Propositions, Measures, and League Recommendations 11-18

LWVBAE Pro/Con Forum for state and local propositions. October 4th, 6:30-9pm,
Berkeley City College Auditorium, 2050 Center Street, Berkeley

(League Positions in Red)

State Propositions

Proposition 1
Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs. Legislative Statute.(PDF)

YES on Prop 1: Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond – California is experiencing a housing crisis. The state’s extreme shortage of affordable housing has life and death consequences, especially for people with low incomes. Housing instability has been linked to public health crises, food insecurity, and developmental problems in children. Prop 1 will build and preserve affordable homes, including supportive housing, for veterans, working families, people with disabilities, Californians experiencing homelessness and others struggling to find a safe place to call home. It will authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds, to be used to support these affordable housing programs. It would also leverage federal dollars for construction of new housing.

Proposition 2
Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Mental Illness. Legislative Statute. (PDF)

YES on Prop 2: Homeless Housing Bond – A quarter of the nation’s homeless reside in California–over 130,000 people. A significant percentage of our homeless population suffers from mental illness. Prop 2 allows the use of unspent money, originally allocated through a 2004 measure to fund mental health services, to be used to address the problem. If passed, the unspent money would be used to provide permanent supportive housing for people who need mental health services, and are either currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Proposition 3
Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Water Conveyance, and Groundwater Sustainability and Storage. Initiative Statute.(PDF)

NO on Prop 3: Water Bond -It is essential that California manage and develop water resources in ways that benefit the environment, and that the environmental focus emphasizes both conservation and use-appropriate high water quality standards. However, this bond is not the way to accomplish those goals. While the League of Women Voters of California supports the use of long-term debt (bond measures) to finance capital projects, this measure has a number of fatal flaws, including:
● Shifting the cost for water from the end users to California taxpayers;
● Reducing state money available for other critical state programs like education, affordable housing, and healthcare;
● Failing to provide for adequate project oversight and financial accountability.

Proposition 4
Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Health Care. Initiative Statute.(PDF)

NO on Prop 4: Children’s Hospital Bond – While the League supports quality healthcare for all Californians, Prop 4 would use $1.5 billion in public, general obligation bond money to support privately-owned children’s hospitals, along with five children’s hospitals in the University of California system. State funds should not be used to support private facilities. This principle stands even when, as is the case in this measure, the facilities serve severely ill children. The bond money would be used for construction, expansion, renovation, and equipment projects. These are capital improvements that could be funded either through revenues the private hospitals generate or through capital campaigns (where, for example, a building is named after a donor).

Proposition 5
Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer their Property Tax Base to Replacement Property. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.(PDF)

NO on Prop 5: Property Tax – Property taxes are the major source of funding for schools and local services. Prop 5 is a costly constitutional amendment that would reduce funds for schools and local services by $1 billion per year. In exchange for that $1 billion a year, Prop 5 would provide special tax benefits to some property owners. It does nothing to help low-income seniors, or families struggling to find housing. Seniors already have the ability to keep their tax break when they downsize. Prop 5 drains California’s coffers of money that is essential to schools and communities.

Proposition 6
Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding. Requires Certain Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by The Electorate. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.(PDF)

NO on Prop 6: Gas Tax Repeal – California is in critical need of highway and local street repairs and maintenance, and improvements to mass transit and transportation. Prop 6 would repeal the recently-enacted 2017 package of taxes and fees approved by the State Legislature to fund transportation projects, amounting to a loss of $4.7 billion in annual funding. The measure would also add a constitutional amendment requiring any fuel or diesel taxes to be approved by voters, limiting the legislature’s ability to address California’s serious infrastructure needs. Passage of this repeal measure would have significant negative impacts and leave our state structures vulnerable, especially during natural disasters.

NOTE: Because League positions do not cover the issues in the following measures, the LWVC is taking no stand on Prop 7 (Daylight Savings Time), Prop 8 (Dialysis), Prop 11 (Ambulance Drivers), and Prop 12 (Farm Animals). Prop 9 was removed from the ballot.

Proposition 7
Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period. Legislative Statute. (PDF)

Proposition 8
Regulates Amounts Outpatient Kidney Dialysis Clinics Charge for Dialysis Treatment. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 10
Expands Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property. Initiative Statute.

YES on Prop 10: Repeal Costa Hawkins – Multiple strategies are needed to address the significant housing shortages and inequities that exist across California. While this rent control measure offers little systemic progress, and may not result in adding new affordable housing units, it does allow local communities to respond to the housing crisis in ways that are appropriate for each of them. We support providing local communities with this control.

Proposition 11
Requires Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain On-Call During Work Breaks. Eliminates Certain Employer Liability. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 12
Establishes New Standards for Confinement of Specified Farm Animals; Bans Sale of Noncomplying Products. Initiative Statute.

Local Measures

Bay Area

Support Measure FF
On June 5, 2018, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors voted unanimously to place Measure FF on the November 2018 ballot. Measure FF will continue existing, voter-approved funding for Regional Parks in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties – without increasing taxes. Measure FF extends an existing $12/year ($1/month) parcel tax.

Berkeley

Support Measure O
Shall the measure to issue $135 million in general obligation bonds to create and preserve affordable housing for low-income households, working families, and individuals including teachers, seniors, veterans, the homeless, and persons with disabilities; subject to citizen oversight and independent audits, be adopted?
Financial Implications: Annual cost over projected 36-year period bonds are outstanding is approximately $23 for every $100,000 or $97 for the average assessed home value of $425,000; raising approximately $7,500,000/year.
Percentage Needed to Pass: 66.6667%

Support Measure P
Shall the ordinance raising funds for general municipal purposes such as navigation centers, mental health support, rehousing and other services for the homeless, including homeless seniors and youth; increasing the real property transfer tax for ten years from 1.5% to 2.5% for property sales and transfers over $1,500,000, adjusted annually to capture the top approximately 33% of transfers; generating an estimated $6,000,000 -$8,000,000 annually; and establishing the Homeless Services Panel of Experts to recommend homeless services, be adopted?
Percentage Needed to Pass: 50%+1

Support Measure Q
Shall the ordinance amending the Rent Stabilization Ordinance to: account for potential repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act by preserving existing vacancy rent adjustments; update the new construction exemption from rent stabilization to a 20-year rolling period; and exempt all lawfully permitted Accessory Dwelling Units from rent stabilization and eviction for good cause protections, be adopted?
Percentage Needed to Pass: 50% +1

Support Measure R
Shall the measure, advising the Mayor to engage citizens and experts in the development of Vision 2050, a 30-year plan to identify and guide implementation of climate-smart, technologically-advanced, integrated and efficient infrastructure to support a safe, vibrant and resilient future for Berkeley, be adopted?Financial Implications: Unknown costs, plan dependent.
Percentage Needed to Pass: 50% +1

Albany

No position Measure L
To continue providing and maintaining essential City services, such as: fire and police protection, public safety and emergency response, facilities maintenance, and environmental preservation, shall the City of Albany measure making its existing one-half cent transactions and use (sales) tax permanent, providing $1.4 million annually for unrestricted general revenue purposes, without increasing the rate, with annual independent audits, and all funds spent only in Albany, be adopted?
Percentage Needed to Pass: 50% +1

Support Measure M

To maintain and improve park and open space facilities, with funding that cannot be taken by Sacramento, including maintaining: City parks, ballfields, play structures, picnic areas and restrooms; vegetation management to prevent wildfires; creek habitat; and Albany Hill open space; shall the City of Albany measure levying an ongoing park and open space parcel tax with a typical rate of $69 for a single-family residence, providing $463,675 annually, exempting low-income residents, with annual independent audits, be adopted?
Percentage Needed to Pass: Two-thirds (2/3)

No position Measure N
Shall Section 3.01 of the Albany City Charter be amended, as set forth in the voter pamphlet, to provide that the City Treasurer shall be appointed by the City Council effective December 10, 2020, or sooner if there is a vacancy in the office?
Percentage Needed to Pass: 50% + 1

Emeryville

No position Measure S
To protect essential municipal services, including repairing public facilities, reducing traffic congestion, and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety; and to support regulation of the cannabis industry, and preserve the City of Emeryville’s long-term financial stability, shall the ordinance to impose a business tax of up to 6% of gross receipts on all cannabis businesses within Emeryville, thereby generating an estimated $2,000,000 annually for unrestricted general revenue purposes, and which continues until repealed by the voters, be adopted?
Percentage Needed to Pass: 50% + 1