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The 2020 Ballot Propositions

In a matter of weeks, Californians will once again be casting ballots in the 2020 General Election. While the presidential race will be taking center stage in November, voters will also be asked to cast their votes on 12 qualified initiatives. (A proposition circulated this year that would upend California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act that has been qualified for the November 2022 ballot.)

Here is a brief summary on each initiative appearing in the 2020 General Election:

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Proposition 14: Authorizes bonds to continue funding stem cell and other medical research.

Would issue $5.5 billion in bonds to stem cell and other medical research.

Dedicates $1.5 billion to fund research and therapy for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, epilepsy, and other brain and central nervous system diseases and conditions.

Limits bond issuance to $540 million per year.

Appropriates money from General Fund to repay bond debt but postpones repayment for the first five years.

Proposition 15: Increases funding for public schools, community colleges, and local government services by changing tax assessment of commercial and industrial property.

Amends Proposition 13 (1978), which limits property tax increases.

Increases funding for public schools, community colleges, and local governments.

Taxes commercial and industrial properties based on current market value.

Proposition 16: Repeals affirmative action restrictions.

Repeals Proposition 209 (1996), which prohibits the state from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

Proposition 17: Restores voting rights following completion of prison term.

Restores voting rights of people on parole upon completion of their prison terms.

Proposition 18: Adjusts voting rights for those turning 18 years old.

Allows 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections if they turn 18 before the general election.

Proposition 19: Provides property tax relief if disabled or victim of disaster.

Allows people age 55 and older who are severely disabled or victims of wildfires and other disasters to keep lower property tax rates when they move to new homes.

Proposition 20: Restricts parole for non-violent offender and authorizes felony sentences for certain offenses currently treated only as misdemeanors.

Changes parts of two previous ballot measures (Propositions 47 and 57) that eased criminal penalties.

Restricts parole for nonviolent offenders and authorizes felony sentences for certain offenses currently treated only as misdemeanors.

Proposition 21: Expands local governments' authority to enact rent control on residential property.

Amends state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties more than 15 years old.

Allows rent increases on rent-controlled properties of up to 15 percent over three years from previous tenant’s rent above any increase allowed by local ordinance.

Exempts individuals who own no more than two homes from new rent-control policies.

Proposition 22: Changes employment classification rules for app-based transportation and delivery services.

Allows drivers for companies like Lyft, Uber, and Doordash to be classified as independent contractors.

Criminalizes impersonation of app-based drivers and requires background checks.

Proposition 23: Authorizes state regulation of kidney dialysis clinics.

Requires kidney dialysis clinics to have at least one licensed physician on-site; clinics are exempt from this requirement if there is a shortage of qualified licensed physicians.

Requires state approval for clinic closures or service reductions.

Requires dialysis clinics to report infection data.

Prohibits clinics from discriminating against clients based on payment source.

Proposition 24: Amends Consumer Privacy Law.

Would allow consumers to prevent businesses from sharing personal information, to correct inaccurate personal information, and to limit businesses’ use of “sensitive personal information.”

Triples maximum penalties for violations concerning consumers under age 16.

Establishes the California Privacy Protection Agency to enforce consumer data privacy laws and impose administrative fines.

Proposition 25: Replaces cash bail system with a system based on public safety and flight safety risk. 

Replaces the state's money bail system with a system based on public safety risk.

Limits pretrial detention for most misdemeanors.

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Gabriela Villanueva is CAP’s Government & External Affairs Specialist. Questions or comments related to this article should be directed to