California Small Business PAC Takes Positions on Five Ballot Initiatives

Date: September 30, 2020

After surveying its NFIB membership in California, the NFIB CA PAC has made the following recommendations on five of the 12 November ballot initiatives.

Proposition 15—OPPOSE

“Amid an unprecedented economic crisis, special interests are pushing Prop 15 on the November 2020 statewide ballot that will destroy Prop 13’s property tax protections and will be the largest property tax increase in California history. Prop 15 will raise taxes on business property, leading to higher rents for small businesses. Ultimately, Prop 15 will make income inequality worse by driving up the cost of living for just about everything we need and use, like food, utilities, daycare and healthcare.” — No on 15 website.

Proposition 20—SUPPORT

Prop. 47’s passage in 2014 raised the dollar threshold for theft from $450 to $950 per location, also making it a misdemeanor instead of a felony. As a result, there has been an explosion of retail theft, but a legal inability for law enforcement to effectively deal with or prosecute it. Prop. 20 restores consequences for shoplifting and acts of credit/debit card fraud and forgery — crimes that cost California’s small businesses in lost revenue and jobs. We must do everything we can to keep small businesses IN business — for the well-being of the economy, our workers, customers, and communities.

Proposition 21–OPPOSE

Prop. 21 would expand local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential property. “Our members’ emphatic opposition to Prop 21 is not surprising: this measure would harm small-business owners and their workers, devastate California’s economy and make the housing affordability crisis worse,” said John Kabateck, state director for NFIB California, in a news release. “The choice for voters is clear – Prop 21 will reduce our housing supply and drive up our cost of living. NFIB California stands ready to vocally oppose this flawed proposition.”

Proposition 24—OPPOSE

If the decision on Prop. 24 were merely about the concept — stopping companies from collecting and exploiting personal information about us without our permission or often without our knowledge — it would be an easy call. But this is a complex, legalistic 52-page initiative crafted behind the scenes, including participation of the companies that are the supposed targets of regulation … Few voters will sift through the 52 pages of fine print to determine which side is right. The fact that savvy lawyers on each side of Prop. 24 have done so and come to contrasting conclusions makes one thing clear: Litigation would be certain to follow its passage. Count on this: The companies that are monetizing our personal information in insidious ways would rush to court with their lawyers, and their interpretations, ready to argue that their practices are unaffected by the initiative’s language … There is sufficient doubt about Prop. 24 to make the decision clear. Vote no.” – San Francisco Chronicle editorial, September 25, 2020

Proposition 25—OPPOSE

“Proposition 25, officially the Referendum to Overturn a 2018 Law That Replaced Money Bail System with A System Based on Public Safety Risk, is a California ballot proposition that … is a referendum on 2018’s Senate Bill 10, which would replace the state’s cash bail system with a risk assessment-based bail system, which uses an algorithm to determine whether a suspect should be released. This was passed, but will not be implemented until after the 2020 general election in any case. A ‘yes’ vote on Proposition 25 is to uphold the contested legislation to replace cash bail with risk assessments, and a ‘no’ vote is to repeal the contested legislation, and continue the system of cash bail.” – Wikipedia

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