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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California voters will weigh in on seven ballot measures this fall, the fewest to appear on a statewide general election ballot since 2014.

Thursday was the deadline to qualify measures for the November ballot. Secretary of State Shirley Weber confirmed that seven questions will appear in November.

Six are ballot initiatives that supporters gathered enough signatures to place before voters and one was placed on the ballot by the state Legislature.

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Two other initiatives that had qualified were withdrawn after state lawmakers worked out a compromise and passed legislation before the deadline. Lawmakers also rejected a possible question about whether to remove involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime from the state constitution.

This year’s ballot measures ask voters to weigh in on a variety of issues, including abortion, sports betting and school funding.

ABORTION

This question placed on the ballot by the state Legislature asks voters to amend the state constitution to guarantee a right to an abortion and contraceptives. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, letting states decide whether to allow abortions. California is run by Democrats who support abortion rights, so the laws here won’t change anytime soon. But California’s right to an abortion is based on a right to privacy in the state constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade found the right to privacy does not guarantee the right to an abortion, concerning supporters that the state’s abortion laws could be vulnerable in state courts. This amendment would leave no doubt that abortion is legal in California.

SPORTS BETTING

Two ballot initiatives would amend California’s constitution to make it legal to bet on sports in California. But they would do it in different ways. Both would only allow federally recognized Native American tribes to run sports wagering operations. The key question is how people would be allowed to place bets.

One initiative would let people bet on sports at privately operated horse racing tracks on Native American land in four counties. A portion of a 10% tax would help pay for the enforcement of gambling laws and programs to help people who are addicted. This measure is supported by some Native American tribes.

Another would let people use their phones to place bets on sports. A tax would first pay for regulatory costs, while 85% of what’s left over would go to homelessness programs while the remaining 15% would go to nonparticipating Native American tribes. This measure is supported by some sports betting companies.

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If both initiatives pass, the one that gets the most votes will become law.

ARTS, MUSIC IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

This initiative, placed on the ballot by the group Californians for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools, would require lawmakers to use 1% of all state funding for public schools for music and arts education programs. That would be between $800 million and $1 billion each year, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. For schools with 500 or more students, at least 80% of the money must be spent to employ teachers while the rest could be used for training, supplies and education partnerships.

RAISE TAXES ON THE WEALTHY

This measure would raise taxes on rich people and use the money for wildfire prevention programs and incentives to help people buy electric cars to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The initiative, funded by a coalition of rideshare companies, labor and environmental groups, would raise taxes by 1.75% on people who have at least $2 million in personal income per year. That would bring in between $3 billion and $4.5 billion in new revenue each year. Of that money, 45% would go to rebates and other incentives for purchasing electric cars, 35% would be for charging stations and 20% would be for wildfire prevention programs, with an emphasis on hiring and training firefighters.

FLAVORED TOBACCO

This initiative asks voters whether a 2020 law that outlawed the sale of certain flavored tobacco products in California should take effect or be overturned. When the state Legislature passes a law, voters have the power to stop it from ever taking effect if they can gather enough signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. That’s what tobacco companies did after lawmakers passed a law in 2020 to outlaw certain flavored tobacco products, arguing the products were designed to appeal to children. The law was delayed until voters could decide in November.

KIDNEY DIALYSIS

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This measure would require a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to be present during treatment at an outpatient kidney dialysis clinic. This will be the third consecutive general election where voters have been asked this question. The two previous measures failed. This measure is backed again by labor unions that represent health care workers. And again, kidney dialysis companies are opposing it. Some have suggested the subtext of these ballot initiatives reflects a broader battle of labor unions attempting to organize workers at the state’s more than 600 kidney dialysis clinics.

News Source: cbslocal.com

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7 million people are under flood watches while 7 million face extreme heat alerts

(CNN)A flood watch is in place from Arizona to Wyoming, covering more than 7 million people, with afternoon and evening rain and thunderstorms expected in much of the Southwest on Sunday.

The flood watch includes Las Vegas, where two people died last week in flooding in what has become the wettest monsoon season in a decade. The flood threat is forecast to remain from Monday into Tuesday but will include a smaller area surrounding the Four Corners region, where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico meet.

    Thunderstorms with heavy rain may produce mainly localized areas of flash flooding in parts of the Central Rockies, Great Basin, and Southwest and southern Texas. Summer heat with above normal temperatures are likely in the central Plains. pic.twitter.com/r6ePS1ND6L

    — National Weather Service (@NWS) August 14, 2022 In Texas, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring a disturbance that will bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to South Texas as it pushes onshore Sunday morning. As much as 6 inches of rain is expected across that region over the next few days and may lead to flash flooding.

      8 am EDT Aug 14: A low pressure area located near the coast of Texas just SSE of Corpus Christi is expected to move inland over southern Texas this morning. Although significant development is not anticipated, heavy rainfall could cause localized flash flooding through Monday. pic.twitter.com/hKKmmRPQRd

      — National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 14, 2022 Meanwhile, temperatures are expected to be above normal in the Central Plains, the National Weather Service said Sunday. Read MoreThat's as excessive heat watches are in place for 7 million people in California's Central Valley, including Redding, Sacramento, Fresno and Bakersfield, where the thermometer will reach triple digits from Tuesday through at least Thursday.

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