The Tuesday Count: Judgement day for statewide and local measures in California's primary election

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June 3, 2014

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Edited by Brittany Clingen

3 certifications
100 measures for 2014

Elections (News)
Certifications (Quick hits)
Elections (Spotlight)

California 2014 ballot measures
It is judgement day in California for two statewide ballot measures, the first to be decided in the state this year. Voters will weigh in today during the state’s primary election on Proposition 41 and Proposition 42. Sponsored by House Speaker John Pérez (D-53), Proposition 41 would authorize the issuance of $600 million in bonds to provide multifamily housing, such as apartment complexes, to low-income veterans and supportive housing for homeless veterans. The $600 million dollar bond would replace a $600 million bond authorized by Proposition 12, which voters approved in 2008.[1] The measure has the support of Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and was unanimously approved in both chambers of the California Legislature.[2] Since 1922, Californians have voted on twenty-seven similar bond acts. They approved all of them, with the most recent being Proposition 12 of 2008.[3] The California Tea Party Groups (CTPG), California Federation of Republican Women and California Green Party oppose the proposition, albeit for different reasons.[4][5] The Tri-City Tea Party opposes the measure on the principle of bond repayment at taxpayer expense.[6] While calling for a different solution than that of the CTPG, the Green Party similarly stated that “bonds disproportionately burden the common woman and man.”[7] Proponents, such as the Democratic and Republican Parties, say the measure is "fiscally responsible" and will "help thousands of homeless veterans."[8]

Proposition 42, the second measure on the ballot, was placed on the ballot in response to local governments not complying with the California Public Records Act (CPRA) and the Ralph M. Brown Act (Brown Act). The legislatively-referred constitutional amendment would require all local agencies to comply with the acts and pay for their implementation, thus guaranteeing a person's right to inspect public records and attend public meetings.[9] Both the California Democratic Party and California Republican Party support the measure.[10]The measure's supporting campaign is largely financed by the Democratic State Central Committee of California.[11] The California Green Party, however, is opposed to the amendment on the basis of the state not reimbursing local governments.[12]

Neither Proposition 41 nor Proposition 42 have organized opposition or support from both the Democratic and Republican Parties, giving Californians the opportunity to voice their approval or rejection of these two measures.

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2014 Count
Number: 100 measures
States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming

Quick hits

South Carolina measure certified for 2014 ballot: Voters in the Palmetto state have at least one ballot measure to vote on come November. The South Carolina General Assembly sent a measure to the ballot that would provide for the appointment of the South Carolina Adjutant General by the governor, upon consent from the state senate. The general assembly would provide by law the qualifications for office, the office’s term, duties and compensation, the procedures for appointment and the procedures for removal from office. The measure would also classify the adjutant general as a “major general,” rather than the current “brigadier general.”[13] The South Carolina Adjutant General serves as head of the Military Department of the state and is in charge of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard, Emergency Management Division, the State Guard, Youth Challenge and AmeriCorps. Currently, South Carolinians elect the adjutant general. South Carolina is the only state to elect someone to that office.[14]

Two legislatively-referred constitutional amendments bring Louisiana ballot measure count up to 10: The Louisiana Legislature gave voters two more measures to decide on in November, bringing the total count up to 10. One measure, the Mandatory Judicial Retirement Age Amendment, would eliminate all mandatory age-based retirement requirements for state judges if given the green light by voters in the fall.[13] The second measure, the Orleans Parish Tax for Fire and Police Protection Amendment, would authorize Orleans Parish to increase the annual ad valorem tax levied for fire and police protection and require that the revenue from the fire and police millages be used for fire and police protection service enhancements. The measure would also require a separate vote on the increase by constituents of Orleans Parish.[13] Though ten measures may seem like a crowded ballot, it is the norm for Louisiana. Since 1990, an average of 10 measures have appeared annually on the statewide ballot, with an average of 74 percent of them approved by voters.


Rendering of proposed Golden State Warriors' arena project by Steelblue

Local California voters are poised to give the final word on well over a billion dollars in taxes, bonds, local revenue and public spending, as well as other key development and government questions - such as the future of development for the San Francisco waterfront - that will have a huge impact on the lives of local residents and the state as a whole.

Over one hundred local measures are on June 3, 2014 election ballots for voters across California. Many measures seek to approve parcel taxes or bond issues for schools, city road repair, emergency medical services and more. While affecting the tax burden and personal wealth of residents, these funding questions also determine the services that each school, city and county will be able to offer, which will have drastic effects on the lives of all residents. Other measures are more unique and will have more direct consequences.

"Yes on Measure M" logo

If approved, a unique initiative, spearheaded by Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam, would require the county to maintain all county-owned roads, parks and buildings in the same or better condition. Opponents of this initiative argue that, because the measure will require tens of millions of dollars in new county spending while approving no new revenue streams, it will ultimately require the county to short change essential services such as police and fire safety. Proponents of the initiative use the same reasoning to come to an entirely different conclusion. They argue that the initiative will force the county supervisors to trim the fat off of their annual budget, eliminating unnecessary spending and prioritizing more effectively. They also propose that the measure will ensure county residents have a well-maintained road system, beautiful, clean and safe park facilities and county facilities not afflicted by disrepair.[15][16]

Perhaps the most notable measure on the ballot is being voted on in San Francisco, where voters will see a question that would, if approved, require voter approval for any construction project on the waterfront that exceeded current height zoning limits. This measure has triggered a battle between development interests and preservation activists and features many of the same key players that were active in November campaigning on both sides of the 8 Washington Street project in Measure B and Measure C. This measure would require voter approval in a November referendum before arena projects proposed by the Giants and the Golden State Warriors could go forward. It would also delay several proposed hotel and condo development projects. The prospect of such a delay and the possibility of voter-rejection motivated the Golden State Warriors to abandon their project on Piers 30-32, moving the site of their new arena to the Mission Bay neighborhood instead.[17][18]

The proposed seal of Jefferson State

The concept of splitting up California has been around for a long time. Although a new proposal to divide California into six different states began circulating this year, the concept of a Jefferson State, to consist of counties in Northern California and, possibly, some counties in the south of Oregon, was envisioned more than half a century ago. An important step in the state split attempt for Tehama and Del Norte counties was staged for the June 3, 2014 election. Voters in both counties will see an advisory question concerning a resolution calling for a state split, according to Article IV, Section 3, of the U.S. Constitution. The questions, which are both called Measure A, were designed to gauge the voters' feelings toward the issue.[19]

One of the largest bond issues - $300 million - featured in the primary election will be decided by voters in the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, which spans Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. Measure AA bond money would be used to maintain, preserve, improve and construct hiking trails, natural areas, wildlife habitat areas and other park assets and open space. Proponents urge voters to recognize the importance of preserving the natural flora and fauna on the West Coast both for the enjoyment of residents and as one of the most valuable assets of the area, driving tourism, jobs and property value. Opponents, including the president of the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association, Mark W.A. Hinkle, and chair of the Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County, Edward Leo Wimmers, say that the measure is not explicit or specific enough about what and when the bond money will be spent and how much will end up being spent on interest for the loan. They posit that Measure AA is an iladvised move for voters and taxpayers from a financial perspective.[20]

See also

2014 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2014 Scorecard


  1. California 2014 Primary Voter Information Guide, "Proposition 41," accessed June 1, 2014
  2. ABC 10, "Gov. Jerry Brown signs Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act in San Diego," October 10, 2013
  3. California League of Women Voters, "Proposition 41: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014," accessed June 1, 2014
  4. Legal Insurrection, "California Tea Party Group’s Picks for June 3rd Election," June 2, 2014
  5. Humboldt Republic Women, "Prop 41: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014," May 18, 2014
  6. San Diego Tea Party, "Tea Party Voter Guide 2014 (Primary)," May 20, 2014
  7. California Green Party, "Why the Green Party Opposes Proposition 41", June 1, 2014
  8. California Statewide Direct Primary Election Guide, "Arguments and Rebuttals," accessed May 7, 2014
  9. California 2014 Primary Voter Information Guide, "Proposition 42," accessed June 1, 2014
  10. Yes on 42, "WHO SUPPORTS PROP 42?," accessed June 1, 2014
  11. California Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance: Yes on 42, The Public's Right to Know Act, Sponsored by Firefighters & Building Trade Organizations," accessed June 3, 2014
  12. Green Party of California, "Why the Green Party opposes Proposition 42," June 1, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 South Carolina General Assembly, "Bill 3541 Text," accessed May 28, 2014
  14. WLTX 19, "No More Electing the Adjutant General?," May 20, 2014
  15. Pacific Coast Business Times, "Editorial: Measure M sets stage for urgent pension reform in SB County," May 23, 2014
  16. Santa Maria Times, "Measure M means no new jail, higher taxes," April 27, 2014
  17. Golden State Warriors, "Arena Development Project Announcements," accessed February 4, 2014
  18. San Francisco Chronicle, "Signatures for SF Waterfront Height Limit," February 4, 2014
  19. Daily News Business, "Tehama County to put Jefferson question on ballot," December 4, 2013
  20. Santa Clara County Elections Department website, "June 3, 2014, ballot measures," accessed March 14, 2014