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Proposed ballot measure for 2024 California elections

Proposed ballot measure for 2024 California elections

Californians’ November ballots may not have hit mailboxes yet, but voters now have a much clearer picture of what decisions they’ll have to make in the fall.

The secretary of state last week released the final list of 10 state ballot measures for the 2024 election. The list includes a particularly hotly contested measure on crime and criminal justice reform, two $10 million bond measures and proposals to change the language in the state constitution regarding slavery and same-sex marriage.

Below is a brief overview of the measures, debates and policy issues that voters will face in the coming months.

California Prop. 2: School Facility Bonds

The $10 billion bond is intended to fund the renovation and construction of K-12 and community college facilities across the state, with $8.5 billion earmarked for K-12 school buildings and $1.5 billion for community colleges.

California Prop. 3: Eliminate Same-Sex Marriage in the Constitution

The measure would officially remove the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage. It’s a holdover from 2008, when voters passed the controversial Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, which was soon repealed and effectively invalidated when the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California in 2013.

California Prop. 4: Climate Preparedness Bonds

The $10 billion bond will go towards a range of climate change preparedness and adaptation projects. More than half will go towards financing water infrastructure projects, including drought and flood resilience, wildfire prevention and sea level rise protection projects.

California Prop. 5: Housing and Infrastructure Ballot Change

The measure would make it easier for local governments to pass bonds and taxes for public housing. It would change the voting threshold for these local measures from a two-thirds majority of voters to 55%.

California Prop. 6: Remove Prison Labor from Constitution

Like Prop. 3, the measure also addresses language in the state constitution. California currently officially prohibits slavery, except for involuntary servitude “in punishment of a crime.” If passed, that exception would be deleted and would also prevent the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from punishing prisoners for refusing to perform a task.

California Prop. 32: Minimum wage would increase to $18 an hour by 2026.

The measure would raise the state’s minimum wage from the current $16 an hour to $18 an hour by 2026. Businesses with more than 25 employees would have to reach $18 an hour by Jan. 1, 2025, significantly earlier than smaller companies.

California Prop. 33: Expanding Rent Control

Another attempt to expand rent control will go before voters in November, after similar measures failed in 2018 and 2020. The measure would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which bans rent control on single-family homes built after Feb. 1, 1995.

California Prop. 34: Prescription drug spending requirements change

It would require health care providers that participate in the federal 340B prescription drug program to spend 98% of their related revenues on direct patient care and penalize noncompliance by revoking their health care licenses and tax-exempt status. The program allows hospitals and clinics to get prescription drugs at a discount from manufacturers and then charge higher prices to health insurance plans that pay for the drugs.

California Prop. 35: Funding Medi-Cal Through Insurance Company Tax

The measure would make permanent an existing tax on health insurers, which is currently set to expire in 2026. That tax is used to pay for Medi-Cal health care services, and Proposition 35 would require the revenues to be used only for specific Medi-Cal services, including primary and specialty care, emergency care, family planning, mental health and prescription drugs.

California Prop. 36: Review of Proposition 47

The measure, perhaps the most hotly contested, would repeal parts of decade-old Proposition 47 that lowered penalties for some nonviolent crimes. The measure would allow prosecutors to seek prison time and criminal charges for people with three or more convictions for drug possession or theft.

More: Newsom withdraws objection to Prop. 47 reform vote in dramatic turnaround

Kathryn Palmer is a USA TODAY Election Fellow. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her at X @KathrynPlmr.