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vast majority comes from California’s major dialysis clinics, which are worried enough to have pumped $111 million into efforts to kill it (according to an AP analysis, the most spent on one side of a ballot measure anywhere in the country since the 2002 election). Dialysis clinics provide lifesaving, ongoing treatment to people with kidney failure. Companies average $3 billion in profits annually from California operations, with margins that dwarf those of an average hospital. Proposition 8 supporters point to a concurrence of inflated profits, overcharging and subpar sanitary conditions that warrant action; clinics maintain this is an attempt by special interests (labor) to muscle leverage in a unionization battle, which will force clinics to cut services or close. Democratic state lawmakers have acknowledged a pattern of retaliation by dialysis companies against employee attempts to unionize, and support is drawn sharply along party lines, with Republicans opposing. Impacts, including how required refunds for revenue exceeding the 115 percent cap will pan out, are uncertain. But in our fraught health care climate, attempts at pressuring corporations making billions off sick Californians to improve standards are worthy of consideration. Including if they come from labor unions — which advocate for basic rights, decent living wages and conditions for working people, through the most adversarial of political climates.
Proposition 9 was removed from the ballot July 18 by order of California Supreme Court. Proposition 10: A yes vote on Proposition 10 would allow city and county governments to regulate rents for any housing. They also can limit how much a landlord may increase rents when a new renter moves in. The measure itself does not make any changes to local rent-control laws. It would allow landlords a “fair rate of return,” meaning they would be allowed to raise rents enough to make a profit — codifying what the U.S. Supreme Court has already decided. Opponents say Proposition 10 does not solve the problem of having sufficient affordable housing or will cause landlords to sell their properties because they can’t make a profit. Known as the rent-control proposition, it comes at a time when rising rents have led to rent strikes around L.A. as a way for tenants to push for more reasonable rent increases. Renters in California typically pay 50 percent more for housing than renters in other states, and in some parts of the state, rent costs are more than double the national average. A state law, known as the Costa- Hawkins Rental Housing Act, limits local rent-control laws. Costa-Hawkins creates three main limitations: Rent control cannot apply to any single-family homes; rent control can never apply to housing completed on or after Feb. 1, 1995; and rent-control laws cannot tell landlords what they can charge a new renter when first moving in. Under Costa-Hawkins, rent control in L.A. does
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spending on it as of Oct. 26. The
not apply to buildings built after 1978, when the city’s rent-stabilization ordinance was adopted.
Proposition 11: A “yes” vote means private- sector ambulance employees will be “on call” during breaks and regulates the timing of meal breaks for these employees. It eliminates employers’ liability — in actions pending on or after Oct. 25, 2017 — for violations of existing law regarding work breaks. It requires employers to provide training regarding certain emergency incidents, violence prevention and mental health and wellness. It’s backed by American Medical Response, which has about 29,000 clinician/ drivers and about 6,600 ambulances, and provides medical transportation services to 4,000 cities and towns in the United States, according to the Mercury News. There are labor lawsuits pending against the company in California. In practice, EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and paramedics are “on call” for their entire work shift in case they receive an emergency call. This means their breaks sometimes are interrupted by 911 calls. They also can be interrupted by a request to reposition to a new posting location. As a result, EMTs and paramedics often are unable to plan their meal and rest breaks. From the employer’s point of view, most ambulance shifts include downtime between calls. They might say that crews often have enough downtime in their shift to take uninterrupted meal and rest breaks even though they are technically on call. But, understandably, the employees don’t see it that way.
Proposition 12: A “yes” vote means animal- welfare laws will be improved. Opponents cite rising costs for farmers, which would be passed along to consumers. There would be new minimum requirements on farmers to provide more space for egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal. The measure makes it illegal for businesses in California to knowingly sell eggs (including liquid eggs) or uncooked pork or veal that came from animals housed in ways that do not meet the measure’s requirements. This ban applies to products from animals raised in California or out of state. Proposition 12 calls for cage-free housing for egg-laying hens starting in 2022; breeding pigs would be required to have 24 square feet of floor space. Starting in 2020, calf raised for veal must have 43 square feet of floor space. A decade ago, voters approved Proposition 2, which said these animals must have sufficient room to turn around, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. It took effect three years ago. A Purdue University study of egg prices in California from December 2014 to September 2016 said the average price of a dozen eggs rose 22 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times. But by the fall of 2016, prices were only 9 percent higher than they were right before the law took effect in 2015. On a $3 carton of a dozen eggs, that would have been an increase of a little more than 25 cents.
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