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2018 Election: Your guide to the state primary ballot measures

A voter casts their ballot at a polling station in the Summit Christian Fellowship in Big Bear, California, November 8, 2016. / AFP / Bill Wechter        (Photo credit should read BILL WECHTER/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE: Besides choosing candidates in a rash of primary contests, Californians will also be voting on five state propositions on the June 5 ballot.

NOTE: This guide is for the June 5, 2018 primary election. For the November 6, 2018 general election, find your guide to the ballot measures here

Five statewide measures will be on ballot on June 5. Here’s a short reference guide on the propositions, and what your vote would mean.

• Proposition 68: Authorizes $4.1 billion in general obligation bonds for parks, natural resources protection, water quality and supply and flood protection.

If you vote “yes,” you are supporting the sale of the bonds plus interest, which would amount to $2.5 billion over a 30-year period, assuming an interest rate of 3.5 percent, according to Ballotpedia. If you vote “no,” you would be rejecting the bond sale and opposing additional state debt.

Among the groups in support of the measure are The Nature Conservancy, Save The Redwoods League and the Peninsula Open Space Trust. No committees have registered in opposition to the proposal. But some fiscal conservatives are opposed to more borrowing.  

The Los Angeles Times, The Mercury News, The Press Democrat, The Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Chronicle recommend approval.

• Proposition 69: This is a state constitutional amendment that requires certain revenues from the recently enacted fuel taxes and vehicle fees be used for transportation purposes only and prohibits the Legislature from diverting the funds for other purposes.

By voting “yes,” you are backing a state Constitution change that requires the designated taxes and fees to go for uses like road repairs and transit. Lawmakers could not take that money and apply it for another use.

A “no” vote means you don’t back the change. If the proposal is rejected, the Legislature could change the law and spend revenues from the fuel taxes and vehicle fees on uses other than transportation.

Major backing for the proposition came from a coalition of the State Building and Construction Trade Council, California Alliance for Jobs, the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties. No committees were registered to oppose the measure, according to Ballotpedia.

The Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle urge a “yes” vote.

• Proposition 70: Requires a two-thirds vote from each house of the state Legislature to spend money from state greenhouse gas emission permits under the cap-and-trade program beginning in 2024.

By voting “yes,” you would be backing a higher requirement for lawmakers to spend revenue from the cap-and-trade program that allows emissions trading by companies that pollute. By rejecting the measure, you support the current requirement, with legislators needing only a majority vote to authorize spending revenue from the sale of greenhouse gas emission permits.

The proposition arose out of negotiations between Republicans and Gov. Jerry Brown over the future of the cap-and-trade program. With a two-thirds vote requirements, Democrats may need minority Republican votes to approve a spending plan.

Supporters of the proposition include Brown, GOP Rep. Chad Mayes, and the California Chamber of Commerce. They say the measure is a safeguard needed to ensure revenues from the cap-and-trade program aren’t diverted for legislators’ pet projects.

Opponents include the California Democratic Party, League of Women Voters California and environmental groups like the Sierra Club California, Coalition for Clean Air, and Natural Resources Defense Fund. Some opponents say the proposition grew out of an oil industry-backed effort to weaken the cap-and-trade program.

The Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle have urged a “no” on this proposition.

• Proposition 71: Changes the state Constitution and sets the effective date for ballot measures approved by voters to five days after the Secretary of State certifies the results of the election.

By voting “yes,” you would be supporting this constitutional amendment aimed at eliminating confusion about when measures take effect before election results are certified.

Those voting “no,” would support the current requirement that state ballot measures take effect the day after Election Day, unless specified otherwise.

Supporters of the proposition include the California Democratic Party and state Rep. Kevin Mullin, who argues that it would resolve the problem of a measure deemed to have passed but later shown to have not received enough certified votes.

There is no organized group in opposition. But Gary Wesley argues in the state voter information guide that the measure is not necessary and would prevent future ballot measures from retroactively taking effect the day after the election.

The Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee, the Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle urge a “yes” vote.

• Proposition 72: Through a constitutional amendment, permits the Legislature to exclude new rain-capture systems from property tax reassessments.

If you vote “yes,” you support the idea that installing a system completed on or after Jan. 1, 2019 to collect and store rainwater should not result in a higher property tax bill.

Voting “no” means installing such a system could result in a higher property tax bill.

Those in support of the measure say homeowners who install rainwater recycling systems shouldn’t be penalized for conserving water.

The state says no argument against Proposition 72 was submitted for its voter information guide.

Supporters include the California Democratic Party and Save the Bay.

No opposition groups have yet emerged on this measure.

The Los Angeles Times, The Mercury News, The Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle have recommended approval.

Ready for Election Day? Get up to speed on what you need to know with KPCC’s Voter Game Plan. Read up on the candidates and ballot measures, find out about registration deadlines and ask us your questions.