SMART expanding to Windsor? State parks made safer and drinking water made cleaner? Rainwater-capture systems not being added to your property tax? Ballot propositions going into effect five days after all votes are counted? Revenues generated from transportation fees and taxes going only to transportation funding?
These seem like easy choices to make, but for them to happen, voters must vote YES for each of five ballot measures of the upcoming June 5 primary election. (Vote-by-mail ballots go out May 7.)
To better understand these issues, the Windsor/North Sonoma County Democratic Club listened on Thursday to presentations on each of the six ballot measures on the ballot. Maureen Middlebrook, a former member of the board responsible for the Golden Gate Bridge, presented Regional Measure 3. John McCaull of the Sonoma Land Trust spoke on Prop 68. Club officers summarized the other measures, Props 69, 70, 71, and 72. The club voted to endorse five of the measures and to oppose one, Prop 70.
Regional Measure 3 would increase tolls on state bridges in the Bay Area, with revenues used to relieve traffic and improve public transportation. For Sonoma County and Windsor, the direct impact would be $40 million of funding for SMART (enough to bring the train system to Windsor, and begin working on getting to Healdsburg), widening of Highway 101 in the Novato Narrows to include carpool lanes, planning for improvements to State Route 37 from Vallejo to Novato, expanding ferry services, and upgrades to bus routes and bicycle lanes.
State Prop 68 authorizes the issuance of bonds for park expansion and improvements, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply, and flood protection. The $4.1 billion in bonds will be paid back over 40 years; the $200 million of interest and principal payments each year would be about 1/5 of one percent of the state’s budget.
After the club’s unanimous vote on all six measures, the club decided that to take action to promote Regional Measure 3 and Prop 68, including tabling, phoning and canvassing. To participate, please call 707-696-9364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The other three measures endorsed by the club were (1) State Prop 69, which requires that certain new transportation revenues be used only for transportation purposes; (2) Prop 71, which sets the effective date for ballot measures to be five days after the Secretary of State certifies the results of the election, a reflection of the widespread adoption of mail balloting by voters; and (3) Prop 72, which excludes newly constructed rain-capture systems from property-tax reassessment, thus avoiding higher property taxes.
Prop 70, the one the club opposed, would make it harder for the state to use cap-and-trade revenues by requiring, as of 2024; that revenues sit in the fund until a bill specifying spending is passed by at least a 2/3 vote in each house.
To get info on the state propositions go to http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov. Information is also available at https://ballotpedia.org/California_2018_ballot_propositions
— Rick Massell