By Ashley Loza
Kern Valley Sun
Editor’s Note: The following are summaries of the measures that Kern River Valley residents will be voting for on November 6. The language has been lifted from the measure summaries in the California Voter Information Guide and Kern County Elections Office and simplified. Therefore, for the most detailed summaries, see the California Voter Information Guide or visit the Kern County Elections Office website.
Prop 1 – Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for affordable housing programs. A YES vote would allow the state to sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund affordable housing, while a NO vote would not allow the state to sell these bonds.
Prop 2 – Amends the Mental Health Services Act to fund the No Place Like Home Program, which finances housing for those with mental illnesses. A YES vote would allow the state to use existing county mental health funds to pay for housing for those with mental illness who are homeless. A NO vote would mean that the state’s ability to use county mental health funds for this type of housing would be dependent of future court decisions.
Prop 3 – Authorizes $8.87 billion in state general obligation bonds to fund various water and environmental infrastructure projects. A YES vote would allow the state to sell general obligation bonds for these projects, while a NO vote would not allow this.
Prop 4 – Authorizes $1.5 billion in bonds, to be repaid from the state’s General Fund, to fund grants for general upgrades of qualifying children’s hospitals. A YES vote would allow the state to sell bonds for this purpose, while a NO vote would not.
Prop 5 – Removes certain transfer requirements for homeowners over 55, severely disabled homeowners, and contaminated or disaster-destroyed property. A YES vote means all homeowners over 55, and some homeowners meeting other requirements, would be eligible for property tax savings when they move to a new home. A NO vote means that these savings would continue to be available only to certain homeowners who meet these qualifications.
Prop 6 – Repeals taxes and fees recently established by Legislature for transportation repairs. A YES vote would repeal fuel and vehicle taxes recently passed by Legislature, and, in the future, require a majority of voters to approve new or increased state fuel and vehicle taxes. A NO vote would leave recent vehicle and fuel taxes in place and allow the Legislature to continue increasing or placing vehicle and fuel taxes without voter approval.
Prop 7 – Gives Legislature the ability to change the state daylight saving time period by a two-thirds vote if in compliance with federal law. A YES vote would allow this, while a NO vote means that California would maintain its current daylight saving time period.
Prop 8 – Regulates the amount that outpatient kidney dialysis clinics could charge patients. Would require rebates and penalties if charges exceed limit and require annual reporting to the state. Prop 8 would also prohibit clinics from refusing to treat patients based on payment source. A YES vote would enact these requirements, while a NO vote would not place a limit on kidney dialysis clinic charges or require them to pay rebates.
Prop 9 – Prop 9 was removed from the ballot on July 18, 2018, by order of the California Supreme Court. Prop 9 proposed that California be divided into three separate states. This California State Constitution allows amendments by initiative but requires that revisions be passed by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. Therefore, a lawsuit was filed stating that dividing the state would unconstitutionally revise fundamental parts of the State Constitution and could not be done via initiative. The court has removed the measure while a decision is made. Whether the measure will appear on a future ballot is dependent on the court’s decision.
Prop 10 – Repeals state law that currently restricts the scope of rent-control policies that cities and other local jurisdictions may impose on residential property. A YES vote means that state law would not limit rent-control laws that cities and counties could have. A NO vote means that state law could continue to limit rent control laws in counties and cities.
Prop 11 – Laws that entitle employees to breaks without being on call would not apply to private-sector ambulance employees. A YES vote means that these ambulance companies could continue their current practice of keeping employees on duty during meal or rest breaks to respond to 911 calls. A NO vote means these companies would be subject to labor laws for this industry. Based on a recent court decision, these laws would likely require off-duty rest breaks that cannot be interrupted by a 911 call.
Prop 12 – Establishes minimum requirements for confining certain farm animals and would ban sales of non-complying meat and egg products. A YES vote would establish these requirements, while a NO vote would keep current minimum space requirements in place. The current ban on selling eggs not meeting these requirements would remain in place.
Measure I – Would enact a 1 percent (1 cent) sales tax in unincorporated Kern County for improving county services in unincorporated areas.
Measure J – Would retain the county ban on commercial adult-use cannabis activity; allow commercial medicinal cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, testing, retailing, distribution and microbusiness in unincorporated Kern County subject to state licensing requirements; allow unlimited land use permits for such activity; and allow the county to levy a 7.5 percent business tax on the adjusted gross income of such activity.
Measure K – Would allow and regulate commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis retailing, testing, cultivation, processing, packaging and distribution in the unincorporated area, subject to state licensing requirements; impose permit fees on cannabis businesses; allow no more than 35 dispensary permits; and levy a perpetual 5 percent annual tax on the gross receipts of dispensaries.
Measure Q – Would allow Kern Valley Healthcare District to levy an annual special tax of $82 per parcel for 40 years, raising approximately $1,100,00 annually to keep equipment and facilities up to date; expand the Emergency Department and attract qualified doctors and medical specialists. This measure would also require a citizen oversight committee, mandatory audits and no money for employee salaries.