Ballot Measures for the 2020 California General Election

There are four types of measures on the ballot for the California 2020 General Election.

What is a referendum?

A referendum is a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.

Read more about referendums on Ballotpedia.

What is an initiative statute?

An initiated state statute, also known as an initiative statute, is a new law that a state adopts via the ballot initiative process.

The most common form of initiated state statute is when groups collect signatures and once those signatures are collected, election officials place the measure on the ballot for a vote.

Read more about initiated state statutes on Ballotpedia.

What is a legislative constitutional amendment?

A legislatively referred constitutional amendment is a proposed constitutional amendment that appears on a state's ballot as a ballot measure because the state legislature in that state voted to put it before the voters.

Read more about legislatively referred constitutional amendments on Ballotpedia.

What is an initiated constitutional amendment?

An initiated constitutional amendment is an amendment to a state's constitution that results from petitioning by a state's citizens. By utilizing this initiative process, citizens can propose and vote on constitutional amendments directly, without need of legislative referral.

Read more about initiated constitutional amendments on Ballotpedia

UC Endorsements At a Glance

Proposition 14 (Stem Cell Research Funding)

University of California Board of Regents endorses "Yes."

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 15 (Taxing Commercial and Industrial Properties Based on Market Value)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 16 (Lifting the Ban on Affirmative Action)

University of California Board of Regents endorses "Yes."

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 17 (Voting Rights for Paroled Felons)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 18 (Voting Rights for 17-Year-Olds in Primaries and Special Elections)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 19 (Revising Property Tax and Inheritance Rules)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association does not endorse a position.

Proposition 20 (Changing Access to Parole for Non-Violent Offenders and Reclassifying Certain Misdemeanors as Felonies)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "No."

Proposition 21 (Expanding Local Rent Control)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 22 (Classifying Rideshare Drivers as Independent Contractors)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "No."

Proposition 23 (Requiring On-Site Physicians and State Approval of Service Changes at Dialysis Clinics)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association does not endorse a position.

Proposition 24 (Creating the California Privacy Protection Agency)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association does not endorse a position.

Proposition 25 (Changing the Bail System from Cash to a Risk Assessment)

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association does not endorse a position.

Measure-by-Measure Breakdowns

Proposition 14

Initiative statute: Issues $5.5 billion in bonds for state stem cell research institute.

What would this measure do?

Authorizes bonds continuing stem cell research.

Authorizes $5.5 billion state bonds for:

  • stem cell and other medical research, including training;
  • research facility construction;
  • administrative costs.

Dedicates $1.5 billion to brain-related diseases.

Appropriates General Fund moneys for repayment.

Expands related programs.

What would be the financial impact?

Increased state costs to repay bonds estimated at about $260 million per year over the next roughly 30 years.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

The state could sell $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds primarily for stem cell research and the development of new medical treatments in California.

Voting No

The state could not sell $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds primarily for stem cell research and the development of new medical treatments in California.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents endorses "Yes."

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 15

Initiative Constitutional Amendment: Requires commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on market value and dedicates revenue.

What would this measure do?

Increases funding sources for public schools, community colleges, and local government services by changing tax assessment of commercial and industrial property.

Taxes such properties based on current market value, instead of purchase price.

What would be the financial impact?

Increased property taxes on commercial properties worth more than $3 million providing $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

Property taxes on most commercial properties worth more than $3 million would go up in order to provide new funding to local governments and schools.

Voting No

Property taxes on commercial properties would stay the same. Local governments and schools would not receive new funding.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 16

Legislative Constitutional Amendment: Repeals Proposition 209 (1996), which says that the state cannot discriminate or grant preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, education, or contracting.

What would this measure do?

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.

What would be the financial impact?

No direct fiscal effect on state and local entities.

The effects of the measure depend on the future choices of state and local government entities and are highly uncertain.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

State and local entities could consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public education, public employment, and public contracting to the extent allowed under federal and state law.

Voting No

The current ban on the consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public education, public employment, and public contracting would remain in effect.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents endorses "Yes."

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 17

Legislative Constitutional Amendment: Restores the right to vote to people convicted of felonies who are on parole.

What would this measure do?

Restores right to vote after completion of prison term.

Restores voting rights upon completion of prison term to persons who have been disqualified from voting while serving a prison term.

What would be the financial impact?

Annual county costs, likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars statewide, for voter registration and ballot materials.

One-time state costs, likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, for voter registration cards and systems.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

People on state parole who are U.S. citizens, residents of California, and at least 18 years of age would be able to vote, if they register to vote.

Voting No

People on state parole would continue to be unable to vote in California.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 18

Legislative Constitutional Amendment: Allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primaries and special elections.

What would this measure do?

Amends the California State Constitution to permit 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections if they will turn 18 by the next general election and be otherwise eligible to vote.

What would be the financial impact?

Increased statewide county costs likely between several hundreds of thousands of dollars and $1 million every two years.

Increased one­ time costs to the state of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

Eligible 17-year-olds who will be 18 years old by the time of the next general election may vote in the primary election and any special elections preceding the general election.

Voting No

No one younger than 18 years of age may vote in any election.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 19

Legislative Constitutional Amendment: Changes tax assessment transfers and inheritance rules.

What would this measure do?

Changes certain 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.

What would be the financial impact?

Local governments could gain tens of millions of dollars of property tax revenue per year, probably growing over time to a few hundred million dollars per year.

Schools could receive similar property tax gains.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

All homeowners who are over 55 (or who meet other qualifications) would be eligible for property tax savings when they move.

Only inherited properties used as primary homes or farms would be eligible for property tax savings.

Voting No

Some homeowners who are over 55 (or who meet other qualifications) would continue to be eligible for property tax savings when they move.

All inherited properties would continue to be eligible for property tax savings.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association does not endorse a position.

Proposition 20

Initiative Statute: Makes changes to policies related to criminal sentencing charges, prison release, and DNA collection.

What would this measure do?

Restricts parole for non-violent offenders.

Authorizes felony sentences for certain offenses currently treated only as misdemeanors.

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.

What would be the financial impact?

Increase in state and local correctional, court, and law enforcement costs likely in the tens of millions of dollars annually, depending on implementation.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

People who commit certain theft-related crimes (such as repeat shoplifting) could receive increased penalties (such as longer jail terms).

Additional factors would be considered for the state's process for releasing certain inmates from prison early.

Law enforcement would be required to collect DNA samples from adults convicted of certain misdemeanors.

Voting No

Penalties for people who commit certain theft-related crimes would not be increased.

There would be no change to the state's process for releasing certain inmates from prison early.

Law enforcement would continue to be required to collect DNA samples from adults only if they are arrested for a felony or required to register as sex offenders or arsonists.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "No."

Proposition 21

Initiative Statute: Expands local governments' power to use rent control.

What would this measure do?

Expands local governments' authority to enact rent control on residential property.

Allows local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Local limits on rate increases may differ from statewide limit.

What would be the financial impact?

Overall, a potential reduction in state and local revenues in the high tens of millions of dollars per year over time.

Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or more.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

State law would allow cities and counties to apply more kinds of rent control to more properties than under current law.

Voting No

State law would maintain current limits on rent control laws cities and counties can apply.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "Yes."

Proposition 22

Initiative Statute: Considers app-based drivers to be independent contractors and enacts several labor policies related to app-based companies.

What would this measure do?

Exempts app-based transportation and delivery companies from providing employee benefits to certain drivers.

Classifies app-based drivers as "independent contractors," instead of "employees," and provides independent-contractor drivers other compensation, unless certain criteria are met.

What would be the financial impact?

Minor increase in state income taxes paid by rideshare·and delivery company drivers and investors.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

App-based rideshare and delivery companies could hire drivers as independent contractors.

Drivers could decide when, where, and how much to work but would not get standard benefits and protections that businesses must provide employees.

Voting No

App-based rideshare and delivery companies would have to hire drivers as employees if the courts say that a recent state law makes drivers employees.

Drivers would have less choice about when, where, and how much to work but would get standard benefits and protections that businesses must provide employees.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association endorses "No."

Proposition 23

Initiative Statute: Requires physician on-site at dialysis clinics and consent from the state for a clinic to close.

What would this measure do?

Establishes state requirements for kidney dialysis clinics.

Requires on-site medical professional.

Requires physician or other specified medical professional on site during dialysis treatment.

Prohibits clinics from reducing services without state approval.

Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on payment source.

What would be the financial impact?

Increased state and local government costs likely in the low tens of millions of dollars annually.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

Chronic dialysis clinics would be required to have a doctor onsite during all patient treatment hours.

Voting No

Chronic dialysis clinics would not be required to have a doctor onsite during all patient treatment hours.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association does not endorse a position.

Proposition 24

Initiative Statute: Expands the provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and creates the California Privacy Protection Agency to implement and enforce the CCPA.

What would this measure do?

Amends consumer privacy laws.

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.

What would be the financial impact?

Increased annual state costs of at least $10 million, but unlikely exceeding low tens of millions of dollars, to enforce expanded consumer privacy laws. Some costs would be offset by penalties for violating these laws.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

Existing consumer data privacy laws and rights would be expanded.

Businesses required to meet privacy requirements would change.

A new state agency and the state's Department of Justice would share responsibility for overseeing and enforcing state consumer privacy laws.

Voting No

Businesses would continue to be required to follow existing consumer data privacy laws.

Consumers would continue to have existing data privacy rights.

The state's Department of Justice would continue to oversee and enforce these laws.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association does not endorse a position.

Proposition 25

Referendum: Replaces cash bail with risk assessments for suspects awaiting trial.

What would this measure do?

Referendum on law that replaced money bail with system based on public safety and flight risk.

A "yes" vote approves, and a ''no" vote rejects, law replacing money bail with a system based on public safety and flight risk.

What would be the financial impact?

Increased costs possibly in mid-hundreds of millions of dollars annually for a new process for release from jail prior to trial, millions of dollars annually.

What would my vote mean?

Voting Yes

No one would pay bail to be released from jail before trial.

Instead, people would either be released automatically or based on their assessed risk of committing another crime or not appearing in court if released.

No one would be charged fees as a condition of release.

Voting No

Some people would continue to pay bail to be released from jail before trial.

Other people could continue to be released without paying bail.

Fees may continue to be charged as a condition of release.

Where does the University of California stand on this measure?

University of California Board of Regents does not endorse a position.

University of California Student Association does not endorse a position.