California propositions: What you should know before voting – Vallejo Times-Herald

The vote for president may be the item on the ballot that is drawing the most attention, but California voters are faced with another slate of propositions.

Of the 12 measures on this year’s ballot, some may feel very familiar. Others are all new.

It’s a lot to consider. And now that ballots have been mailed to Californians, it’s a good time to find out what each proposition is about.

Here’s a primer:

Proposition 14: Stem Cell Research Institute Bond

Vote yes for this and state taxpayers will be on the hook for $5.5 billion in bonds aimed at reviving the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), a program created in 2004 to boost stem cell research.

A vote against it would save money, but it might kill CIRM. The 16-year-old program ran out of its initial funding last year and it hasn’t taken on new research since last summer, according to the state.

Stem cells, if you’re wondering, are used in medical research on everything from nerve disorders and blindness to tooth decay.

Read our recommendation on how to vote here.

Proposition 15: Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding

A yes vote would essentially create two distinct tracks (“split roll”) for state property taxes – one for most commercial buildings and another for residential dwellings.

Under Prop. 15, the tax rate on most commercial and industrial properties would be based on the building’s market value, not its original purchase price. Exceptions would be made for buildings used