On Tuesday, November 2nd, voters will be asked to vote on:
n 16 state measures;
n a County of Los Angeles half-cent sales tax increase measure
n a City of Los Angeles bond measure to clean up storm water pollution;
n a City of Santa Monica measure to increase the hotel bed tax two percent from 12 percent to 14 percent; and
n a Santa Monica College District bond measure.
The ballot propositions and measures include:
1A — Protection of local government revenues
Cities, counties and special districts provide services such as police and fire protection, water, libraries and parks and recreation programs.
Local governments pay for these costs basically with three types of taxes, fees and user charges — property taxes, local sales taxes and vehicle license fees. But the State Legislature has authority over these taxes and in the past has diverted such local revenues for a variety of other purposes, including reducing state costs.
Proposition 1A would amend the State Constitution to reduce state authority over major local government revenue.
Proposition 1A and Proposition 65 have many of the same goals but differ in the details.
ARGUMENT FOR: The proposition is needed to stop the state from raiding local tax dollars. The state has diverted more than $40 billion of these local tax dollars during the past 12 years.
ARGUMENT AGAINST: Proposition 1A does not include school districts, so leaves the state with the ability to raid property taxes for school districts.
The proposition could hurt school districts in the future as the state shifts its raiding efforts to school district property tax revenue. The proposition locks in present local sales tax rates in the State Constitution. Removes the benefit of having the state oversee runaway local spending.
59 — Public access to public records; government meetings open to the public
Proposition 59 adds to the State Constitution the requirement that meetings of public bodies and writings of public officials and agencies be open to public scrutiny.
The measure requires that statutes or other types of government decisions be broadly interpreted to further the public’s right to access government information.
Exempts some information from disclosure, such as law enforcement records. Proposition 59 would require that future governmental actions that limit the right of access by the public would have to demonstrate the need for that restriction.
The measure does not directly require that any specific information be made to the public.
However, the measure creates a constitutional right for the public to have access to government information. As a result, a government agency would have to demonstrate to a greater extent than currently required why the information should be denied to the public.
(A disclosure: Proposition 59 was proposed by and is strongly supported by the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the California First Amendment Coalition. The Argonaut is a member of both organizations.)
ARGUMENT FOR: The public needs to know what its government is doing. This is especially true in the issues of land use and government contracts.
Although there are state laws that ought to be helping members of the public know what is happening, elected officials and their staff are increasingly resistant to allowing the public to know what and why government decisions are being made.
Proposition 59 increases the burden on government to show why public information shouldn’t be made available to the public.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST: Some government officials argue that it is too cumbersome and expensive for government agencies to post notices of upcoming public meetings or to make meeting information available to the public.
As government agencies enter into more and more “partnerships” with private entities, some government bureaucrats say the details of such agreements need to be kept secret from the public or private developers and others won’t enter into such agreements.
Proposition 59 is opposed by some because the measure doesn’t go far enough to guarantee the public access to information and documents of government agencies.
60 — Retains partisan primary elections
Proposition 60 would retain the partisan primary system we now have and Proposition 62 would change that primary system to an “open” primary in which voters could vote for candidates in any party.
Proposition 60 essentially says that the top vote-getter in a party primary has the right to advance to the general election and cannot be denied a position on the general election ballot. Proposition 60 puts the present political party primary system into the State Constitution.
ARGUMENT FOR: Every political party has the right to have only members of its political party nominate candidates for the general election. The top vote-getting candidate in a party primary ought to have the right to advance to the general election.
ARGUMENT AGAINST: Proposition 60 is really not about the primary, but rather, about the top candidate in a party primary being guaranteed the right to advance to the general election.
Political party bosses don’t want an open primary (Proposition 62) because it dilutes the power of the party bosses and transfers the right to select general election candidates to the voters.
60A — Money from sale of most surplus state property would go to pay off specific state bonds
Requires that proceeds from sale of surplus property be used to pay the principal and interest in the $15 billion Proposition 57 bonds that voters approved in March to “bail out” the state’s severe budget crisis.
ARGUMENT FOR: It is estimated that the state has more than $1 billion in surplus property that could be sold to help lower the debt caused by the passage of the March bonds.
ARGUMENT AGAINST: Proposition 60A doesn’t force the sale of state surplus property. It only says that if surplus property is sold, the funds must be used to pay off bond debt.
61 — Authorizes $750 million in bonds for children’s hospital projects
Authorizes the state to issue $750 million in bonds for grants to children’s hospitals for construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishings and equipment.
ARGUMENT FOR: Children’s hospitals in the state treat children with the most serious and deadly diseases. More than a million times last year, children facing life-threatening illness or injury were cared for at the hospitals that will benefit from Proposition 61.
ARGUMENT AGAINST: Californians have already approved billions of dollars in bond sales and mortgaged their future. Raising money in these times of deficits and high debt by more borrowing is not the way to go.
62 — Establishes open primaries; voters in state primaries could vote for candidates in any political party
Creates an open primary, allowing voters in a primary to vote for candidates of any party. Exempts presidential and party central committee elections.
The top two vote-getting candidates in the primary, regardless of party, would advance to a general election. If approved, the open primary would go into effect in March 2006.
ARGUMENT FOR: Gives voters — not party bosses — the opportunity to pick candidates who move forward to the general election. The open primary expands voter choices, will increase voter turnout and create more competition in elections.
ARGUMENT AGAINST: Could eliminate party choice in the general election. If the general election choice is between two candidates of the same party, voters in a competing party will have no candidate in their party in the general election. Candidates in smaller parties would never make it onto the general election ballot.
63 — Establishes a 1 percent tax on net annual incomes above $1 million to fund mental health services
Would place a one percent personal income tax surcharge on personal annual incomes of $1 million or greater beginning January 1st.
The surcharge revenue would be used to expand county mental health programs.
It is estimated that 25,000 to 30,000 taxpayers would pay the surcharge, which is expected to generate $275 million in the present fiscal year, which continues until June 30th, $750 million in the coming fiscal year that begins July 1st, and $800 million during the fiscal year 2006-07.
If Proposition 63 passes, the state would create a new state fund, the Mental Health Services Fund, and surcharge revenues would be distributed by the fund, outside the state budget and would not be subject to change by the governor or the State Legislature.
Each county would establish a three-year plan for mental health services within its county and be responsible for annual reports on how such funds are being administered within its county.
ARGUMENT FOR: Hundreds of thousands of children and adults suffer from severe mental illness and cannot get the treatment they need.
ARGUMENT AGAINST: Prop. 63 requires the State Legislature to continue existing funding for mental health programs. It is not good to pin the hopes of promised achievement on the income of so few taxpayers. The surcharge will chase high-income taxpayers out of the state.
64 — Requires that plaintiffs in “unfair business” lawsuits have actually suffered losses before lawsuits can be filed
Currently, persons initiating lawsuits under unfair business competition laws do not have to show that they have suffered injury or lost money or property.
Some attorneys have filed suits against small businesses with the intent of extracting a monetary settlement for dismissal of such lawsuits. Proposition 64 would allow only the state attorney general to file unfair competition lawsuits unless the plaintiff can show a suffering of injury or loss of money property.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of someone else would require that the lawsuit meet additional requirement of class action lawsuits.
ARGUMENT FOR: Would stop the trend of “nuisance” and “frivolous” lawsuits that were filed against small businesses with the intent of “shaking down” the small business “to make the lawsuit go away.”
Among the hundreds of such “shakedown” lawsuits have been suits filed against travel agents who did not put their license number of their Web sites, small businesses that did not spell out the term APR in their advertising and small businesses which had allowed parking lot markings for their blue handicap parking to fade.
Proposition 64 would still allow those who have been injured or damaged to file law suits.
Settlement money in such class action suits would go to the attorney general and not into the pockets of unscrupulous trial lawyers.
ARGUMENT AGAINST 64: Proposition 64 would also impact lawsuits against violators of environmental, public health, privacy and consumer protection laws. The proposition would make it difficult for individuals to file lawsuits.
65 — Requires voter approval before state can take funding away from counties, cities and special districts
Amends the State Constitution to significantly reduce the State Legislature’s authority to make changes affecting any local government’s revenues from the property tax, sales tax and vehicle license fees without specific approval of state voters.
ARGUMENT FOR: Prop. 65 was added to the ballot before Proposition 1A came along. No argument supporting Proposition 65 was provided for the state voter information guide
ARGUMENT AGAINST 65: Proposition 65 was written and added to the ballot before Proposition 1A. Even early supporters of Proposition 65 now oppose Proposition 65 and urge passage of Proposition 1A because 1A is “a better, more flexible approach to protect funding for vital local services.”
66 — Limits “Three Strikes” law to violent and serious felonies; increases punishment for crimes against children
Amends the “Three Strikes” law passed by voters in 1994 to require increased sentences only when a current conviction is for a specific and serious felony.
Redefines violent and serious felonies. Allows conditioned re-sentencing of persons with sentences increased under “Three Strikes.” Increases punishment for specified sex crimes against children.
ARGUMENT FOR: As of April there were 163,000 inmates in the state prison system. It is estimated it will cost the state $5.7 billion to run its state prison system this fiscal year.
Proposition 66 will not release criminals serving time for murder, rape, kidnapping, child molestation and other truly violent and serious crimes.
The measure will apply common-sense sentences to nonviolent, petty offenders.
The proposition 66 will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The proposition increases protection for children against child molesters.
ARGUMENT AGAINST 66: Twenty-six thousand convicted criminals could be released if Proposition 66 is passed.
Supporters want voters to believe that state prisons are full of petty criminals serving life sentences for writing bad checks and stealing T-shirts.
The reality is that the average inmate is convicted of five felonies before ever reaching a state prison. Judges and district attorneys already have the discretion not to prosecute petty crimes as “three strikes” crimes.
Proposition 66 doesn’t protect children as supporters say it would. Nor will Prop. 66 save money because taxpayers will pay millions to returns thousands of inmates to county jails for re-sentencing and release.
67 — Increases telephone surcharges and establishes other funds for emergency medical services
Provides funding to physicians, hospitals and community clinics for uncompensated emergency medical care, emergency personnel training and equipment and emergency telephone system improvements.
Increased state revenues of about $500 million annually are projected from surcharges and other actions authorized in Proposition 67, including:
n a three percent surcharge on telephone usage within California;
n shifting from counties to the state administration of Maddy Emergency Medical Services Funds established under the Prop 99 tobacco tax measure; and
n a requirement that the state continue to spend about $32 million a year in Proposition 99 tobacco funds to reimburse physicians and community clinics for uncompensated medical care.
ARGUMENT FOR 67: We are facing a crisis in emergency and trauma care.
Throughout the state, there are 64 fewer hospital emergency rooms and trauma centers than there were a decade ago — and more emergency rooms and trauma centers are expected to close in the future. Yet, the population and the need for such services continue to grow.
Proposition 67 caps the amount of the fee a telephone company can charge for this new service to 50 cents a month. Seniors and those of lifeline services are exempt from the surcharge.
ARGUMENT AGAINST 67: This is really just a tax on telephone use. There is no cap on cell phone usage and small business phone systems.
Less than one percent of the revenue generated by Prop 67 will go to 9-1-1 improvements.
There are no adequate financial controls or audits in the proposition.
Since many hospitals are run by big corporations, these funds will go to big corporations with no guarantee that emergency rooms and trauma centers will be kept open.
68 — Casino gambling; unless Indian casinos agree to pay 25 percent of their revenues to the state, 16 non-Indian establishments (card rooms and horse-racing tracks) could establish 30,000 slot machines, with 33 percent of their net revenues going to the state.
Federal law and the State Constitution govern gambling operations on Indian land.
Currently, 64 tribes have compacts and operate 53 casinos with a total of more than 54,000 slot machines. Any new or amended compact must be approved by the State Legislature, the governor and the federal government.
The proposal in Proposition 68, which amends the State Constitution and state statutes, would set up two possible scenarios:
1. The first would occur only if all Indian tribes with existing compacts agree to pay 25 percent of their “net win” to a state fund and agree to comply with certain state laws, including environmental protection, gambling regulation and political campaign contribution.
2. If the tribes do not agree to these terms, five existing racetracks and 11 existing card rooms would be allowed to operate slot machines in exchange for 30 percent of the “net win” to the above-mentioned state fund, two percent of the “net win” to the city and one percent “net win” to the county in which the gambling facility is located.
The 30 percent of the “net win” to the state fund would be in the place of any state or local gambling-related taxes or fees enacted after September 1, 2003.
ARGUMENT FOR 68: Sheriff Lee Baca not only supports Prop 68, but he, the sheriff of Sacramento County and the president of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs wrote the argument supporting the proposition for the state voter information guide.
Indian casinos earn between $5 billion and $8 billion a year through a monopoly granted by the state, yet pay almost nothing even though the casinos use roads, police, fire and emergency medical service paid by taxpayers. Last year, one Indian casino had a slot machine profit of more than $300 million and paid no taxes. It’s time that Indian casinos paid their fair share in taxes.
In Connecticut and New York, Indian casinos pay the state up to 25 percent of winnings in exchange for retaining their monopolies.
Proposition 68 tells the Indian casinos they can keep their present monopoly if they pay a 25 percent share like Indian casinos in Connecticut and New York. If the Indian casinos don’t want to do this, they would lose their monopoly on slot machines.
It is estimated that Prop 68 would generate nearly $2 billion for the state fund, which would be distributed to local governments around the state, with each local community benefiting equally.
ARGUMENT AGAINST 68: This is a sweetheart deal for gambling interests and goes against the earlier compacts the state made with Indian tribes.
Because the 16 new slot machine casinos that would be allowed under this proposition are in urban areas, Proposition 68 brings slot machine gambling to areas near schools and major streets and freeways in our urban communities.
Not a single penny generated by Proposition 68 can be used to help balance the state budget.
While Baca and the Sacramento County sheriff support Proposition 68, the measure is opposed by the sheriffs of 34 other counties.
69 — Requires collection of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) from felons and others arrested for certain crimes; DNA information would be placed in a state DNA databank
Under current law, any person convicted of a serious felony is required to provide a blood sample from which DNA is obtained.
Proposition 69 expands the collection of DNA to include all convicted felons and some non-felons as well as individuals arrested for certain offenses, including arrests for sex offense, murder or voluntary manslaughter or attempts to commit such crimes.
In 2009, DNA collection would be expanded to adults arrested or charged with any felony offense. Those who are not convicted, could have their DNA removed from the database.
ARGUMENT FOR 69: A large DNA database helps law enforcement agencies solve more crimes and helps prevent crimes by taking criminals off the streets. An effective DNA database also helps innocent people who are wrongly accused of crimes.
ARGUMENT AGAINST 69: Proposition 69 traps innocent people into a criminal database. The state already has a database of serious criminals.
The proposition allows collection of DNA samples from everyone arrested, even if their identity is mistaken.
Taking thousands of innocent people’s DNA and storing it alongside that of felons in a database is wrong. Criminal databases risk the privacy right of innocent people.
Proposition 69 does nothing to protect the innocent.
In Nevada, a 26-year-old man was jailed for more than a year before it was discovered that the crime lab had switched his DNA with that of a true rapist.
In Texas, the misinterpretation of a DNA sample caused an innocent man to spend four years in jail.
Once the government has your DNA, there is no obligation to remove it.
70 — Gives Indian tribes unlimited casino expansion rights for 99 years in exchange for 8.84 percent of revenues
Requires the governor to amend any existing Indian casino contract or enter into a new contract with any Indian tribe, giving the tribe a renewable 99-year gambling compact with no limits on the number of machines, facilities or types of games on Indian land.
In exchange, the Indian casinos would be required to pay the state the same amount of tax as corporations pay (currently 8.84 percent), but only if Indian casinos get to maintain their monopoly on casino gambling in the state.
Proposition 70 allows Indian casinos to expand to any type of gambling, including roulette and craps. The proposition would eliminate the 1999 compact restrictions on the number of slot machines that could be installed in a casino.
Proposition 70 would go into effect only if Proposition 70 passes and receives more yes votes than Proposition 68.
ARGUMENT FOR 70: Indian tribes will pay their fair share of taxes, just as other corporations in the state do.
Proposition 70 will keep casino gambling on Indian land, not like Proposition 68, which would allow slot machines throughout the state.
Under 70, Indian tribes would prepare environmental impact reports and develop a good-faith plan to mitigate any significant adverse environmental impact after consultation with local police and local governments.
ARGUMENT AGAINST 70: More than 60 Indian tribes operate casinos in the state but only one is sponsoring Proposition 70.
The tribe says it wants to be treated like other corporations in the state, but what other corporation can’t be audited by the state to determine taxable income or gets a 99-year casino gambling agreement?
There is no provision in Proposition 70 requiring Indian tribes to pay their fair share of taxes.
Proposition 70 paves the way for unlimited casino gambling in the state without any size restrictions.
If Proposition 70 passes, it will be almost impossible to change in the future because it is a constitutional amendment.
71 — Established a state institute to regulate and fund stem cell research, authorizes a bond issue of up to $3 billion to finance stem cell research and forbids funding of human reproductive cloning research
A stem cell is a type of cell found in both animals and humans that has the potential to develop into many different types of specialized cells in the body.
Scientists have conducted research on stem cells to understand better how animals and humans develop and how healthy cells replace damaged cells.
This research has led to the development of treatments of a variety of cancers and blood disorders.
Some scientists believe that stem cell research may, at some point in the future, result in new treatments of diseases, such as cancer, birth defects, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes. There is also the possibility of improving information about drug safety and usage.
State law currently permits research involving stem cells. The University of California is currently engaged in this type of research.
The federal government provides funding for research that uses different types of stem cells, including adult and embryonic stem cells.
In the 2002 federal fiscal year, the federal government dedicated more than $180 million in funding for stem cell research conducted nationwide.
The federal government currently places certain restrictions on funding for research that uses embryonic stem cells.
State law currently prohibits human reproductive cloning, a process to create a human that is an exact genetic copy of another.
Proposition 71 would authorize the state to sell $3 billion in general obligation bonds to provide funding for stem cell research and research facilities in California through grants and loans.
Bond sales would be limited to no more than $350 million per year. Proposition 71 does not require in statute that the bonds be sold over a ten-year period.
ARGUMENT FOR 71: Medical problems that could benefit from stem cell research affect 128 million Americans — including a child or adult in nearly half of all California families.
Unfortunately, political squabbling has severely limited funding for the most promising areas of stem cell research while millions of people suffer and die.
Proposition 71 is set up as an affordable solution that closes the research gap, so that new treatments and cures can be found.
Proposition 71 does not create or increase any taxes. The proposed bonds would be self-financing for the first five years.
By making California a leader in stem cell research, the state not only has the opportunity to advance the cure of many diseases, Proposition 71 will generate thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in new state revenues through royalties in the sharing of research information.
California has the nation’s highest total health care spending costs — more than $110 billion annually. A huge share of those costs are caused by the diseases that could be treated or cured with stem cell therapies.
If Proposition 71 leads to cures that reduce our health costs by even one percent, Proposition 71 will pay for itself.
ARGUMENT AGAINST 71: The state cannot afford to pile another $3 billion in bonded debt on top of a state budget teetering on the edge of financial ruin.
Proposition 71 really benefits the pharmaceutical companies and venture capitalists who funded this measure.
There is no accountability how the money will be spent.
72 — Endorses state legislation requiring employers of more than 50 employees to provide healthcare insurance for uninsured workers
Last year, the State Legislature passed and the governor signed legislation (Senate Bill 2) that would have mandated that employers pay a fee to the state to provide health insurance for employees and in some cases for the dependents of employees.
Employers could opt out of the state insurance program by providing health insurance to employees and in some cases the dependents of employees.
Employers choosing their own health insurance plan would have been responsible for paying 80 percent of health insurance costs and the employee 20 percent.
Even though the employer opted out of the state health insurance program, the employer would pay a fee to help establish and administer the state health insurance program.
Under Senate Bill 2, employers with 200 or more employees would be responsible for providing health insurance for employees and their dependents beginning January 1st, 2006; employers with 50 to 199 employees would be responsible for providing health insurance only for employees, beginning January 1st, 2007. Senate Bill 2 said that employers with 20 to 49 employees would have to provide health insurance to employees only if the State Legislature passed a future tax credit, which the Legislature has not done.
The Senate bill exempted employers with 20 or fewer employees.
Senate Bill 2 was scheduled to go into effect January 1st, but was put on hold when Proposition 72 qualified for the ballot.
Proposition 72 essentially says, “Should Senate Bill 2 be allowed go into effect?”
ARGUMENT FOR 72: Proposition 72 will provide health insurance to 1.1 million working people and children currently without health insurance.
Thirty percent of California businesses have indicated that they plan to cut health insurance for their employees.
The amount that California families pay for health insurance has increased 70 percent in the last three years.
The uninsured are loading up hospital emergency rooms, causing delays and additional burdens on already overloaded medical staffs and facilities.
Because hospitals are not being reimbursed for caring for the uninsured, many hospitals are losing money and going out of business.
Proposition 72 will shift many employees out of emergency rooms and into treatment by their own doctors.
Proposition 72 will include prescription drugs, preventive medical care and major medical coverage.
By having all employers pay for employee health insurance, Proposition 72 will level the competitive playing field by eliminating the present situation where some companies have a competitive edge because they provide no health insurance for their employees.
ARGUMENT AGAINST 72: Proposition 72 does nothing to control spiraling health costs but establishes still another layer of expensive state bureaucracy in the health care field.
Proposition 72 creates a government-run health care system, full of waste and mismanagement.
The proposition could lead to the termination of up to 500,000 jobs by employers who can’t afford the added costs of this health care program.
The proposal may actually hurt employees and dependents who now have health care through their employers but who may find themselves in a government-run system that forces employees to abandon their own doctors in exchange for government-approved providers.
The Orange County Register suggested Proposition 72 will bring employees and their dependents “the bedside manner of the DMV.”
The proposition will drive businesses to cut back their workforce and some businesses to leave the state. It will be especially difficult on nonprofit organizations that will now have to come up with the money to pay for health insurance of their employees.
A — Authorizes a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for expanded law enforcement in the county and each of its cities
Authorizes an additional half-cent special sales and use tax in Los Angeles County to pay for funding of public safety services, including police, fire, sheriff, anti-terrorism and homeland security programs.
Could be used for personnel, facilities and equipment.
Two percent of the revenue generated by the additional half-cent sales and use tax would go to the county to upgrade communications among public safety agencies; nine percent would go to sheriff’s custody operations, such as jails, and six percent for other county law enforcement and justice-related purposes, such as prosecution and defense costs.
The remaining revenue would go to the county and cities in the county and be distributed based on population, with each participating entity getting at least $500,000.
The measure requires passage by two-thirds of voters and would go into effect April 1st.
ARGUMENT FOR MEASURE A: There is a serious crime situation in the county and police and sheriff’s departments are not adequately staffed to respond.
Los Angeles is one of the nation’s top terrorist targets but law enforcement resources are spread too thin to properly respond.
Measure A would create 5,000 more uniformed police and sheriff’s deputies, build a modern 9-1-1 communication system, fund crime prevention programs and stop the early release of prisoners from county jails.
ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE A: This is just a tax-and-spend effort. Voters already approved a half-cent sales tax increase, specifically for law enforcement, in Proposition 172.
We don’t need new taxes. What we need is the political will to use tobacco settlement funds for their intended purpose to free up more than $400 million in general fund for the sheriff and other public safety agencies.
We need to stop raiding pubic safety revenues for non-public safety uses, streamline government operations and eliminate inefficiency, and identify and deport criminal illegal aliens in county jails.
City of Los Angeles
O — Authorizes $500 million in bonds to pay for storm water projects, efforts to keep pollution and trash out of rivers, creeks and beaches, maintain clean drinking water, reduce impact of flooding and increase water conservation
Would authorize the City of Los Angeles to issue $500 million in projects that clean up polluted storm water and bacteria in the city’s rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean.
ARGUMENT FOR PROPOSITION O: Storm water runoff carries tons of trash and dangerous bacteria through neighborhoods and into rivers, the bay and ocean.
The runoff contaminates everything downstream, threatening public health, fish and wildlife.
More than 10,000 tons of trash washes up on local beaches each year, resulting in the closing of those beaches to protect public health.
Prop O will ensure clean drinking water by protecting groundwater and increasing water conservation.
There has been no official opposition to City of Los Angeles Proposition O.
City of Santa Monica
N — Authorizes the increase of the hotel occupancy tax from 12 to 14 percent, which would generate an additional $3.5 million annually to the city general fund for purposes such as police, fire, libraries, parks and recreation.
PROPOSITION N: The hotel room tax supports city services, environmental protection and after-school programs. It helps the city make community-use payments to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
This tax is paid entirely by visitors. It doesn’t cost residents one dime.
This local tax can’t be taken away by the state to solve its own budget problems. The proceeds of the tax stay right here in our community.
The proposed increase of two percent — just a few dollars on the average hotel bill — brings the Santa Monica tax in line with Los Angeles and other Southern California communities.
There has been no official opposition to City of Santa Monica Proposition N.
Santa Monica Community College District
S — Authorizes the community college district to issue $135 million in bonds to replace or repair deteriorating buildings, construct and equip laboratories and meet new needs in emerging technologies.
MEASURE S: All $135 million of bond proceeds will be spent within the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu. None of the bond proceeds can be taken away by the State of California.
All projects funded by bond proceeds will be available for authorized educational and public uses with citizens’ oversight, annual performance and financial audit.
Bond proceeds will not be used to purchase residential property. The college district will not unilaterally override City of Santa Monica or City of Malibu land use authority.
At least $25 million will be used for an instructional facility and field space in Malibu.
Specific projects include an Early Childhood Development lab facility, a Music and Performing Arts Complex to support new University of California admission requirements and a new Career Opportunity Center to support programs in emerging technologies.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST MEASURE S: Some people oppose Measure S because they believe Santa Monica College primarily enrolls students who do not live in Santa Monica or Malibu. Some people also believe the timing is too soon after the $160 million college bond Measure U was approved two years ago.