Credit: Claire Lorimor | Mustang News

This story first appeared in the November print edition of Mustang News, titled "SLO County Voter Guide." Pick up a copy from a newsstand around Cal Poly's campus to read more.

This year, voters only have seven propositions available to them — the fewest number of ballot measures in more than a century, CalMatters reported. Still, the 2022 election is giving Californians a chance to decide on popular issues, from protecting abortion rights to subsidizing zero-emission vehicles. 

Mustang News broke down what the propositions would do — and the pros and cons of each one — to help make your decision easier. 

Proposition 1 

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, leaving it up to the states to determine their abortion laws. While California currently protects abortion access, Prop. 1 would embed that protection into the state constitution. Prop. 1 would amend the California Constitution to prohibit the state from denying the right to abortions, contraceptives and other reproductive services — codifying the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2009. 

Pros:

Writ large pro-choice groups such as Planned Parenthood, National Abortion Rights Action League and more support the proposition. Many pro-choice advocates believe that abortion rights are under attack after the supreme court delivered the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision earlier this year, effectively overturning the previous longstanding abortion precedent, Roe v. Wade, and putting the question of abortion rights into the hands of state legislatures and congress. They also believe that the Dobbs decision will be used as a precedent to overturn other related cases involving contraceptives such as Griswold v. Connecticut. This proposition aims to make legal challenges to the aforementioned rights more difficult by enshrining them into California’s constitution. 

Cons:

Pro-life and Christian faith groups such as the California Catholic Conference, Students for life and many more listed on noproposition1.com/endorsements are leading the opposition to Prop. 1. Pro-life advocates argue that abortion is murder and therefore should be illegal. They also argue that the law would be “overly broad” and allow for late-term abortions which currently exist in a legal grey area known as the viability standard which argues that at 23 weeks a fetus or when the fetus reaches 500 grams it is considered viable and therefore cannot be terminated. However, there are some exceptions to the viability standard, for example, if the life of the mother would be threatened by birth or is currently threatened by the fetus. They also argue that this proposition is unnecessary as the standing abortion laws in California are already strong.

Proposition 26

Prop. 26 seeks to legalize sports betting in California exclusively at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed horse racing racetracks. The proposition would impose a 10% excise tax on sports betting at horse racing racetracks and to legalize roulette, blackjack and craps at American Indian gaming casinos. The proposition was introduced by the Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gambling. Sports betting is currently illegal in California. 15% of the 10% excise tax would go towards funding research into gambling addiction and prevention at the California Department of Health, 70% would go to the state’s general fund and the last 15% would go to the Bureau of Gambling Control according to the text of Prop. 26. The proposition would also make it illegal for persons under 21 years of age to gamble on sports betting. High school sports would also be prohibited from being gambled upon.

Pros:

The main proponent of Prop. 26 is the Yes on 26 no on 27 Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gambling. Prop. 26 is also being supported by a range of Native American tribes and social justice groups. Advocates argue that the proposition would generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state. Advocates also argue that
Prop. 26 would increase the amount of money that is shared between gaming tribes and non-gaming tribes through the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund.

Cons:

Prop. 26’s main opponent is No on 26, Taxpayers Against Special Interest Monopolies. Other supporters include the Republican Party of California, animal welfare organizations and small business organizations. Opponents argue that the proposition will hurt non-tribal competitors and create a monopoly on sports gambling in California. Opponents also argue that Prop. 26 will also force cardrooms to close. 

Proposition 27

Prop. 27 seeks to allow online sports betting companies to sign an operating agreement with American Indian gaming tribes in California that essentially allow them to operate within California on behalf of American Indian gaming tribes. The proposition would also establish the California Online Sports Betting Trust Fund, which would allocate 85% of the revenue collected from a 10% excise on sports betting towards the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account to be used for building permanent and interim housing for houseless people. The other 15% would go toward the Tribal Economic Development Account. The law would also make sports betting legal for those 21 years or older.

Pros:

Prop. 27’s main proponent is Yes on 27 – Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support. The proposition is also supported by a variety of online sports betting companies such as Draft Kings, a variety of homelessness support organizations, American Indian tribes, the MLB and more. Proponents argue that the proposition would help to address homelessness in California. Proponents also argue that the proposition will open sports betting up to those who want to bet in California in a safe way. 

Cons:

The main opponents to prop. 27 are Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming and Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, which are both coalitions of gaming tribes in California. Opponents argue that prop. 27 will cause an explosion for online sports gambling in California, which will hurt gaming tribes. They also argue that prop. 27 only serves to enrich big gambling companies. 

Proposition 28

Prop 28 seeks to provide an increase of $1 billion in funding for arts and music education in K-12 public schools. The law would not raise any additional taxes to provide the funding. The law would guarantee that 30% of the funds appropriated would go toward schools with economically disadvantaged students.

Pros:

Yes on 28, a coalition of teachers, artists and labor organizations, is the primary proponent of Prop. 28. Prominent supporters of the prop include rapper and producer Dr. Dre, rapper Lil Baby, actress Issa Rae, actor Jon Lithgow, as well as labor unions including SAG-AFTRA, SEIU of California and IATSE. Proponents argue that currently 90% of elementary schools, 96% of middle schools and 72% of high schools fail to provide a high-quality course of study across arts and that this law would decrease the number of schools without a high-quality course of study across arts. They also argue that the necessity for teaching the arts in schools is driven by the benefits that the arts have on children’s cognitive development. 

Cons:

No opponents of Prop. 28 are listed on the California Secretary of State website.

Proposition 29

Prop 29 seeks to require dialysis clinics to have at least one nurse or physician present while patients are being treated, report data on any dialysis-related infections to the California Department of Public Health and not discriminate upon patients’ method of payment. Clinics would also be required to report any physicians or people who have an ownership stake of 5% or more in the clinic. The proposition would require clinics to obtain written consent from dialysis patients within the clinic before closing the clinic. Similar versions of prop 29 were proposed in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles (Prop. 8 in 2018 and Prop. 23 in 2020). 

Pros:

Prop. 29 is being led by Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection. Proponents of Prop. 29 argue that patients have a higher chance of infection or death when a nurse practitioner, physician, or practitioner is not present and that requiring those medical professionals to be on staff would reduce the likelihood of death or infection. Proponents argue that the two major corporations, who control 80% of California’s dialysis clinics, DaVita and Fresenius, make billions of dollars yearly and can afford to hire more staff without closing clinics. 

Cons:

Opposition to Prop. 29 is being spearheaded by the advocacy group No Prop 29, a coalition of healthcare companies, patient advocacy groups and business groups. Other opponents include DaVita, the Republican Party of California and Fresenius. Opponents argue that Prop. 29 will close nearly half of all dialysis clinics, drastically reduce staff at clinics and cost an additional $445 million annually for clinics. Opponents also argue that the law would increase taxes to offset the higher costs of healthcare as a result of the law. 

Proposition 30

Prop 30 would levy an additional 1.75% tax on people making over $2 million, the revenue from the tax would be used to fund subsidies for zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure related to zero-emission vehicles such as electric charging stations. The proposition also provides funding for wildfire prevention. Tax revenue collected from the tax would be split into three different programs; 35% would go toward the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Investment Plan Sub-Fund, 45% would go toward the Zero-Emission Vehicle and Clean Mobility Sub-Fund and 20% would go toward the Wildfire Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Sub-Fund.

Pros:

Prop. 30’s main supporter is Yes on 30 Clean Air California, a coalition of climate advocacy groups and political organizations. Other proponents include the California Democratic Party, Lyft, Rep. Ro Khanna and former presidential Candidate Tom Steyer. Proponents argue that proposition 30 will reduce emissions and the cost of electric vehicles. Proponents also argue that the proposition will help Lyft and Uber rideshare drivers by offsetting their reimbursement for fueling their cars onto the state as opposed to rideshare companies. 

Cons:

Governor Gavin Newsom and No on 30 are the main opponents of Prop. 30. Other opponents include the Republican Party of California, the California Teachers Association and the California Chamber of Commerce. Gov. Newsom argues that “Prop. 30 is a special interest carve-out — a cynical scheme devised by a single corporation to funnel state income tax revenue to their company. … Californians should know that just this year our state committed $10 billion for electric vehicles and their infrastructure.” Other opponents argue that taxes are too high to begin with and these taxes are unnecessary and economically dangerous. 

Proposition 31

Prop. 31 seeks to uphold SB 793 which banned the sale of flavored tobacco products in California. The law would continue the prohibition of flavored tobacco products with exemptions for hookah tobacco, loose-leaf tobacco and premium cigars. 

Pros:

Governor Gavin Newsom and Yes On Prop. 31, Committee to Protect California Kids are the main proponents of Prop. 31. Proponents argue that flavored tobacco products are marketed towards minors and underage adults to get them addicted to tobacco products by flavoring their products. They also argue that these products are more dangerous than traditional unflavored tobacco products. Proponents argue that flavored tobacco products tend to target people-of-color and Black people, in particular, citing the fact that in the 1950s less than 10% of smokers who smoked menthol-flavored cigarettes are Black and today 85% are Black.

Cons:

The main opponents of Prop. 31 include No on Prop 31- Californians Against Prohibition and the Republican Party of California. Other opponents include tobacco companies such as Philip-Morris USA inc. and the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Opponents argue that the sale of tobacco products to those under the age of 21 is already illegal so this law would ban adults from consuming these products not children. Opponents also argue that the ban will hurt small businesses such as liquor stores and smoke shops.