesaving treatment to many patients. 


  • Prop 24 

   Prop 24 allows consumers to restrict businesses from sharing their personal information, using “sensitive personal information” such as ethnicity and geolocation and permits consumers to correct information that may be inaccurate. Other changes this Proposition makes include limiting the time during which businesses can retain consumers’ information and strengthens civil penalties for certain misuses of consumer data. 

   Proponents argue that this Prop will help protect consumers’ personal information, and will especially safeguard children from data misuse. 

   Opponents argue that Prop 24 is truly playing into the hands of Big Tech companies, and will ultimately harm consumers and leave their information compromised. 


  • Prop 25 

   Prop 25 removes the money bail system and replaces it with a system that utilizes computer algorithms to determine the public safety risk for individuals to be released on bail. 

   Proponents argue that this Proposition addresses the deeply flawed money-bail system, which allows those who can afford bail to go free, even if they committed a more serious crime. However, those who cannot afford bail remain behind bars awaiting their trials. 

   Opponents argue that this proposition violates Californians’ right to bail, and is dependent on algorithms that are biased, leading to more profiling and discrimination.