Campaigns heat up as elections creep closer – Here’s what is on the ballot

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Gubernatorial and congressional candidates are scrambling to lock down support as November elections near. Here’s a quick rundown on the major races in California this November, as well as ballot initiatives up for approval.

Possibly the most high profile race in California is that between Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and businessman John Cox (R). The two are running for state governor, with most polls giving Newsom the edge. However, a large contingent of undecided voters could tip the scales in Cox’s favor, or secure Newsom’s victory.

However, another race has already caused quite a stir. Many believed that five-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was a shoe-in until the California Democratic Party instead gave its endorsement to state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D). Feinstein has raised $15 million compared to de Leon’s $1.3 million, and most polls put her decisively in the lead.

However, most of the buzz currently surrounds elections in Congressional districts across California. Democrats are hoping to flip key Republican districts to regain control of Congress, while Republicans fight to retain their majority.

California’s 48th congressional district in Orange County could be a tipping point in that battle, with most experts considering it a toss-up between incumbent Dana Rohrabacher and challenger Harley Rouda. Rohrabacher has been under fire recently for his steadfast support of President Donald Trump, and his reluctance to hold town hall meetings. Similarly, California’s 45th congressional district is expected to be a close race. According to the Global Strategy Group, about 10 percent of voters are undecided in the 45th, which covers much of Northern Orange County.

California’s 25th congressional district in Los Angeles could be the fiercest in the state, with Democratic challenger Katie Hill raising more money than Republican incumbent Stephen Knight. Most pollsters believe Hill might claim the district, as the 25th was one of the Republican-held districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

California’s 39th congressional district, which covers parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, currently has no incumbent running, thanks to Republican Rep. Ed Royce’s decision not to run for re-election. Democrat Gil Cisneros and Republican Young Kim are running here, with Cisneros widely considered the favorite to win by pollsters.

Prop 1

Prop 1 would authorize a $4 billion bond to build and provide affordable housing for veterans, working families, people with disabilities and the homeless. Development near public transit, high-density affordable and mixed-income housing, and farm ownership would all be supported.

Prop 2

Prop 2 would help build housing for chronically homeless people, with integrated mental health services. The mental health services would be funded with $2 billion in bonds from a one percent tax on income above $1 million for mental health services, approved by voters in 2004.

Prop 3

Prop 3 would authorize more bonds, this time to the tune of $8.9 billion, for water infrastructure, dam repairs, and habitat protection and restoration. State parks would get the largest single share of funding, but the initiative also requires that that $4 billion be earmarked for disadvantaged communities.

Prop 4

The final bond measure on November’s ballot would raise $1.5 billion for children’s hospitals in California. About $1 billion of that would go toward seven private nonprofit children’s hospitals across the state, while University of California children’s hospitals would share the remainder of the funds raised with other public and private hospitals.

Prop 5

Homebuyers 55 or older, as well as those who are severely disabled, could deal with a new tax assessment process if Prop 5 passes. It would allow homebuyers to transfer tax assessments from their prior home to a new home, no matter the new home’s market value, location in the state or the buyer’s number of moves.

Prop 6

2017’s fuel tax increases was hotly debated across California, and now voters will have their say. Prop 6 would repeal that increase, along with vehicle fees enacted in 2017. Furthermore, all future fuel taxes and vehicle fees would have to be approved by voters via ballot proposition.

Prop 7

Springing forward and falling back is as American as apple pie, but as of this year the Universal Time Act allows states to set their own clocks to standard time permanently. Not everyone is pleased, with legislators in California and Florida asking Washington to allow for permanent daylight saving time as well. If federal law comes to allow it, Prop 7 will allow Sacramento to make permanent DST state law.

Prop 8

Dialysis can be one of the most costly medical procedures out there, but Prop 8 could help patients shoulder the burden by requiring dialysis clinics to issue refunds for revenue above 115 percent of the costs of direct patient care and healthcare improvements. Insurance companies would also see refunds.

Prop 10

Possibly the most hotly-debated ballot initiative slated for November, Prop 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and allow local governments to adopt rent control. Proponents say it could help stem the tide of rising rent across the state, while opponents say rent will be more expensive this way.


Prop 11

If Prop 11 passes, ambulance providers would be allowed to require that workers to remain on-call during breaks, paid at their regular rate. Employers would be required to provide additional training and mental health services for EMTs and paramedics as well.

Prop 12

Supported by the Humane Society of the United States, Prop 12 would ban the sale of meat and eggs calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below a specific number of square feet. Size restrictions aren’t outlined, since different animals will have different needs.

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