Voters will confront 11 different statewide initiatives on the November ballot, in addition to three for the City of Los Angeles and one for the County. For more than a century, some of the biggest policies in the state have been enacted at the ballot box, and this year is no different. So here’s an early look at some of the initiatives you are being asked to decide.
If you’re read my advice on ballot issues before, you know I have a bias to reject most propositions, especially those that are initiatives rather than legislature proposals. That’s because they are generally not written well and are hard to correct.
So here’s my read on the 2018 cast of ballot propositions.
Prop 1: $4 billion in bonds to fund specific housing assistance programs – too little, too late – legislature proposal – Vote: NO
Prop 2: $2 billion in bonds to fund existing housing programs for individuals with mental issues – somewhat repetitive – legislature proposal – Vote: NO
Prop 3: Water bond: And what would a California ballot be without a water bond? This is a $4 billion bond to pay for water projects in a state that is facing increasing demand (and diminishing supplies) of water – initiative proposal – Vote: NO
Prop 4: Another $1.5 billion in bonds for construction of children’s hospitals – initiative proposal – need not demonstrated – Vote: NO
Prop 5: Allows certain property owners to transfer their property tax base. Eliminates $100 million loss in annual revenue – constitutional amendment – Vote: NO
Prop 6: Gas Tax Repeal: Count on this being the biggest initiative battle this fall. Overturn the gas tax passed by the legislature to pay for $5 billion in road and bridge maintenance every year. Gov. Jerry Brown will lead the defense: He has embraced this as his final fight before he retires, warning that a repeal would upend a plan critical to the state’s economy. Opponents say taxes are high enough and California should find another way to pay for needed repair. The repeal measure is being financed in part by national Republicans looking to increase turnout in critical congressional elections; however, we need it. Vote: NO
Prop 7: Daylight Saving Time: Californians are voting on a plan to make daylight saving time permanent: No more turning back the clock. This is another one that would require federal approval should voters decide they want more light in the evening. The only drawback is some children will be going to school in the dark. Vote: YES
Prop 8: Regulate what outside dialysis clinics can charge – initiative proposal – Vote: NO
Prop 10: Rent control: At a time when housing costs in California are skyrocketing, this initiative—backed by tenant groups—would restore to local communities the power to impose rent control. This could be another big, expensive battle, played out against the context of what this state can do to both reduce housing costs and creative more housing – although I’m not sure what will happen. Vote: YES
Prop 11: Requires employees private ambulance services to remain on call during work breaks – initiative proposal – Vote: YES
Prop 12: Establishes new standards for confinement of certain farm animals. Californians already voted to ban cages – initiative proposal – Vote: NO
TOTAL: 2 YES 9 NO
Charter Amend B: Allows the city to establish a financial institution or bank. Vote: NO
Charter Amend E: Reset city and state election dates in even numbered years to be in March. Vote: YES
Charter Amend EE: Reset L.A. School District election dates to be in March with the state. Vote: YES
Measure W: Flood Control District – parcel tax of 25¢/S.F. to fund improving water quality, capturing rain water and prepare for future drought. Vote: YES