California state and local elections are June 5, and aside from electing local and state politicians, there are a variety of policies and propositions ranging from environment to transportation and education. City on a Hill Press has provided a guide to help students understand what exactly their voting for in the state and Santa Cruz County.
Santa Cruz County and City
Measure P is for Mountain Elementary School District, located above Soquel Village, issuing a $2.3 million bond, and would generate about $158,000 yearly until 2048. None of the money would be allocated to salaries, but instead would go toward roof repairs and updating older classrooms, facilities and fields.
Measure Q asks to levy a parcel tax in order to provide local funding for Happy Valley Elementary School District, which is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Money would be used to improve art and music programs, allow for updated technology in classrooms and retain teachers. The tax exempts seniors.
Measure R is for a $10.6 million bond to go toward Loma Prieta School District’s fire damage, fire alarms as well as water, electrical, heating and plumbing systems. Money would also allow for updated technology in classrooms.
Measure S is for a permanent .25 percent sales tax within the city of Santa Cruz, which would generate about $3 million annually. Money would be allocated to a multitude of community uses and services like the local police, houseless services, public spaces and fire prevention.
Measure T is for the repeal of Measure K, a ballot measure from 2006 rendered obsolete due to the legalization of recreational marijuana as of 2016. Measure K requires local officers to make the enforcement of laws regarding the use and sales of marijuana by adults the lowest priority.
Measure U is for the adoption of an ordinance that would express the city’s opposition to UC Santa Cruz’s proposed enrollment growth. The ordinance would not legally bind the university.
California State Propositions
Prop 68 proposes for the state to sell $4.1 billion in general obligation bonds to fund climate change adaptation, flood protection, water quality and supply, natural resources and parks. Voting yes allows the state to sell the $4.1 billion in bonds to fund climate oriented infrastructure, whereas voting no will not allow the state to sell bonds therefore preventing further state debt.
Prop 69 would prohibit the state from diverting the recent funding generated from vehicle fees and fuel taxes from transportation needs (fixing roads, improving transit) to other state needs. Voting yes prohibits legislators from changing the current law in the future that allocates fuel taxes and vehicle fees to transportation. Voting no leaves the law as is, which could potentially allow these funds to be diverted away from transportation.
Prop 70 as of Jan. 1, 2024, all funds accumulating from greenhouse gas emission permits would be reallocated to a reserve fund that the legislature would only use with a two-thirds vote. Currently the government can use this funding by a simple majority vote. Voting yes ensures tighter regulation of funding allocation, voting no allows the government to continue spending the revenue from these taxes and fees.
Prop 71 By default, propositions that pass in the senate and house become effective the day after the election, unless otherwise specified. Prop 71 requires statewide propositions to take effect six weeks after election day. Voting yes would change the current protocol by standardizing when propositions are put into effect. Voting no keeps the default effective date to the day after the election, although most propositions specify an effective date as is.
Prop 72 waives a property tax reassessment for rain-capture systems constructed after Jan. 1, 2019, meaning there will be no increase in a property tax bill for this reason. Voting yes eliminates additional property taxes for homeowners who install rain-capture systems, providing an incentive for rain-capture systems that preserve water to be utilized by the entire state. Voting no does not eliminate these additional home owner taxes.