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Stem cells are a special type of human cell that is used for medical research. They can grow into many different types of cells, such as brain cells or heart cells. Stem cells are used to find treatments for many kinds of diseases. In 2004, California voters approved $3 billion in bonds to pay for research and medical studies using stem cells.
Land used for businesses and shopping centers is called “commercial property.” Owners of commercial property pay taxes based on how much the property was worth at the time it was purchased. These taxes go up by a small percent each year. Money from property taxes goes to local governments.
In 1996, California voters passed a law that prevents public programs from using “affirmative action” when making decisions about public education and public employment. When deciding who gets into college or who to hire, public schools and agencies are usually not allowed to consider a person’s: Race, Sex, Color, Ethnicity, or the country they come from.
After someone ends their prison term for a serious crime, they may spend time “on parole” when they get out. People on parole must follow certain rules, such as meeting regularly with their parole officer. Parole usually lasts three years. Around 50,000 people are on parole in California. People on parole are not currently allowed to vote.
17-year-olds who are U.S. citizens can pre-register to vote in California. They can only vote if they have turned 18 by election day.
You must pay property tax if you own a home. Taxes are based on how much the property was worth at the time it was purchased and go up by a small percent each year. Homeowners in “special groups,” such as people over 55, can buy a new home without paying higher property taxes in some counties once in their lifetime. If you inherit a home from your parents or grandparents, your property taxes may also be lower.
Felonies are considered by the legal system to be the most severe crimes. Less severe crimes are called misdemeanors. When people get out of prison for a felony, they may spend time on parole. Over the past 10 years, lawmakers and voters have reduced punishments for people convicted of some nonviolent crimes. This has let some people out of prison earlier.
Housing costs in California tend to be higher than other states. Several California cities have “rent control” laws that limit how much landlords can increase rents each year. State law prevents rent control on single-family homes and housing built after Feb. 1, 1995. Landlords can charge any amount they want when a new renter moves in. Landlords must also be allowed to increase rents on current renters enough to make a profit each year. A new state law limits rent increases to 5-10 percent each year, depending on inflation.
An independent contractor can choose when, where and how much to work. An employee has their schedule and work set by their employer. Employees get benefits and protections that independent contractors do not. These include minimum wage, overtime pay and paid time off if they are sick. Rideshare and delivery apps include companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash. These companies currently hire drivers as independent contractors. A 2019 state law requires rideshare and delivery companies to hire drivers as employees instead of as independent contractors.
If a person’s kidneys stop working, they may need a special treatment called dialysis. In California, dialysis is usually provided by licensed dialysis clinics. A patient’s personal doctor must visit them at least once per month during treatment at a dialysis clinic. Dialysis treatment is paid for by Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance. Private insurance pays more money for treatment than Medicare and Medi-Cal.
A consumer is someone who buys or uses a product or service. Businesses collect data about consumers for many reasons. They may sell the data to other companies or use it to improve their services. A state law called the California Consumer Privacy Act allows consumers to: -Find out what data companies are collecting about them -Tell a business to stop selling their personal data -Have their data removed from a company’s files
Prop 25 asks voters to decide if the state should get rid of bail. When a person is charged with a crime, they may have to stay in jail while waiting for a trial. One way that people are released from jail is by paying bail. Bail is money used to guarantee that a person will return to court. The state passed a law in 2018 that would replace bail with a new system. This law has not yet gone into effect. Under the new system, people charged with less serious crimes would be released without having to pay bail. Courts would determine if people charged with more serious crimes should be released.
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