California voters have a lot to decide in the 2022 General Election.
From electing U.S. senators to guaranteeing the right to abortion in the state constitution, here are things to know about what’s on the upcoming ballot.
Proposition 1: Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 10 for constitutional right to reproductive freedom.
On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and declared that the constitutional right to abortion no longer exists.
That same day, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 166, legislation that protects patients and providers in California against attempts from other states to extend anti-abortion laws across state lines.
Currently, the California Constitution guarantees everyone the right to privacy but does not define what this right includes.
According to the amendment proposal, voters will decide whether or not to amend the California Constitution to prohibit the state from denying or interfering with reproductive freedom, including having an abortion and the right to choose or refuse contraceptives.
“The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions… This section is intended to further the constitutional right to privacy guaranteed by Section 1 and the constitutional right to not be denied equal protection guaranteed by Section 7,” the SCA said.
According to the California Secretary of State website, there has been over $13.5 million raised in support of the bill and over $100,000 to oppose. The proposition was introduced by Sen. Toni Gayle Atkins.
The Collegian sports team breaks down Proposition 26, California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act; and Proposition 27, Constitutional amendment to allow online and mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands, in a separate article here.
Other propositions on the ballot.
Proposition 28 allows more funding for arts and music education in public schools and would allocate 1% of the state’s General Fund toward funding those teachers and for training and supplies.
Proposition 29 requires a physician or nurse practitioner with six months of experience on-site at kidney dialysis clinics. The proposition also authorizes exemptions of a short staff if a medical expert is present through telehealth.
Proposition 30 increases funding for programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a 1.75% increase in personal income tax for those who make over $2 million annually.
Proposition 31 determines whether or not in-person stores and vending machines could sell flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhancers, such as fruit, mint, menthol and other flavorings.
California elected officials
United States senator for California (Padilla vs. Meuser)
Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla is campaigning for his first full term after being appointed in 2021 to replace Vice President Kamala Harris’ vacant position. He is running against Republican candidate Mark P. Meuser.
Padilla, born in Pacoima, is a first-generation Mexican and served as the first Latino secretary of state for California. He also served in the California State Senate for his hometown valley, San Fernando.
In his candidate statement, Padilla said his emphasis is on combating climate change and endorsing voting rights reform.
“As California and our country faced unprecedented challenges – from our COVID-19 recovery to a worsening climate crisis and escalating attacks on our democracy – I arrived at the U.S. Senate ready to take action. I’ve worked hard to deliver bold climate action from Day 1… I’ve fought tirelessly to protect our voting rights,” he said in his statement.
Meuser is also a California native. Born in Huntington Beach and raised in Pasadena, he graduated from the Oak Brook College of Law with his J.D. He currently works for Dhillon Law Group, with an emphasis on campaign and election laws and civil rights and liberties cases.
In his candidate statement, Meuser focused on no enforcement when it came to COVID-19 vaccination, increased enforcement on crime and more parental control on public education. He also opposed many actions Gov. Newsom took during the pandemic.
“In politics, talk is cheap, but actions speak louder than words. As an attorney, I have been on the front lines fighting to maintain our constitutional rights. When [Gov. Newsom] shut down places of worship, I fought for our First Amendment religious rights. When he shut down schools, I fought for our children’s education… I will always fight to protect our children, our neighborhoods and our way of life,” Meuser said.
The pair will run against each other in two contests on the ballot for U.S. senator. One is for the regular six-year term that runs through 2029, and the other is for the current term, which ends in 2023 due to Padilla replacing Harris’ position.
Incumbent and democratic Gov. Newsom is running against Republican candidate Brian Dahle.
Dahle represented California’s First Assembly District from 2012-19. Before that, he served on the Lassen County Board of Supervisors for 16 years. In 2019, Dahle won a special election to fill the State Senate seat vacated by Ted Gaines, who resigned after his election to the California Board of Equalization.
The Redding native focused on inflation, more enforcement on criminal activities and homelessness in his candidate statement.
“I will reverse failed policies that released thousands of violent repeat offenders from prison and fix broken laws that let criminals steal without being held accountable. California is heading in the wrong direction. The next generation is counting on us to turn it around… There is hope for California. Let’s bring back the California dream,” Dahle said.
Newsom is running for his second term as governor, after becoming the 40th California governor in 2019. Born in San Francisco, Newsom started his political career in 1996 in his hometown’s city government.
From 2004-11, he served as the 42nd mayor of San Francisco, and then served eight years as the 49th lieutenant governor of California until he was elected to his current position.
Newsom did not provide a candidate statement, but in his campaign website, he focuses on climate change, homelessness, gun violence and affordability in California.
“In recent years our people have faced some of our toughest challenges, and I’ve been inspired by the courage and resilience of Californians… As your Governor, I promise you, whatever challenges come our way I will always lead with compassion, common sense, telling the truth, following science, treasuring diversity, and defending our democracy,” Newsom said in the website.
For more information, Fresno County voters can look at their ballots and voter guides on the county’s website.
United States representative
A various number of district representatives are up for election, dividing Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera and Kern county. Fresno State students can look up which is their respective congressional district in the House of Representatives official website.