Originally published May 9 in the Daily Post
Voters will be getting their ballots for the June 5 primary in the mail today or tomorrow, and they’ll find these five propositions:
Proposition 68 — Parks and Water Bond Measure
Proposition 68 would let the state borrow $4 billion through general obligation bonds for parks, water infrastructure and conservation projects. It includes more than $1.2 billion to build and improve state and local parks.
It would also authorize $720 million to ensure communities have clean drinking water, $550 million to guard communities against flooding, and $200 million to help preserve the shrinking Salton Sea.
Environmental conservation groups have donated the most to get the proposition on the ballot and convince Californians to vote for it. Opponents haven’t raised any money.
Proposition 69 — Gas Tax Amendment
Proposition 69 would amend the state constitution to require money raised from new gasoline taxes and vehicle fees be spent on transportation projects.
Lawmakers put this proposition on the ballot when they passed a gas tax hike last year.
The campaign supporting the measure is primarily funded by groups representing construction companies and workers, who stand to benefit as the state spends more to fix roads and other transportation projects.
There is no opposition campaign raising money to defeat the measure.
Republicans hope to put a separate initiative on the November ballot that would repeal the gas tax increase. They argue even if Proposition 69 passes, creative lawyers will find ways to divert the money elsewhere.
Proposition 70 — Cap-and-Trade Amendment
Proposition 70 would require the Legislature vote in 2024 on how to allocate revenue from the cap-and-trade program, which generates billions of dollars annually by requiring polluters to buy permits to release greenhouse gases.
Existing state law requires 25 percent of that money to be spent on the state’s high-speed rail project, which Republicans generally oppose.
Proceeds also go to affordable housing and transit projects.
The 2024 vote would be a one-time reset of the spending plan and require support from two-thirds of lawmakers to pass.
The supermajority requirement could give Republicans a greater say in how the money is spent. The amendment was part of a deal last year to extend cap and trade for another decade to 2030.
Proposition 71 — Proposition Implementation Delay
Proposition 71 would change the effective date for propositions from the day after the election to five days after election results are certified.
This amendment to the state constitution pushes the effective start date for voter-enacted policies back about six weeks.
Backers say it would ensure all votes are counted before new policies are enacted.
Proposition 72 — Rain Capture Tax Break
Proposition 72 would amend the state constitution to let Californians install rain-capture devices without increasing their property taxes even though they add to a property’s value.
Supporters say the tax break would encourage people to install such devices, which are beneficial in a state prone to long droughts.
— By the Associated Press