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Legislative Deals Struck Prior to Deadline to Pull Ballot Measures

July 2, 2018
A flurry of legislative deals were made last week to keep certain ballot measures from appearing on the November ballot.
 
Additional items were also placed on the ballot by legislative action. These agreements came together just before the June 28 deadline for proponents to pull measures from the ballot. Several of these compromises directly impact cities. Also read “Governor Signs His Final State Budget and Numerous Trailer Bills,” and “Legislature Passes FY 2018–19 State Budget with Funding for Homelessness Programs, Disaster Response, Transportation Projects and Rainy Day Fund” for the League’s detailed analysis of the state budget and subsequent trailer bills.
 
Legislative Deals That Removed Ballot Measures
 
The following bills were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, June 28.
 
Tax Fairness, Transparency and Accountability Act of 2018, AB 1838 (Budget)

The Tax Fairness, Transparency and Accountability Act, which was labeled by the League and other opponents as “The Corporate Tax Trick,” was slated to appear on the November 2018 ballot. The ballot measure would have drastically limited the ability of local agencies to fund services by requiring all local taxes to be subject to a two-thirds vote, retroactively repealing 25 measures approved in June by local voters and placing onerous conditions on the imposition of local fees.
 
AB 1838 contains the comprise trailer bill deal supported by major soda corporations which had spent over $7 million to qualify the ballot measure. This measure pre-empts the ability of cities and other local agencies from levying any new tax, fee or assessment on groceries and soda for 12 years.
 
The League submitted an oppose letter on AB 1838 because of a provision that would withhold all sales taxes if a charter city, or their voters, validly exercise their existing constitutional right to address local municipal affairs, which includes the decision of whether or not to levy a soda tax.  Charter city authority would be quickly eroded if other interest groups used this precedent in the effort to undermine a constitutional right.
 
Following the Governor’s signature of AB 1838, the Corporate Tax Trick was removed from the November ballot.
 
California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, AB 375 (Chau)

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 ballot measure qualified to be on the November 2018 ballot but was pulled by proponents following the passage of AB 375 (Chau). The ballot measure would have given consumers the right to control their personal information or data collected by companies using or providing internet services. Customers would have been able to stop a company’s collection of their data and hold a company accountable for information that is compromised due to a data breach.
 
AB 375 (Chau) is a narrower version of the ballot measure. Opponents to the initiative expressed their concerns over the compromise bill, but preferred it to the ballot measure. This was, in part, because AB 375 narrowed the circumstances under which consumers could sue companies. The League did not have an official position on either the trailer bill or the ballot measure.
 
Healthy Homes and Schools Act 2018
 
The lead paint measure was removed from the November ballot. Last minute negotiations involving a proposed ballot measure sponsored by paint companied titled the Healthy Homes and Schools Act, addressing liability for lead paint remediation, took place on Thursday. The proponents agreed to drop the ballot measure in exchange for other bills not moving through the legislature.
 
Other Legislative Measures Placed on the Ballot
 
The Legislature placed two other measures on the ballot that were unrelated to pending ballot measures.
 
No Place Like Home Act of 2018, AB 1827 (Budget)
 
The original No Place Like Home program was signed into law on July 1, 2016. This program authorized the distribution $2 billion dollars among counties as deferred payment loans to finance capital costs of permanent supportive housing for persons who are eligible for services under Proposition 63 (2004) and are homeless, chronically homeless, or at risk of chronic homelessness. Although this program is currently law, it has not allocated funds due to legal challenges, thus the Legislature opted to seek ratification of this program by the voters.
 
Under AB 1827, now Prop. 2, the voters are being asked to ratify the No Place Like Home program, which proposes to fund the construction of 10,000 housing units available for the homeless and mentally ill, as being consistent with and in furtherance of the Mental Health Services Act. The League supported the original No Place Like Home bill, supported AB 1827, and now supports Prop. 2.
 
Elimination of Daylight Savings Time AB 807 (Chu)
 
After several prior unsuccessful attempts, Assembly Member Kansen Chu (D-San Jose), succeeded in his quest to pass AB 807 (Chu), which will give California voters the choice to ratify the repeal of daylight savings time via Prop. 7. The League does not have a position on this ballot measure.
 
Updated Final List of Ballot Measures for the November Ballot
 
Below is a list of all ballot measures, including the ones described above that will be on the November 2018 ballot.


 
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