2018 Primary: Ballot Initiatives

2018 Primary: Ballot Initiatives

The 2018 California primary is on June 5th and you will be sure to see the following voter initiatives on your ballot. Here’s a quick summary about each proposition so you can be better informed at the polls!

YES on Proposition 68 — Bonds for the Environment

Proposition 68 (SB 5, de León) creates up to $4 billion in new general obligation bonds (bonds that are repaid from the General Fund) for the creation and preservation of state and local parks and wilderness areas, water recycling and conservation projects, flood protection, and clean drinking water projects. There is a provision in the proposition that gives preferential treatment to communities with lower than average incomes.

Endorsed by: League of Women Voters of California, Sierra Club California, San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters, Senator Kevin de León, Clean Water Action, The Nature Conservancy, California Labor Federation, California Democratic Party, Former Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Andrea Tuttle.

Opposed by: Those concerned that bonds add to the deficit.

YES on Proposition 69 — Transportation Funds

Proposition 69 (ACA 5, Frazier) requires that all funds raised by SB 1 be used for transportation purposes. SB 1 raised sales and excise taxes on gasoline, diesel fuel, imposed a new annual transportation improvement vehicle fee (aka tax) and imposed a new annual fee on zero-emission vehicles. The California constitution requires some, but not all, of the funds raised by these new taxes and fees to be used for transportation; Proposition 69 will amend the constitution to extend this requirement to all funds raised by SB 1.

Endorsed by: League of Women Voters of California, California Labor Federation, California Democratic Party, San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters, California Chamber of Commerce, California State Conference NAACP, California Business Roundtable, California Highway Patrol.

Opposed by: California Senator Moorlach, Assemblymember Bigelow.

NO on Proposition 70 — Cap-and-Trade Reserve Funds

It appeals to corporate interests and creates legislative gridlock.

Proposition 70 (ACA 1, Mayes) would require a two-thirds vote (instead of the current simple majority) in both houses of the legislature to spend funds from the California cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emission reduction program after January 1, 2024. Why would the legislature hamstring itself by making it harder to appropriate money to zero-emission vehicle incentives, affordable housing near transit, agricultural emission reduction, and other projects currently funded by cap-and-trade money? Here’s why: this proposition was a trade with Republicans in the legislature. Governor Brown needed Republican support for the package of cap-and-trade bills that he rammed through the legislature last July. That package included AB 398 (opposed by Indivisible: CA StateStrong and many other environmental justice organizations for not being strong enough) and AB 617 (supported by Indivisible CA: StateStrong). In exchange for Republican votes for the cap-and-trade package, Governor Brown and Democrats in the legislature agreed to put this proposition on the ballot.

Endorsed by: Governor Brown, California Chamber of Commerce

Opposed by: California Democratic Party, Sierra Club California, League of Women Voters of California, Coalition for Clean Air, NextGen California, Protect Climate Funds, Tides Advocacy Fund, California Labor Federation, The Green Party of Alameda County, San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters, and Us.

YES on Proposition 71 — Effective Date for Ballot Measures

Proposition 71 (ACA 17, Mullin) amends the California constitution to provide that state ballot initiatives, referenda and ballot measures take effect five days after the Secretary of State certifies the results of the election, which must occur no later than 38 days after the election. Currently, the constitution requires ballot measures to become effective the day after the election. This does not allow time for county election officials to complete counting of mail-in ballots or to verify provisional ballots. By linking the effective date to the certification of the election rather than to the election date, Prop 71 would allow all votes cast to be counted in determining the result of the election.

ACA 17 was passed and signed by the governor in almost record time (just over two months) with unanimous votes in both the Assembly and Senate. Assemblymember Travis Allen (R, AD 72), currently a candidate for California governor, was the only representative in either house not to record a vote.

Endorsed by: League of Women Voters of California, California Democratic Party, San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters, the Chairs of both the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments and the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting, California Labor Federation.

Opposed by: San José attorney Gary Wesley, who for 40 years has submitted opposing arguments for uncontested ballot measures.

YES on Proposition 72 — Rain-Capture Property-Tax Exclusion

Proposition 72 (SCA 9, Glazer) exempts new rain-capture systems from property tax reassessments. Currently, property improvements that increase the value of the property trigger a reassessment of the taxable value of the property. Installation of solar panels, fire sprinklers and seismic retrofits are exempt from property tax value reassessment. This proposition would add rainwater recapture systems to the list of exemptions.

Endorsed by: League of Women Voters of California, Save the Bay, Planning and Conservation League, California Labor Federation, California Democratic Party, San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters.

Opposed by: No official opposition.

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