San Francisco Mandated Spending Charter Amendment, 2009

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The San Francisco Mandated Spending Charter Amendment was proposed as a ballot measure in San Francisco in 2009 but it did not ultimately go to the ballot.

It would have:

  • Allowed the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to "mark" budget allocations to ensure the money is spent.[1]
  • The mayor would be required to spend this money, unless the mayor was successful with a veto.
  • It would take eight votes on the county board of supervisors to overturn a mayoral veto.[2]

Supervisor Chris Daly was the measure's main proponent. Daly said, "I heard somewhere it was his [Mayor Gavin Newsom’s] number one priority to kill so I am proud to have my name on it."[1]

Daly, Carmen Chu and David Campos are on the Board of Supervisors' 3-person Rules Committee. The committee voted 2-1 on July 6 to support the proposed charter amendment. Campos voted with Daly in favor of the mandated spending amendment, while Chu voted against it.

  • Chu said it is not a good idea to mandate spending.[1]
  • Campos said, "This measure is an important step in addressing what I believe is a structural imbalance in terms of the power of the mayor vis-a-vis the board over the budget. This amendment tries to create a level playing field.[1]


In 2007, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom refused to spend some money the board had allocated. He has no legal obligation to spend funds allocated by the board of supervisors and he is allowed to cut funds that the board does allocate when there is a forecast of a budget shortfall.[1]

Path to the ballot

To be placed on the November 2, 2009 ballot, the measure will need the vote of six supervisors on the county board.[1]