Residents to Consider 5 Statewide Ballot Measures

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Southland residents will join voters from across the state weighing in on five statewide ballot propositions today, including a proposed $4 billion bond measure to fund parks, water-quality and flood- protection projects.

Proposition 68 would provide funds for purchasing and protecting wilderness and open-space areas, and to maintain and operate local and regional parks. It would also fund construction and repair of flood-control projects, provide local grants to improve access to clean drinking water and fund various other water-quality projects.

Supporters, including Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, will help position the state to recover from droughts, wildfires, severe weather and other issues while protecting access to clean water and ensuring the availability of open space.

Opponents, including the Central Coast and Howard Jarvis taxpayers associations, question the viability of the funding, claiming the proposition is misleadingly billed as a parks-improvement measure. The association contend only a fraction of the money is actually earmarked for parks, and the funds would not be distributed fairly across the state.

Proposition 69 would amend the state Constitution and require funds generated by the state's SB 1 gas tax to be spent exclusively on transportation purposes, and prohibit the money from being diverted by the Legislature for other purposes. Proponents say it's a vital measure to protect the estimated $5 billion being raised annually by SB 1, while opponents claim SB 1 already contains restrictions on spending.

Proposition 70 would require revenue generated by the state's sale of greenhouse-gas-emission permits to be held in a reserve fund, and the money could not be used barring a two-thirds majority vote of the state Legislature. Proponents, including Gov. Jerry Brown, say the measure will prevent the funds from being diverted to politicians' ``pet projects,'' while opponents say it will contribute to legislative gridlock and undermine the state's ability to move forward with clean-energy programs.

Proposition 71 would amend the state Constitution to state that ballot measures approved by voters in statewide elections will take effect five days after the election results are certified by the Secretary of State's Office. Current law states that measures take effect the day after the election unless the measure includes a specific effective date. Proponents say the proposition ensures that all votes are counted before a measure takes effect, but opponents call it unnecessary.

Proposition 72 would prevent property taxes from being increased for residents to install rainwater-capture systems, with proponents saying residents should not be penalized for making an upgrade to their property that helps the environment.

Photo: Getty Images

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