California Lawyers Association

Deconstructing the November Ballot

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This is a recording of a Zoom webinar that took place on October 19, 2020. This program analyzes California‚Äôs process for citizen-made law and the propositions on the November ballot, including legal and political issues surrounding ballot titles and summaries; signature-gathering; ballot measure campaigns and how issues are sold to the public; supporters, opponents, and the reasons for the positions; major sources of funding; potential impact; and the interplay with the Legislature. California is set for a blockbuster year with a dozen different propositions that would: 

  • Issue $5.5 billion in bonds for California‚Äôs stem cell research institute.
  • Revise Proposition 13, the landmark 1978 initiative that limited how much property taxes could be increased, by requiring commercial, industrial, and some agricultural property to be taxed based on their market value, rather than their purchase price.
  • Repeal Proposition 209, the constitutional amendment California voters passed in 1996 prohibiting affirmative action.
  • Amend the California Constitution to allow people on parole for felony convictions to vote.
  • Allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primaries and special elections.
  • Change laws relating to property tax assessment transfers and inheritance.
  • Change laws relating to criminal sentencing, parole, and DNA collection.
  • Expand the power of local governments to impose rent control.
  • Classify app-based drivers for ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft as independent contractors rather than employees.
  • Enact the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, expanding and amending provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.
  • Require kidney dialysis clinics to have at least one physician on site while patients are being treated and to report patient infection data to California health officials.
  • Determine whether to uphold or repeal a 2018 law that replaced cash bail with risk assessments for suspects awaiting trial.


Mary-Beth Moylan, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Experiential Learning, Professor of Lawyering Skills at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law  

Ned Wigglesworth, CEO at Spectrum Campaigns


Saul Bercovitch, Director of Governmental Affairs at California Lawyers Association

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