CSAC-Supported Ballot Measures Earn Voter Approval
November 10, 2016
The CSAC Board of Directors (Board) in September voted to support three of the 17 initiatives on Tuesday’s ballot. And the Board voted earlier in the year to support a fourth. All of them were approved by voters and will become California law.
Proposition 52 would continue existing state fees on hospitals. The revenue from those fees allows the state to receive matching federal grants for health care services and help to support Medi-Cal. The measure will preserve and protect existing Hospital Quality Assurance Fee funding for health care services, benefiting hospitals, including public hospitals, while helping to ease the state’s overall budget picture. The measure earned nearly 70 percent voter approval.
Proposition 55 extends the personal income tax on high-income earners from 2018 through 2030 (counties will recall that the CSAC Board supported the first imposition of this tax via Proposition 30 in 2012). The revenues will provide ongoing funding for schools – both K-12 and community colleges – and would also create a new state budget formula for supplemental Medi-Cal spending, some of which would be allocated to our county public hospitals. Prop 55 passed with 62 percent approval by the voters.
CSAC also supported Proposition 56, which will raise the state excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products by two dollars; those revenues would be used for additional Medi-Cal spending as well as backfilling losses to the state and First 5 commissions. Prop 56 passed with 63 percent approval.
Proposition 67, a measure to supported upholding the contested legislation banning certain plastic bags (basically, retail establishments and grocery stores) that was enacted by the California State Legislature passed with roughly 52 percent of the vote. This makes California the first state in the nation to ban the sale of single-use plastic bags.
There’s always a flipside to the fun in supporting good policy; the CSAC Board also voted to oppose two initiatives on Tuesday’s ballot that eventually failed once votes were tallied. Proposition 53 would have required statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds could be issued or sold by the state for projects that are financed, owned, operated, or managed by the state or any joint agency created by or including the state if the bond amount exceeds two billion dollars. Prop 53 failed, and will not take effect, reducing the threat to local control of the approval of necessary infrastructure projects.
Voters also rejected CSAC-opposed Proposition 65, which, had it passed, would have redirected money collected by grocery and other retail stores through the sale of carryout bags whenever any state law bans the free distribution of a particular kind of carryout bag and mandates the sale of any other type of carryout bag. Those stores would have been required to deposit revenues from those sales into a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board.
But what about the other 11 propositions requiring a vote this week? Click here to see the outcome of those measures.