With the General Election just around the corner, newspapers up and down the state have published editorials urging a “yes” vote on California Chamber of Commerce-supported Propositions 1 and 2.
To date, close to 30 newspapers have endorsed both the Proposition 1 water bond and Proposition 2, which stabilizes the state budget process and increases the rainy day reserve fund.
Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond with significant funding for needed water storage projects, is the result of a historic bipartisan agreement.
California is in a severe, multi-year drought and has an aging water infrastructure. Proposition 1 creates a comprehensive state water plan that ensures a reliable water supply for farms and businesses during severe drought, protecting both the economy and the environment.
Proposition 1 provides monies to clean contaminated groundwater which serves as a critical buffer against drought by providing additional water in years when there is not enough rainfall or snow. Proposition 1 also expands water recycling and efficiency improvements, making the best use of the state’s existing supplies. In addition, the measure provides funding for clean drinking water in communities where water is contaminated.
Proposition 1 invests in new water storage by increasing the amount of water that can be stored during wet years for the dry years that will continue to challenge California. The $7.5 billion bond plan includes $2.7 billion for water storage projects.
The measure will help protect California’s rivers, lakes and streams from pollution and contamination and provides for the restoration of fish and wildlife resources.
Excerpts on Proposition 1
Following are excerpts from some of the newspaper editorials supporting Proposition 1.
• Los Angeles Times, “Prop. 1 Bonds a First Step in Addressing State’s Water Needs”: “It is a clever compromise, and makes the bond a package deserving of voter support.” October 8, 2014.
• The Sacramento Bee, “Prop. 1 Will Address State’s Water Needs”: “Severe drought has exacerbated weaknesses in California’s water system, highlighting problems that a $7.5 billion water bond would begin to address and giving voters ample reason to approve Proposition 1 on Nov. 4.” October 4, 2014.
• Ventura County Star, “Yes on Prop. 1 for Dependable, Clean Water”: “Proposition 1 on the November ballot is an important step to deal with one of the biggest challenges facing California—protecting our supply of dependable, clean water.” October 4, 2014.
• The Orange County Register, “Yes on Prop. 1, California Water Bond”: “…there is much to commend in Prop. 1’s key funding areas. None more important than the $2.7 billion that would go to new water storage, including dams and projects that replenish groundwater.” October 3, 2014.
• Bay Area News Group, “Prop. 1 Water Bond Deserves Californians’ Support”: “One of the easiest decisions for California voters in this bone-dry year should be to pass Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on November’s ballot.” October 3, 2014.
• Merced Sun-Star, “Proposition 1 is a Crucial Investment in California’s Future”: “This is an investment we must make, and make now. This bond is our best hope for having sufficient water in our long-term future.” October 3, 2014.
• San Francisco Chronicle, “Chronicle Recommends Passage of State Prop. 1”: “Nothing focuses the mind like a crisis and the state’s three-year drought now has Californians focused on our perennial problem—high demand for water and inefficient use of what we do have. Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion bond on the Nov. 4 ballot will take a first step toward more realistic state water policy. It deserves your vote.” October 2, 2014.
• Monterey Herald, “Vote yes on Proposition 1”: “Voters around the state are being asked to pass a $7.5 billion bond measure for a whole menu of water projects—from new infrastructure including new dams to new conservation measures that would expand recycling. We encourage a yes vote.” September 23, 2014.
• U-T San Diego, “For California’s future, vote yes on Proposition 1”: “Proposition 1 will not solve California’s water problems forever more. But its rejection would threaten a pillar of California’s future.” September 13, 2014.
Proposition 2 amends the State Constitution to strengthen the requirement for a budget reserve and to pay down budget-related debt. Proposition 2 increases the size of the state’s “rainy day” reserve from $8 billion to $11 billion, and requires minimum annual contributions into that reserve of $800 million—and even more if capital gains revenues to the treasury are strong. The measure also requires that extra revenues be devoted in part to reducing budget debt, repaying funds borrowed from local school districts, or used for investment in new infrastructure or reducing long-term pension liabilities.
Placed on the ballot with bipartisan support, Proposition 2 forces the state to save money and requires politicians to live within their means and protect against unnecessary tax increases. In good times, money will be placed in a constitutionally protected reserve and used to pay down debt. In bad times, the rainy day fund can be used to protect schools, public safety and other vital services.
Proposition 2 prevents the state from spending more than it can afford. Only three years ago, California faced a $26 billion budget deficit that required the Legislature to make painful cuts and voters to approve temporary tax increases. Proposition 2 will ensure that California does not repeat this cycle of boom-and-bust budgeting.
Without a strong rainy day fund and continued fiscal restraint, the state will face future deficits and could be forced to cut funding for schools, public safety and other critical services. That is why every Democrat and Republican in the Legislature voted to support Proposition 2.
Excerpts on Proposition 2
Following are excerpts from some of the newspaper editorials supporting Proposition 2.
• The Sacramento Bee, The Modesto Bee, The Fresno Bee, “Proposition 2 Clearly is Worthy of Support”: “California’s tax structure relies heavily on high earners. Their income can fluctuate dramatically from year to year, which means the state will be flush some years and broke other years. Proposition 2 would help sand down those spikes. Voters should embrace the change.” October 9, 2014.
• San Francisco Chronicle, “Vote ‘Yes’ on Proposition Two”: “All of California’s services in public investments will benefit when the state has a healthier fiscal future, and Prop. 2 is one more step in that direction.” October 3, 2014.
• Los Angeles Times, “Yes on Proposition 2”: “Proposition 2 would help keep Sacramento from falling into the familiar trap of overspending in flush times while ignoring its debts and other long-term needs. The Times urges a yes vote.” October 2, 2014.
• U-T San Diego, “Prop. 2: Vote Yes for State Rainy-Day Fund”: “Since California relies on volatile capital-gains taxes for a good chunk of its revenue, the state government needs to budget carefully, setting aside money in boom years for use in bust years. For many years, however, state legislators and governors have been unable to meet this challenge. Proposition 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot would address this sorry history.” September 18, 2014.
For more information on Propositions 1 and 2, including the full list of newspaper endorsements, visit www.yesonProps1and2.com.