Californians were voting overwhelmingly to enshrine reproductive rights in the state constitution following the end of Roe v. Wade, but measures to permit sports betting and tax the wealthy to subsidize electric vehicles were failing in early returns.
Voters across California strongly backed a ballot measure to formally establish a right to reproductive freedom, most notably the right to an abortion, in the state constitution. Prop. 1 was drafted by state legislators, including Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade. Approving Prop. 1 will make it very difficult for a future conservative Legislature to take away reproductive rights, as is happening in many Southern states.
“When politicians and judges force themselves into that room, safety goes out the window,” Atkins said. “Today, we provide a ray of hope by enabling voters to enshrine reproductive rights in our constitution, reflecting California’s values and protecting all who need abortion, contraceptives, and other reproductive care in our state.”
Propositions 26 and 27
The dueling sports gambling measures on the ballot are proving unpopular in early results. Prop. 26 favors existing Indian casinos by requiring that sports betting to take place there or at racetracks, while Prop. 27 permits betting both in casinos and online via companies like FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM. Prop. 27 is garnering fewer “yes” votes than Prop. 26. Prop 27 trails by 68%, the widest margin of any of the ballot propositions, while Prop 26 is trailing by over 40 points.
Voters Tuesday approved Proposition 28 to provide additional funding for arts and music education in public schools without increasing taxes. Prop. 28, spearheaded by former Los Angeles schools head Austin Beutner, will allocate $1 billion annually from the state’s General Fund to ensure arts and music education in all K–12 public schools, including charter schools.
Beutner called the passage of Proposition 28 “a big step forward for public education.”
“It’s the first guaranteed increase in funding for California public schools since Prop 98 was passed by voters 34 years ago,” Beutner said. “More broadly, Prop 28 will provide for the largest investment in arts and music in our nation’s history.”
Passage of Prop. 29 regulating staffing of kidney dialysis clinics is not likely based on early returns trailing by 40 points. The measure may look familiar because it’s the third time the Service Employees International Union-United Health Care Workers West has attempted to use a ballot measure to pressure the kidney dialysis industry in an organizing battle. The measure would force every center to have a doctor and nurse on site at all times, dramatically increasing costs. If this measure fails, the union says plans to fund a fourth attempt.
Early returns indicate 57.5% of voters are not in favor of placing a new tax on high-income California residents and using the money to help lower-income residents buy zero-emission vehicles. Some of the money would also pay for more vehicle charging stations and fund wildfire prevention efforts. Specifically, an additional state tax of 1.75% would be imposed on incomes of $2 million or more.
Voters Tuesday approved Proposition 31 banning the sale of most flavored tobacco products in California, helped by $45.5 million in donations from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The measure led 64.8%-35.2% with 52.2% of precincts partially reporting, according to figures from the Secretary of State’s Office. Senate Bill 793 prohibiting store sales of most flavored tobacco products passed the Legislature with just one dissenting vote in 2020. But a referendum backed by the tobacco industry made it onto the 2022 Ballot.
The broad coalition of public health advocates, doctors and parents supporting Prop. 31 declared victory shortly after the polls closed.
“In California’s battle against Big Tobacco, voters have overwhelmingly decided to protect kids from being lured into a lifetime of addiction to nicotine,” said Lindsey Freitas, regional advocacy director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “By stopping tobacco companies from using candy flavors to hook another generation of kids, Proposition 31 will save countless lives in the years to come. And it sets a powerful example for other states and cities, as well as the FDA, which has proposed nationwide regulations prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.”