MOORLACH UPDATE — Ballot Opposition Arguments — June 6, 2018

It was nice to not be on the ballot. But, I did have plenty of campaign-related activities with Propositions 68 and 69. It is certainly a rare privilege to write two ballot opposition arguments that appeared in the voter pamphlet prepared by the California Secretary of State. The Daily Californian covers the predictable, but disappointing, results in the piece below.

Now, it is on to the General Election on November 6th. Congratulations to all of the Republican Primary candidates that made it to the top two. For those Republicans who ran and did not make it, please do not be bitter. Be better, and consider another attempt in the future.

The other two big news items are the success of the recall in the 29th Senate District and having a Republican challenger for Governor. I’m sure I’ll have more insights to share between now and November. Let’s see if I get another opportunity to write ballot arguments against expensive or non-beneficial propositions that are up in the General Election.

Majority of California, Alameda County measures pass in state primary election

BY AMANDA BRADFORD | STAFF

http://www.dailycal.org/2018/06/06/majority-california-alameda-county-measures-pass-state-primary-election/

Proposition 68 — which will fund parks, natural resources protection, water quality and supply, climate adaptation and flood protection — passed with 55.5 percent approval.

Prop. 68 will authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds for parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply, and flood protection.

It will increase state bond repayment costs, averaging $200 million annually over 40 years, and provide local government savings for natural resources-related projects, likely averaging several tens of millions of dollars annually over the next few decades.

California state Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, is opposed to the measure on multiple grounds, saying in a statement that the money would not be distributed fairly and equally across the state.

“Of the $4 billion dollar bond, only $1.3 billion is actually dedicated to improving parks,” Moorlach said in the statement. “A lot of the remaining money is given to politicians to spend on their pet projects.”

Proposition 69, which will require that certain new transportation revenues be used for transportation purposes, passed with 80.8 percent approval.

Prop. 69 will require that certain revenues generated by a 2017 transportation funding law, SB 1, be used only for funding transportation initiatives and bans the Legislature from using the funds for anything else.

The proposition would have no direct effect on revenues or costs but could affect the allocation of money.

Yes on Prop 69 campaign spokesperson Kathy Fairbanks said this proposition will ensure accountability within transportation groups.

“Prop. 69 would make sure the money drivers are putting in goes to repairing the roads, highway safety and relieving congestion,” Fairbanks said. “It should give people comfort knowing that transportation dollars will be spent efficiently and only on transportation.”

Proposition 70, which would have required a legislative supermajority vote approving the use of cap-and-trade reserve funds, failed to pass with 62.4 percent rejection.

Prop. 70 would have required that cap-and-trade revenues collect in a reserve fund until the Legislature authorizes use of the revenues by a two-thirds majority.

Revenue collected from the sale of state greenhouse gas emission permits would have been relocated into a separate fund beginning in 2024 — the deposits would only have been allowed to build, until the passage of a bill that spends money from that fund by the state Legislature.

The current state sales tax exemption for manufacturing and other equipment would have been suspended, while “auction revenue” would have been deposited into the special fund.

Proposition 71, which will set an effective date for ballot measures, passed with 77.1 percent approval.

Prop. 71 will mandate that ballot measures approved by a simple majority of voters will take effect five days after the election results are certified by the secretary of state.

Many state ballot measures, or propositions, will take effect about six weeks after Election Day — after the statewide vote has been counted and certified.

Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington said he supports Prop. 70 because it clarifies when measures will take effect after the election.

“It can look like something wins on election day, but people who send their ballots through the mail may vote differently than people on election day,” Worthington said. “Having measures go into effect after the secretary of state certifies the results is a common-sense reform.”

Proposition 72, which will permit the Legislature to exclude newly constructed rain-capture systems from the property-tax reassessment requirement, passed with 83.4 percent approval.

Prop. 72 will authorize the Legislature to allow construction of rain-capture systems without the property-tax revaluation requirement for systems completed on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

A system installed to collect and store rainwater on a property would not result in a higher property tax bill, according to the text of the measure.

The measure will likely result in a minor reduction of the annual property tax revenues to local governments.

Measure A, the “Alameda County Child Care and Early Education Measure” passed with 65.2 percent approval.

Measure A will expand access to child care and preschool for low- and middle-income families, solicit and retain child care workers, aid homeless and at-risk children — including with child abuse and neglect prevention help — and add child care spaces around the county.

This would be paid for by a half-percent sales tax lasting 30 years, to be enacted by the county of Alameda, providing about $140 million annually with citizens’ oversight, public disclosure of spending and mandatory annual audits.

The measure will need a two-thirds majority of “yes” votes to go into effect.

Measure B, which will fund school maintenance and services in the San Lorenzo Unified School District, passed with 67.9 percent approval, with 85.96 percent of precincts reported in San Lorenzo.

Measure B will upgrade outdated classrooms, restrooms and educational buildings at local schools; make health, safety and security system improvements; improve student access to technology; and replace and upgrade outdated heating, ventilation and electrical systems within the San Lorenzo Unified School District.

The measure will allow the district board to issue and sell bonds of up to $130 million in aggregate principal amount at interest rates within the legal limits.

Measure C, a measure concerning affordable housing bonds in Emeryville, passed with 71.6 percent approval, with 80 percent of precincts reported in Emeryville.

Measure C will provide affordable housing and prevent displacement of vulnerable populations — including low- and middle-income households, veterans, local artists, seniors and the disabled — as well as provide supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness and help low- and middle-income households purchase homes in Emeryville.

The measure requests voter authorization to issue general obligation bonds to finance affordable housing projects of $50 million, with an estimated average levy of 4.912 cents per $100 of assessed value — this would generate approximately $3.422 million annually to pay bonds over 27 years.

Measure D, which aims to maintain, protect and improve library services throughout Oakland, passed with 75.8 percent approval, with 80.73 percent of precincts reported in Oakland.

This measure will authorize a 20-year annual, special parcel tax that will raise revenue to protect and improve direct library services throughout Oakland.

The city can use the revenue only for the purposes specified in the ordinance, such as programs including early childhood literacy and student homework support for children, teens and adults, as well as employee staffing costs to maintain and expand library hours.

Regional Measure 3, the “Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan,” passed in Alameda County with 54.2 percent approval.

Regional Measure 3 will reduce auto and truck traffic, relieve crowding on BART, unclog freeway bottlenecks and improve bus, ferry, BART and commuter rail service.

The measure will increase the tolls on all Bay Area toll bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge to fund these projects. The tolls will increase by $1 in 2019, an additional $1 in 2022 and an additional $1 in 2025, for a total increase of $3 in the span of six years. After 2025, tolls can be increased for inflation.

In order to pass, Regional Measure 3 had to pass through nine counties — the city and county of San Francisco and the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma.

Worthington said BART will receive $500 million from the measure to replace old BART cars and build new ones, which will make BART less crowded.

“Old cars break down and cause the system to slow down,” Worthington said. “This measure is critically essential to the Bay Area.”

The above voting data is accurate as of press time, with 75.52 percent of precincts reported in Alameda County and 58.4 percent of precincts reported in California for state measures. As Measures B, C and D were not voted on by all Alameda County voters, the percentages of precincts reported are listed separately for each.

Contact Amanda Bradford at abradford and follow her on Twitter at @amandabrad_uc.

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