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The California Republican Party today voted to endorse a November ballot measure that would allow auto insurers to consider a motorist's coverage history in setting rates for new customers.

Supporters of the measure, which was filed by the executive director of the Alliance of Insurance Agents & Brokers, say it will allow companies to offer "loyalty discounts" currently only available to existing customers, to motorists who want to switch plans. Critics say it will allow companies to raise rates on Californians who experience a lapse in coverage.

The measure is almost identical to Proposition 17, a failed 2010 initiative bankrolled by insurance giant Mercury General. The company has not contributed to this year's version.

The party also endorsed proposed measures that would require parental notification and a waiting period for women under the age of 18 seeking abortions and roll back a new law requiring public schools to include instruction of the historical contributions of gay individuals. Backers of both must collect hundreds of thousands of valid voter signatures in the coming weeks to qualify for this year's general election. Party delegates opposed by voice vote all three tax measures proposed for the November ballot.

The party previously voted to oppose the two measures that will appear on the June ballot, a cigarette tax hike that proponents say will raise money for cancer research and a change to legislative term limits.


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