NOVEMBER 2018 BALLOT MEASURES 

Statewide Ballot Measures – November 8, 2018

None of the propositions on the ballot impact the 2nd Amendment, thus these recommendations are made on whether it expands the size of government, adds to the over-bloated bureaucracy, infringes on an individuals’ liberty, and what the cost is to taxpayers.

Additionally, we urge all voters to consider the following:

  • How far in debt is the government already?
  • What is the expected total cost of the measure to the public?
  • Are the proposed uses for the money specified?
  • Are the proposed uses justified—given other things that may be needed or desired?
  • Should voters continue to finance projects through higher property taxes?

Bond debt in California:  As of December 1, 2017, California had $73.33 billion in debt from general obligation bonds. The state had $31.09 billion in unissued bonds, including $571.53 million for housing-related bonds.

Prop 1 | Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond   NO

Summary: Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds and would distribute bond revenue to the CalVet Home Loan Program, Multifamily Housing Program (MHP), Transit-Oriented Development Implementation Fund, Home Purchase Assistance Program, Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Fund, Local Housing Trust Matching Grant Program, Self-Help Housing Fund, which provides forgivable loans for mortgage assistance.

  • A “yes” vote supports this measure to authorize $4 billion in general obligation bondsfor housing-related programs, loans, grants, and projects and housing loans for veterans.
  • A “no” vote opposes this measure to authorize $4 billion in general obligation bondsfor housing-related programs, loans, grants, and projects and housing loans for veterans.

Comments:  GOC found the statement by the Press Enterprise compelling: “If California’s leaders are serious about making California a more affordable place to live, they should concentrate their efforts on curtailing onerous regulations and restrictive land-use policies and making it easier for homebuilders to build. And if they insist on subsidizing housing, they should do so directly, rather than wasting taxpayer money on interest payments.  Vote No.”

Prop 2 | “Use Millionaire’s Tax Revenue”/Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds   NO 

Summary: The legislature passed a bill to spend revenue from 2016’s Proposition 63 on revenue bonds for homelessness prevention housing. The legislation did not go into effect because of pending litigation over whether revenue from the millionaire’s tax could be spent on homelessness prevention housing.  Unlike general obligation bonds, revenue bonds do not require a public vote in California. Proposition 2 was referred to the ballot because the revenue for the bond would come from a tax that was created through a ballot initiative, Proposition 63. In California, changes to ballot initiatives require a vote of the public.

  • A yes vote supports authorizing the state to use revenue from Proposition 63(2004)—a 1 percent tax on income above $1 million for mental health services—on $2 billion in revenue bondsfor homelessness prevention housing for persons in need of mental health services.
  • A no vote opposes authorizing the state to use revenue from Proposition 63(2004) on $2 billion in revenue bondsfor homelessness prevention housing for persons in need of mental health services.

Comments: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Contra Costa says the No Place Like Home Program will cause more homelessness by forcing more mentally ill people into severe symptoms that could increase the numbers living on the streets. NAMI says money currently dedicated to severely mentally ill will be redirected to homelessness.

And, Prop. 2 is extremely expensive: up to $5.6 Billion ($140 million x 40, for 40- year bonds) to raise $2 billion for housing projects.

Prop 3| Water Infrastructure/Watershed Conservation Bond   NO

Summary: 8.9 billion bond that will fund conservancies, state parks, wetlands and watershed projects; roughly $4 billion will go for projects benefiting disadvantaged communities.

  • A “yes” vote supports this measure to authorize $8.877 billion in general obligation bondsfor water infrastructure, groundwater supplies and storage, surface water storage and dam repairs, watershed and fisheries improvements, and habitat protection and restoration.
  • A “no” vote opposes this measure to authorize $8.877 billion in general obligation bondsfor water infrastructure, groundwater supplies and storage, surface water storage and dam repairs, watershed and fisheries improvements, and habitat protection and restoration.

Comments: Do you feel cheated yet?  We saw a water-related measure on the June ballot, with similar words. In fact, since 1996, there have been eight statewide bond measures committing money to water issues. So far the total amount is more than 29 Billion Dollars!  What do we have to show for all that money? Not one thing that will get us more water. Not one penny has gone for what we need:  surface storage.

Prop 4| Children’s Hospital Bond   NO

Summary: Authorizes $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds to provide for the Children’s Hospital Bond Act Fund. The fund would be used to award grants to children’s hospitals for construction, expansion, renovation, and equipment projects.

  • A yes vote supports authorizing $1.5 billion in bonds for the construction, expansion, renovation, and equipping of children’s hospitals in California.
  • A no vote opposes authorizing $1.5 billion in bonds for the construction, expansion, renovation, and equipping of children’s hospitals in California.

Comments: This is the third bond measure related to children’s hospitals in California. California Children’s Hospital Association developed all three of the ballot initiatives: in 2004, a $750-million bond, and in 2008, a $980-million bond and will receive 72 percent of the money.  The state’s legislative analyst estimated that interest on this bond would be $1.4 billion over 35 years, bringing the total cost of the bond to $2.9 billion.

No one wants to vote against children’s hospitals, but the bonded indebtedness of the state is significant.  David Wolfe, a legislative director with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said, “Bonds are not free money. That’s money that is not spent paying off unfunded pension liabilities or funding K-12 education.”

Prop 5 | Property Tax Transfer Initiative   YES

Summary: Allows homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer the tax-assessed value from their prior home to their new home, no matter (a) the new home’s market value; (b) the new home’s location in the state; or (c) the number of moves.

  • A “yes” vote supports amending Proposition 13(1978) to allow homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments, with a possible adjustment, from their prior home to their new home, no matter (a) the new home’s market value; (b) the new home’s location in the state; or (c) the buyer’s number of moves.
  • A “no” vote opposes amending Proposition 13(1978) to change how tax assessments are transferred between properties for homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled.

Comments:  Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says it best:  Prop. 5 “This measure would remove restrictions in existing law that limit these transfers by putting conditions on the price and location of the replacement property. It would also allow older homeowners to transfer their base-year property tax assessment more than once. We support this measure, which helps homeowners who want to downsize or move, but who stay put because of the high property taxes on a replacement property. Proposition 5 will likely result in more homes coming on the market, which will help new homebuyers by increasing the supply of available housing.”

CA Teachers Association, however, mistakenly think this is just for the wealthy and could actually hurt school from receiving tax revenue.  This is not true – because if a senior decided not to move and stayed with a lower assessed value for property taxes, there would be no increased money for schools.  However, if someone did decide to move – and utilized this adjustment, their tax burden would be higher. This, coupled with the property tax dollars paid by the new home buyer thereby creates more revenue for schools. Typical liberal argument doesn’t fly here.

Prop 6 | Voter Approval: Future Gas/Vehicle Taxes/Tax Repeal     YES

Summary:  Creates the additional step of voter approval (via ballot propositions), along with legislative passage and the governor’s signature, to impose, increase, or extend fuel taxes or vehicle fees. The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (RRAA) increased the gas tax by $0.12 per gallon, the diesel fuel tax by $0.20 per gallon, the sales tax on diesel fuels by an additional 4 percentage points, created an annual transportation improvement fee, and an annual zero-emission vehicles fee. In California, the total tax on a gallon of gasoline, including federal and state taxes, was 73.62 cents, as of July 1, 2018. California has the second-highest gasoline tax rate in the United States.

  • A yes vote supports this initiative to repeal fuel tax increases and vehicle fees that were enacted in 2017, including the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017(RRAA) and require voter approval (via ballot propositions) for the California State Legislature to impose, increase, or extend fuel taxes or vehicle fees in the future.
  • A no vote opposes this initiative, thus keeping the fuel tax increases and vehicle fees that were enacted in 2017, including the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017(RRAA), in place and allowing the state legislature to continue to impose, increase, or extend fuel taxes or vehicle fees through a two-thirds vote of each chamber and without voter approval.

Comments:  Think about how many transportation initiatives have been on the California ballot in the past 20 years – all promising that the money would go ONLY to transportation.  But in reality, 72% of all state motor vehicle related taxes and fees collected by the state are used for programs other than streets, roads and highways. It’s time to end the transportation funding shell game. (Check these facts and learn more at GiveVotersAVoice.com)

Don’t be fooled by opponents who claim there is no money to fix roads if Prop. 6 passes – and don’t believe the fear tactics that bridges are suddenly going to fail. If the transportation-related taxes and fees we already paid before this new tax increase took effect were spent on transportation—the state would have $5.6 billion annually for transportation needs, without raising taxes.

Prop 7 | Permanent Daylight Savings Time   No Recommendation

Summary:  This is self-explanatory.

  • A yes vote supports allowing the California State Legislatureto establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) in California by a two-thirds vote if federal law is changed to allow for permanent DST.
  • A no vote opposes allowing the California State Legislatureto establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) in California by a two-thirds vote if federal law is changed to allow for permanent DST.

Comments:  Some say this is an initiative in search of a problem.  We agree.

Prop 8 | Limits on Dialysis Clinics’ Revenue   NO

Summary: Authorizes the state to regulate kidney dialysis clinics.

  • A”yes” vote supports requiring dialysis clinics to issue refunds to patients or patients’ payers for revenue above 115 percent of the costs of direct patient care and healthcare improvements.
  • “no”vote opposes requiring dialysis clinics to issue refunds to patients or patients’ payers for revenue above 115 percent of the costs of direct patient care and healthcare improvements.

Comments: This is a dangerous attempt by labor unions to control dialysis centers; the medical community and patient advocates strongly oppose Prop. 8 because it jeopardizes access to care for 66,000 patients in California who need frequent dialysis treatments to stay alive.

Prop 9 – PULLED FROM THE BALLOT

Prop 10 | Local Rent Control Initiative   NO

Summary:  Repeals the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act which limits the use of rent control in California, thus allowing local governments to adopt rent control ordinances which govern how much landlords can charge tenants for apartments and houses.

Comments:  Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says “If Costa-Hawkins is repealed, cities would be able to pass any type of rent-control law, including rent control on single-family homes, garage apartments, duplexes and small apartment buildings.  For example, Proposition 10 would allow new rent-control bureaucracies to require every property owner to register and pay an annual fee so the city can track how many housing units exist and whether they are rented or owner-occupied.”

“Proposition 10 would discourage investment in rental housing, leading to less new construction and more tightening of an already squeezed housing market in California. Faced with the threat that rent control could be enacted at any time, some owners of existing apartment buildings might choose to evict the tenants and sell the property rather than stay in a business with rising costs and uncertain revenue.”

The Democrat Socialists and labor unions support it and both governor candidates Cox and Newsom oppose it – as does the NAACP.  Go figure!

Prop 11 | Ambulance Employees Paid On-Call Breaks   YES

Summary: Allows ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call (reachable by a portable communications device) during meal and rest breaks. The measure would require ambulance providers to pay workers at their regular rate during breaks, not make workers take a meal break during the first or last hour of a shift, and space multiple meal breaks during a shift by at least two hours.

  • A yes vote supports allowing ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during breaks paid at their regular rate; requiring employers to provide additional training for EMTs and paramedics; and requiring employers to provide EMTs and paramedics with some paid mental health services.
  • A no vote opposes allowing ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during breaks paid at their regular rate requiring employers to provide additional training for EMTs and paramedics; and requiring employers to provide EMTs and paramedics with some paid mental health services.

Comments:  Good grief.  There are many jobs, employers and industries which could not even operate if they were required to shut down large equipment, or ignore sick patients because it is “break time.”

Prop 12 | Farm Animal Confinement Initiative   NO    

Summary:  Bans the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below a specific number of square feet. The size restrictions based on animal behavior would be repealed and replaced.

  • A yes vote supports banning the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below a specific number of square feet.
  • A no vote opposes banning the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below a specific number of square feet.

Comments:  GOC has had long standing issues with the honesty of the Human Society.  One of their primary goals is a wholesale ban on hunting.  The Humane Farming Association stated, “The Humane Society of the United States is once again deceiving voters, flip-flopping on the issue of cages, and perpetuating the suffering of millions of egg-laying hens throughout California. The inescapable reality is that, had Prop 2 actually accomplished what HSUS promised, California would be cage free at this very moment. Rather than correcting its historic failure, HSUS is now misusing our state’s ballot measure process with a whole new set of false promises. This betrayal of voters and farm animals must be soundly defeated.”

“Bulleted” information courtesy of Ballotpedia.  For the full text, financial disclosures and lists of support and opposition on individual propositions, go to https://ballotpedia.org/California_2018_ballot_propositions