2018 Midterm Voter Guide

State of California Ballot Measures


Prop1 - Housing Programs And Veterans' Loans Bond

Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018


What It Does

Authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds to be distributed to a variety of housing-related programs, loans, grants, and projects. These range in focus from farmworker housing, connecting housing projects to transit stations, and more targeting low and moderate income housing concerns.


Analysis

The language of the proposition definitely focuses on veteran homelessness, but that is not the sole focus of the proposition itself. A quarter of the revenue would go to the CalVet Home Loan Program, a program specifically for vets. The rest would go to a variety of other programs that would create affordable housing for other low or moderate income people, making it a more general attempt to address the housing crisis in California.

 

Who is for it

Affordable Housing Now (Yes on 1 & 2), California Housing Consortium, Housing California, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. Also endorsed by 26 Veteran Groups, 33 Chambers & Business Associations, 7 Environment and Transportation groups, 38 Local Governments, San Diego Democrats and 21 other Democratic Party Organizations, 64 Unions, and 277 other statewide and local organizations. (Whole list.)

Who is against it

The opposition comes from Gary Wesley, a professional naysayer for over 3 decades who opposes any unopposed California ballot measure.

Funding

$3,381,861 for vs. $0 against

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Prop2: No place like home act

Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals With Mental Illness


What It Does

Amends the 2004 Mental Health Services Act, which used a 1% tax on incomes over $1 million to fund mental health services. This legislation did not go into effect because of litigation on whether or not funds could be spent on homelessness prevention housing. Although the state legislature authorized revenue bonds for that purpose in 2016, this amendment needs to be decided on the ballot since the tax itself was created through a public initiative.


Analysis

Voters already decided in 2004 that the millionaire tax should be used for mental health services. This proposition would clarify that housing and homelessness prevention is part of that mental health umbrella. The question is whether or not the diverting of funds away from other treatment programs would help or hinder our population suffering mental illness and/or homelessness.

 

Who is for it

Affordable Housing Now (Yes on 1 & 2.) California Homeless & Housing Coalition Action Fund. A Home For Everyone. Endorsed by San Diego Democrats & 111 other organizations…more

Who is against it

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Contra Costa County

Funding

Groups supporting Prop 1 are also supporting Prop 2 ($3,446,380) / $0 against

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Prop3: California Water Bond

Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Water Conveyance, and Groundwater Sustainability and Storage.


What It Does

Issues $8.877 billion in general obligation bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects: Conservancies and state parks to protect watershed lands and river parkways, groundwater sustainability, and water infrastructure for safe and affordable drinking water. Priority would be given to disadvantaged communities.


Analysis

Water bonds also came up on the June ballot, which shouldn’t be surprising in our state (and on our planet) where water is such an important resource. This particular bond is clearly appealing to a variety of audiences, with focus on both environmental and humanitarian concerns. Opposition seems to be along the lines of “We live in a desert! Why are we still talking about water?” but the fact remains that we live in a desert, and we still need to talk about water. The Sierra Club opposes the bond measure because some of the funding would be dedicated to the farm industry groups who funded the petition drive.

 

Who is for it

Californians for Safe Water & A Clean & Reliable Water Supply, along with 102 National, State & Regional Conservation Groups, 32 Agricultural Organizations, 17 Environmental and Social Justice Organizations, 93 Water Agencies and Organizations, 4 Labor Unions, 26 Cities (plus the League of California Cities), 14 Counties (plus some coalitions), 2 Civic Organizations, and 31 other businesses and chambers. (See list here.)

Who is against it

Central Solano Citizen/Taxpayer Group / Sierra Club

Funding

$2,396,627 for vs. $0 against

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Prop4: children's hospital bonds initiative

Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Health Care.


What It Does

Authorizes $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds to construct, expand, renovate and equip children’s hospitals. 72% would be allocated to nonprofit hospitals serving large numbers of children with special needs or who are eligible for governmental programs.


Analysis

It’s hard to argue against hospitals for sick kids, especially when the bulk of funds would be for hospitals serving disadvantaged sick kids. Of course, it’s not free money and could be put toward helping kids in other ways. For perspective, this $1.5 billion increase in funding for children’s hospitals represents approximately 2% of California’s current entire budget for K-12 education.

 

Who is for it

California Children’s Hospital Association, San Diego Democrats. Also 5 editorials and 40 other groups and organizations, including everything from teachers’ unions to medical associations. (See the full list.)

Who is against it

You guessed it… Gary Wesley.

Funding

$10,907,041 for vs. $0 against

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Prop 5: the property tax transfer initiative

The People’s Initiative to Protect Proposition 13 Savings


What it does

Amends 1978’s Proposition 13 so that homebuyers who are 55+ or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments from a prior home to a new home, regardless of market value, home location, or number of moves.


Analysis

Current property tax law means that property taxes are capped based on the value of the property when purchased. This has benefited corporations and individuals alike who have held onto the same property since the mid 70’s, and incentivizes staying in one place, something that may become harder for people due to age or disability. Amending that proposition would protect those individuals from being penalized for moving. However, these protections for individuals (and for corporations) significantly reduces the funding available for schools, and even individual protections may tend to benefit the wealthy.

 

Who is for it

Yes on 5 Committee, sponsored by California Association of Realtors. The California Chamber of Commerce also supports this proposition.

Who is against it

No on Prop 5 Committee,  San Diego Democrats, AFSCME California, CA Alliance for Retired Americans, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Professional Firefighters CA State Association of Counties, CA Teachers Association, Congress of CA Seniors, League of Women Voters of CA, National Housing Law Project, Middle Class Taxpayers Association, and SEIU California.


Funding

$13,204,875 for vs. $1,758,411 against

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Prop 6: Repeal The Gas Tax

Eliminates Recently Enacted Road Repair and Transportation Funding by Repealing Revenues Dedicated for those Purposes. Requires any Measure to Enact Certain Vehicle Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Submitted to and Approved by the Electorate. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Shall City Charter section 39.1 be amended to allow the City Council to waive a requirement that the Council consider at least two applicants for appointment to a position as a public member of the Audit Committee when the Council wishes to reappoint a sitting public member who is eligible for another term?

What It Does

Repeals 2017’s gas tax and vehicle fees (the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, or RRAA) and requires voter approval for the state legislature to impose, increase, or extend fuel taxes or vehicle fees in the future.


Analysis

The RRAA’s gas tax was enacted in 2017 and signed into law by the governor. In June 2018 voters approved a constitutional mandate (via Prop 69) to spend that revenue on transportation-related purposes. Proponents are focusing on the increased cost to individual taxpayers and working families, while opponents appealing to individual voters by listing all the local transportation projects that could be slashed. The gist is whether or not our roads and transportation infrastructure should be funded by the people using them.

 

Who is for it

Yes on Prop 6, Repeal the Gas Tax, launched by former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio. The California Republican Party and lots of individual Republican representatives are supporters, as well 30 other organizations (many of them taxpayers associations.)

Who is against it

No on Prop 6: Stop the Attack on Bridge & Road Safety (reorganized committee that originally supported Prop 69), San Diego Democrats and 23 other Political Groups, 6 Public Safety Organizations, 5 Senior Groups, 19 Environmental Groups, 55 Business Groups, 65 Labor Unions, 66 Infrastructure/Transportation Organizations, 7 Social Justice Groups, 35 Public Interest Groups, 122 Local Governments, and 90 Individual Businesses. (See the whole list)


Funding

$3,858,100 for vs. $31,722,152 against

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Prop 7: Permanent daylight saving time measure

Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period


What it does

Allows the California State Legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time by a two thirds vote if federal law is changed to allow it.


Analysis

There seems to be a bipartisan apathy about this issue. (Even the official “Yes on 7” webpage does not seem to actually be registered, nor is the listed email monitored.) Support and opposition seem to come from individual voices without a clear delineation between groups, except maybe groups of people who are or are not grumpy about waking up early. Disrupted sleep patterns cause negative consequences from grumpiness to heart attacks, while dark winter mornings also cause pedestrian accidents and safety concerns for kids walking to school.

 

Who is for it

San Diego Democrats have endorsed this proposition. The official supporting arguments in the voter guide were written by two Democrats from the California State Assembly (Kansen Chu and Lorena Gonzalez) and a cardiologist (Dr. Sion Roy, M.D.)

Who is against it

Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson wrote the “con” statement.


Funding

$0 for vs. $0 against

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Prop 8: Limits on dialysis clinics' revenue and required refunds initiative

Authorizes State Regulation of Kidney Dialysis Clinics. Limits Charges for Patient Care


What it does

Requires dialysis clinics to issue refunds above 115% of the costs of direct patient care and healthcare improvements. This would cap profits and incentivize clinics to spend revenue on healthcare improvements.


Analysis

Just two large corporations operate (and profit heavily from) most of California’s dialysis clinics. Patients with private insurance in particular can be overcharged by huge margins. This proposition seeks to cap those profits and require companies to spend money on patient care. It would require any revenue beyond the 115% cap to be refunded to the patients or their payers each year.



 

Who is for it

Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection, SEIU-UHW West, San Diego Democrats,18 Statewide Groups, 11 Healthcare Advocacy Groups, 29 Labor Unions, 24 Democratic Groups, and 60 Community Organizations. (See the whole list.)

Who is against it

California Dialysis Council, Patients and Caregivers to Protect Dialysis Patients (Majority of funding coming from dialysis business DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care North America) California Medical Association, National Kidney Foundation, other Patient Advocacy, Health, Veteran Organizations, Community Clinics, and Business organizations.


Funding

$24,730,568 for vs $52,435,556 against

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Prop 9:

Just so you know you didn’t miss something - there is no Prop 9. This was to be the measure to split California into three states. It was removed from the ballot by the California Supreme Court on July 18, 2018.

 

prop 10: Local rent control initiative

Expands Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property


What it does

Allows local governments to adopt --but does not mandate --rent control by repealing the Costa-Hawkings Rental Housing Act. This would regulate how much landlords can charge tenants, but without keeping them from getting “a fair rate of return.”  (This 1995 act prevented local governments from imposing rent control on new buildings and separate buildings like condominiums and townhouses. It also allowed for rent increases when tenants change.)



Analysis

Props 1, 2, 5 and 10 make an unusually large bundle of housing-related measures on the ballot this year. This proposition could lead to a significant decrease in state and local tax revenues if many localities enact rent control laws. However, it would give local governments another tool to deal with the housing crisis and homelessness. The largest contributors supporting it include real estate and housing partners, which makes sense based on the amount of money they could lose.

 

Who is for it

Coalition for Affordable Housing, San Diego Democrats, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action, Make Housing Affordable, 6 Local Governments, 14 Affordable Housing Providers, 58 Tenant/Housing Rights Organizations, 14 Tenant Legal Services, 35 Unions, 35 Political Organizations, 23 Civil Rights/Liberties Organizations (including ACLU), 6 Health Organizations, 3 Senior Organizations, 16 Faith Organizations, 74 other organizations…more

Who is against it

No on Prop 10, Californians for Responsible Housing, California Apartment Association and the California Rental Housing Association. Also opposed by the California Republican Party, 12 Affordable Housing groups, 2 Seniors groups, 2 Civil Justice / Civil Rights groups, 3 Labor Unions, 12 Veteran groups, 43 Business organizations, 13 other groups…more


Funding

$13,858,110 for vs. $46,149,309 against

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Prop 11: ambulance employees paid on-call breaks, training, and mental health services initiative

Requires Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain on Call During Work Breaks. Changes Other Conditions of Employment.

What it does

Allows ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during breaks (with their regular rate of pay) and requires employers to provide specific training and mental health services. This is response to the 2016 ruling (Agustus v. ABM Security Services) by the California Supreme Court that determined that on-call rest breaks violated labor law.

Analysis

AMR is throwing a lot of money at this proposition, since if they cannot require employees to be on call during breaks they will have to hire about 25 percent more crews under the Augustus ruling. This proposition would allow crews to respond more quickly and effectively to emergencies (both by being on call during breaks and by receiving specific situational training like natural disasters, active shooters, and more.) It includes provisions to protect workers, such as requiring them to be paid during on-call breaks and for them to make up breaks missed while responding to emergency calls, but will this be enough for this poorly-compensated and highly stressed profession?


 

Who is for it: Californians for Emergency Preparedness and Safety, American Medical Response (who to date has fully funded the supporting committee), along with 34 other businesses (many of them ambulance companies) and 45 other organizations. (See full list.)


Who is against it: No committees registered to oppose. (Not even Gary Wesley had anything to say this time.) Both the San Diego Democrats and the California Teacher’s Association have officially stated their opposition, but without contributing funds or arguments.


Funding: $21,900,786 for vs. $0 against

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Prop 12: farm animal confinement initiative

Establishes New Standards for Confinement of Certain Farm Animals; Bans Sale of Certain Non-Complying Products

What it does

Bans the sale of meat and eggs from animals confined in areas below a specific number of square feet. (A similar proposition was passed in 2008, but without specific square footage.) The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Health would be responsible for enforcement.


Analysis

As you might expect, farms and companies who generally already have “cage free” or compliant systems in place support it. Individual companies are not necessarily openly opposing (perhaps for PR reasons.) PETA and Friends of Animals both also oppose the initiative, because they believe this will lead to horrific yet compliant factory farms. This might be true; no chickens have weighed in. However, it’s a good chance to look at the proposed square footage requirements and decide if we really want animals raised in less than that.

 

Who is for it

Prevent Cruelty California, the Humane Society (who also developed the previous 2008 proposition) and 29 other Animal Protection Organizations. San Diego Democrats, 3 businesses,13 other groups, 3 Environmental Groups, 109 Family Farms, 2 Farmers’ Markets,  a variety of religious leaders, and a vast amount of veterinary clinics and individual vets also support it…more

Who is against it

The Californians Against Cruelty, Cages, and Fraud, Humane Farming Action Fund, The Association of California Egg Farmers, and National Pork Producers Council, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Friends of Animals.


Funding

$3,823,617 for vs. $566,359 against

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