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Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Transportation Funding Protections; Support Parks and Water Infrastructure Investment, and Water Conservation Incentive

June 6, 2018
By passing Proposition 69 with 80.4 percent of the vote, Californians unequivocally communicated to the Legislature that they want their transportation funds protected and California’s crumbling roads fixed. 
 
Voters in all of California’s 58 counties supported the passage of Prop. 69. The measure’s strong accountability protections give voters and all California taxpayers’ confidence that their money is only going to road repairs. On June 5, voters also passed two other League-supported measures, Prop. 68, the parks and water bond and Prop. 72, the rain water capture system investment incentive. Results on the Secretary of State’s website show the powerful endorsement by California voters for the three League supported measures.
 
“Prop. 69 gives voters assurance that transportation funding will go directly toward improving their city streets and roads,” said Rich Garbarino, president, League of California Cities and council member, South San Francisco. “That’s what voters want and the overwhelming victory is a signal that fixing roads is a high priority for Californians.”
 
However, the battle for transportation revenues is far from over. Voters will have another opportunity this year to protect transportation funds by rejecting a dangerous ballot measure, likely slated for November, which would repeal SB 1 and jeopardize thousands of projects underway to fix California’s streets, roads, sidewalks, bridges and highways. Repealing SB 1 would halt road safety projects, worsening driving conditions, threatening public safety and increasing congestion. Ultimately, repealing SB 1 would cost taxpayers and every level of government more in the long-term. 
 
Parks, Water Infrastructure Investments and Water Conservation Also Top Voters’ Priorities
 
Prop. 68, the $4 billion parks and water bond, passed with 56 percent of the vote. Voters endorsed more funding for cities to can invest in their parks. Each city will now receive at least $200,000 for their parks and will also be eligible to apply for additional funding for local parks and water upgrades. Cities will be eligible to apply for other funding from the bond to fund parks, water improvements for safe drinking water, recycling and flood protection, and climate change adaption projects.
 
Prop. 72, which gives California property owners more incentive to invest in water conservation, passed with 83.3 percent of the vote. Starting on Jan. 1, 2019 property owners who install one of these systems will not see their property tax assessment value rise. With cycles of drought, water conservation is imperative and this measure helps Californians conserve water by saving them money. California cities will also benefit from the sales tax revenues generated by the purchase of these systems.
 
Propositions 70 and 71, Mixed Results
 
The two measures on the June ballot that the League did not take a position on, had mixed results. Voters passed Prop. 71 (76.8 percent in support), which makes the effect date of ballot measures five days after results are certified. They rejected Prop. 70 (63.6 percent voting no), which would have required a one-time two-thirds vote to use revenues from the Cap-and-Trade auction.
 
Other Outcomes from Election Night

In addition to ballot measures, other closely tracked primary races begin to shape the November election:
  • Democrat Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will square off against Republican businessman John Cox for governor.
  • U.S. Sen. Democrat Diane Feinstein will face a November challenge from state Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).
  • State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) lost his effort to defend against a recall. It appears that former Republican Assembly Member Ling-Ling Chiang is likely to take this seat. This would reduce Democrat control of the state Senate to 26 votes, one below a two-thirds supermajority.
  • Former Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) held off several Republican primary challengers and appears likely to keep his seat in November, while Prop. 70, a measure he negotiated as part of last year’s Cap-and-Trade agreement failed.
Education reformer Marshall Tuck has a slight edge over Democrat Assembly Member Democrat Tony Thurmond for Superintendent of Public Instruction, which will lead to a redo of this contest in November.


 
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