- Provides $8.9B in state bonds - amounting to $17.3B in total bond cost, interest and fees - for a variety of water projects that would largely benefit industrial agriculture and private water companies.
Previous water bonds were developed in the legislature, vetted through numerous committees providing ample opportunity for public input, and passed by a two-thirds legislative vote before being placed on the ballot and winning voter approval. This measure was developed behind closed doors by private interests who paid between $2.72 - $ 8.38 per signature to place it on the ballot.
Proposition 3 would require taxpayers to fund water infrastructure that benefits private companies, such as industrial scale agricultural businesses.
Funds raised by Prop 3 would be continuously appropriated, bypassing oversight and meaningful financial accountability, project oversight, and avenues for public input.
The lack of oversight means that funds could be used for environmentally harmful projects, such as new dams (even though current dams are not maintained), and limit species and habitat protections.
Prop 3 diverts funds from CA’s cap-and-trade program Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to private water companies to reimburse them for the cost of complying with the program.
The proposal incorporates some worthwhile drinking water supply projects, but benefits are outweighed by shifting private agricultural and utility costs to taxpayers and draining state environmental funds. This bond is not the appropriate way to address these needs for multiple reasons, including the burden to taxpayers and the state, the lack of oversight, the questionable feasibility of the projects and the bailout of wealthy companies.
The proposal risks raiding the state’s limited funds for reducing climate pollutants, building affordable housing and transit, and reducing wildfire risk in order to pay the debt service, which would account for over 50% of the CA Natural Resources Agency’s budget. In a downturn, it could encroach on other state funding for social, healthcare and education programs.
Organizations/People Opposing Prop 3: Sierra Club California, Friends of the River, League of Women Voters of California, Save The American River Association, Southern California Watershed Alliance, Speaker Anthony Rendon and the Editorial Boards of The East Bay Times, Mercury News, Orange County Register, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Organizations Supporting Prop 3: (Yes on 3)[https://waterbond.org/official-endorsement-list-for-the-water-supply-and-water-quality-act-of-2018/]
Additional Information: (Sierra Club et al)[https://www.noprop3ca.com/getthefacts/]
- Repeals a recently enacted package of taxes and fees passed by the State legislature, amounting to a loss of $52B over 10 years for highway and local street repairs and maintenance, and improvements to mass transit and other transportation infrastructure.
- Changes the California constitution to require any future introduction, increase or extension of motor fuel taxes or public highway usage fees to be approved by the voters through a ballot measure.
Transportation experts estimate the state faces at least $130 billion for critically needed transportation repair and replacement projects. Requiring voter approval for all vehicle tax and fee increases or extensions is inefficient and designed to limit the legislature’s ability to raise funding for these critical needs.
The tax and fee package includes funding to support safer bicycling, cleaner buses, and mass transit, thereby reducing greenhouse gases.
The taxes and fees are currently being used to repair or replace more than 500 bridges and overpasses and repair potholes in or repave more than three thousand roads and highways.
These repairs improve safety and save motorists on average several hundred dollars of auto repair costs a year.
The currently enacted gasoline tax increase is the first since 1984.
The passage of Proposition 69 in June prevents the legislature from diverting these funds to other uses.
While they contribute to the taxes, lower income families will benefit substantially because they are more likely to use public transit for commuting and often have older vehicles that are more vulnerable to damage from poorly maintained roads.
Organizations Opposed to Prop 6: Sierra Club, NRDC, EDF, California League of Conservation Voters, the Nature Conservancy, the League of Women Voters, California Bicycle Coalition, California Chamber of Commerce, California NAACP, the Latin Business Association, BART, LA County MTA, California Alliance for Jobs, American Society of Civil Engineers, and California Firefighters, Highway Patrolmen and Engineers.
Organizations Supporting Prop 6: California Republican Party and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.