Election: Statewide propositions overview

In addition to all the candidates in state and local races, the June 5th ballot also includes five statewide propositions:

Proposition 68

Supporters of Prop 68 say California’s safe supply of drinking water is under growing threats from wildfires, floods, mudslides and drought.  Voters are being asked to approve $4.1 billion in bonds to improve water quality, provide flood protection and to fund local and state parks. Opponents argue that California has enough debt and that they money would only help politicians fund their pet projects.

Proposition 69
Last year, California voters approved a new gas tax to fund transportation projects across the state.  The 12-cent per gallon tax on regular unleaded and the 20-cent tax on diesel is projected to bring $5 billion annually to state coffers.  Transportation funds have been borrowed by the legislature in the past, so Prop 69 would amend the state constitution to require that the money is spent only for transportation projects and for no other reason.

Proposition 70

Prop 70 is the result of a bargain between the governor and Republicans in the state legislature.  Republicans agreed to support the Governor Brown’s cap-and-trade program, and in return, the governor put Prop 70 on the ballot.  Prop 70 requires a two-thirds majority vote on how to spend billions of dollars in cap-and-trade funding, but only in the year 2024.  All other years would require a simple-majority vote. Republicans view this as a chance to put the brakes on California’s high speed rail project, which is one of the governor’s legacy projects.

Proposition 71

When a state ban on plastic bags went into effect the day after the November 2016 election, thousands of mail-in votes still hadn’t been counted.  In the end, the measure won, but supporters of Prop 71 want a five-day waiting period before any state ballot measure can go into effect.

Proposition 72

Prop 72 prohibits counties from re-assessing property values and raising property taxes on a homeowner who installs a rainwater capture system.  The systems siphon rainwater from roofs into large barrels for outdoor use. There is no organized opposition to Prop 72.