2018 CA Statewide Ballot Propositions

Proposition 1 - Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs.

Summary: Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond

Recommendation:     NO

Narrative:  A bond is the way a state borrows money.  The state gets the money, the state spends the money and YOU pay back the loan via taxes.  A yes vote would authorize the state to borrow $4 billion dollars to spend on housing related programs and will require us to pay $170 million dollars for the next 35 years.  The loan has a much longer life than the programs.

I’m with The Press-Enterprise:

"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 on Prop. 1."


Proposition 2 - Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Metal Illness. 

Summary:   Use Millionaire's Tax Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds Measure    

Recommendation:     NO

Narrative:  In 2004 the voters approved Prop 63 which authorized a special 1% additional tax on earnings over $1 million.  The ‘millionaire tax’ was supposed to go to services for the mentally ill.  That money has not been spent because it is tied up in litigation by special interests that want their share.  Proposition 2 is an end run around the litigation by getting your permission to use the Prop 63 funds to pay the interest on these new bonds, ostensibly for housing for people with mental illness.  And oh by the way, the authors say the spending of that money will require them to take 5% off the top, or $100 million dollars, to run the program. 


I’m with leaders of the National Alliance of Mental Illness: Contra Costa:

“Counties do not need to pay out billions in interest on bonds, unnecessary state administrative expenses, and developer subsidies to [provide housing or services to clients with mental illness]. Counties know their mentally ill clients’ treatment and other needs as well as what housing is already available. Only they can determine whether their MHSA funds are best used to pay for treatment or to build housing in their localities.”  

"The Voters dedicated Proposition 63 money to treatment, which prevents homelessness, in 2004. That is where it should go.”


Proposition 3 - Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Water Conveyance and Groundwater Sustainability and Storage

Summary: California Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative

Recommendation:     NO

Narrative:  Since 1996 there have been eight statewide bond measures related to water issues - $29 billion dollars worth - and we have no more water storage now than we did then, and we didn’t even have enough to repair the dam at Oroville?  Where is this money going? 

This is one of those initiatives that both democrats and republicans support.  Every nature organization and water agency in the state support this proposition.  That’s what makes it suspicious.  My guess is they are the ones that benefit from the bond issue. Interestingly, the Sierra Club is an opponent of this measure!   

I’m with the Sierra Club and Robert Jarvis:

"Instead of projects that would capture or store more of the precious precipitation that California gets, officials pander to special interests and pour millions of dollars into parks, hiking trails, wildlife—like a little bait-fish in the Sacramento River—and things that have nothing to do with solving the State’s water shortages. Half the water in our rivers just runs into the Pacific Ocean.”


Proposition 4 - Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Health Care

Summary: Children's Hospital Bonds Initiative

Recommendation:     NO

Narrative:  Sick kids blah blah money needed blah blah cancer blah blah pediatric organ transplant blah blah.  Yes, I am a cynical ass but aren’t you tired of people exploiting kids, especially sick kids, to fund their agenda?  I am. I think if these hospitals want to borrow money they should find another way..  If the state were to set aside some money to be used as a guarantee of the hospitals loans, that would make more sense to me because it places the obligation and reward with the hospital, rather than giving the obligation to the voter and the reward to the hospital. 

As David Wolfe, legislative director with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, says, "Bonds are not free money. That’s money that is not spent paying off unfunded pension liabilities or funding K-12 education."[11]

I’m with Elizabeth Wall Ralston, former president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles.

"This measure is intended to primarily to benefit the same hospitals that are funding the “yes” campaign. It bypasses the legislative process, which is a better way of determining how taxpayer dollars should be spent. Proposition 4 is the third bond measure sponsored by the California Children’s Hospital Association, which represents the eight private hospitals that will receive 72 percent of the money.”


Proposition 5 - Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer Their Property Tax Base to Replacement Property

Summary: Property Tax Transfer Initiative

Recommendation:    YES

Narrative:  If you are of the pour-over coffee, avocado toast, Lime generation then you probably don’t care about Prop 5.  If you are old enough to remember percolated coffee, avocado green toasters and Prop 13 then you are very interested in Prop 5. It makes Prop 13 even better - for you. It’s true this does nothing to solve the states housing crisis but it may create some movement in the market. Yes on 5 means that if you are over 55, you can now move to a more expensive or less expensive home and move your tax basis with you with just a small adjustment.

Upward adjustment: (assessed value of their prior home) + [(the new home’s market value) - (the prior home's market value)]

Example: An individual sold her house for $500,000. The house had a tax-assessed value of $75,000. She bought a new house for $800,000. The tax-assessed value of the new house would be ($75,000) + [($800,000)-($500,000)] = $375,000.

Downward adjustment: (assessed value of their prior home) × [(the new home’s market value) ÷ (the prior home's market value)]

Example: An individual sold his house for $500,000. The house had a tax-assessed value of $75,000. He bought a new house for $300,000. The tax-assessed value of the new house would be ($75,000) × [($300,000) ÷ ($500,000)] = $45,000.

I’m with the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"The sponsors of Proposition 5 — real estate agents — came up with the measure to pad their pockets. But it’s actually a smart idea that will both give older people more flexibility with their lives and introduce liquidity to a housing market that could badly use it. The revenue it would cost local government is relatively small. Vote yes on Proposition 5."


Proposition 6- Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding. Requires Certain Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by the Electorate

Summary: Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal

Recommendation:     YES

Narrative:  The legislature stuck us with a gas tax and this proposition eliminates the tax and forces the legislature to put such a tax on the ballot in the future. 

I’m with gubernatorial candidate John Cox: 

“Californians pay about 95.5 cents to the government on every gallon of gas. That’s about $18 in taxes and fees on a typical fill-up—much more than motorists pay in other states. 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.”


Proposition 7 - Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period.

Summary: Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure

Recommendation:     YES or NO or I Don’t Know or Care just Pick One

Narrative:

  • Daylight Savings Time means you get extra light at the end of a workday in summer. 

  • Pacific Standard Time means you get light in the morning during winter.  

  • Spring Ahead / Fall Back is an attempt to get the best of both worlds. 

Myself, I would pick PST year round because it is simple.  This initiative would go the other way and put us on DST.  I really don’t care, however, I hate to agree with the San Francisco Chronicle so I am voting Yes


Proposition 8- Regulates Amounts Outpatient Kidney Dialysis Clinics Charge for Dialysis Treatment

Summary: Limits on Dialysis Clinics' Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative

Recommendation:     NO

Narrative:  Read the summary of the proposition out loud and instead of ‘Dialysis Clinics’ say the name of whatever company writes your paycheck.  “Limits on McDonalds Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative”. Now ask yourself, why would the SEIU-UHW fund this initiative attacking providers of Dialysis? Because their employees aren’t unionized and they want to break them. This has nothing to do with patient care and everything to do with union dues. 

I’m with The American Nurses Association\California, California Medical Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, California Chapter and patient advocates

OPPOSE Prop. 8 because it jeopardizes access to care for 66,000 patients in California who need frequent dialysis treatments to stay alive.  Jim Miller, a columnist for The Sacramento Bee, and Melanie Mason, a state politics journalist for the Los Angeles Times, both stated that the ballot initiative could also provide the SEIU-UHW West with leverage over legislation to enact new regulations on dialysis clinics in the California State Legislature.


Proposition 10 - Expands Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property

Summary: Local Rent Control Initiative

Recommendation:     NO

Narrative:  Prop 10 would repeal the The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Costa-Hawkins) a state statute that limits the use of rent control in California. The California State Legislature passed Costa-Hawkins in 1995. Costa-Hawkins was named after Sen. Jim Costa (D) and Rep. Phil Hawkins (R), who led the effort to pass the bill. It passed both the state house and senate by large margins.

The fundamentals of economics have not changed, rent control runs contrary to the laws of supply and demand.  If we limit rents, we limit who will build and own rentable property. Investors will find other places for their money and there will be a housing shortage.

Key supporters of this bill include the Democratic Socialists of America and Our Revolution, an organization advocating Bernie Sanders policy positions. 

Opponents include both gubernatorial candidates and the NAACP.  

I’m with 

Erika D. Smith, associate editor of The Sacramento Bee, described rent control as an "imperfect, blunt-force policy tool that could very well make the housing crisis worse by shrinking supply.”  

Jim Lapides, vice president of strategic communications for the National Multifamily Housing Council, said, "When milk is expensive, you figure out how to get more cows to make more milk. You don’t put a cap on the price.”

You know what more cows means, right?  More cow bell!!! Jim, I want to party with you dude.



Proposition 11 - Requires Private Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain on Call During Work Breaks. Eliminates Certain Employer Liability.

Summary: Ambulance Employees Paid On-Call Breaks, Training, and Mental Health Services Initiative

Recommendation:     YES

Narrative:  My guess is there is a wage/hour class action lawsuit that has been threatened or filed. AMR, a well know private ambulance company, is funding this initiative.  The initiative requires them to provide additional training and medical benefits.  The only reason to do that would be to mitigate the damages of a wage/hour claim and possibly to forestall entries into the market. Whatever the case, Prop 10 seems like a good idea.

This initiative establishes into law the longstanding industry practice of requiring EMTs, paramedics, life flight helicopter crews and 911 dispatchers to remain reachable during their breaks – just like police officers and other essential public safety personnel – and pays them to do so.

It also requires emergency medical crews to receive additional compensation if a break is missed and cannot be made up during the work shift.

I’m with Los Angeles Times:

"Proposition 11 on the Nov. 6 ballot would make clear that emergency medical technicians and paramedics working for private ambulance services must remain reachable during paid work breaks so that they can respond immediately when needed. It’s a sensible proposal that would maintain the status quo among emergency responders, and voters should support it.”


Proposition 12 - Establishes New Standards for Confinement of Specified Farm Animals. Bans Sale of Noncomplying Products.

Summary: Farm Animal Confinement Initiative

Recommendation:     NO

Narrative:  Proposition 12 is the result of a public relations alliance between HSUS and the egg industry’s national trade association, United Egg Producers.  At taxpayer expense, they are misusing California’s initiative process in order to replace our current hen-housing law with the guidelines of United Egg Producers.

I’m with PETA? You know what they say about a blind squirrel?  It’s Trumps fault. JK - PETA is actually against this proposition because it overturns Prop 2 from 2008.  PETA supported Prop 2 because it created ethical standards for the raising of livestock and established ‘cage-free’ guidelines. Good enough for PETA, good enough for me.