What else is on the ballot June 3rd?


Many people have already received their mail in ballot ahead of the June 3rd election. I've written before on my candidate endorsements in their primaries, but I wanted to cover two of the proposals on the ballot so you can make an informed choice.

On this ballot there will be two proposals: Proposition 41: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014, and Proposition 42: Public Records. Open Meetings. State Reimbursement to Local Agencies. Legislative Constitutional Amendment. You can read the full text of Proposition 41 and Proposition 42 via the Secretary of State's website.

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 12, the Veterans' Bond Act, which provided $900 million in bonds to help veterans purchase single-family homes, farms, and mobile homes through the CalVet Farm and Home Loan Program. Much of that money has gone unused, because it was limited to single-family homes.

Proposition 41 would authorize redirecting $600 million of that $900 million for affordable multifamily supportive housing -- to relieve homelessness, and provide affordable transitional housing, affordable rental housing, or related facilities for veterans and their families. The fiscal impact would be increased state bond costs averaging about $50 million annually over 15 years. (Info obtained via the California Secretary of State's Primary Guide)

The pro argument is that this would redirect $600 million of previously approved, unspent bond funds to construct and rehabilitate housing for California's large population of homeless veterans. The con argument is whether this is a wise and best use of those funds.

In regards to Proposition 42, the California Public Records Act (CPRA) gives anyone the right to inspect and receive copies of public records. Proposition 42 would amend the State Constitution to require local agencies to comply with CPRA and the Brown Act provisions but exempt the state from reimbursing municipalities for the costs of fulfilling these mandates. The fiscal cost would be shifting potentially tens of millions of dollars in costs from the state to local governments. (Info obtained via the California Secretary of State's Primary Guide)

The pro argument is that Proposition 42 will cement in our Constitution the public's right to know what the government is doing and how it is doing it. Local agencies shouldn't be allowed to deny a request for public information or slam a meeting door shut based on cost. The con argument is this would impose the cost of complying with the California Public Records Act and local open meeting laws upon the local governments involved. An alternative, not offered by this proposition, would be to impose the cost upon the state government.

Whatever you decide, please be sure to vote by mail now or in person June 3rd, and make your voice heard.

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