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Posted on: April 19, 2018

City Council pledges support for Proposition 68, 69

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In a 3-2 vote, the City Council voted to support Proposition 68 and Proposition 69. As you might have heard, both are legislative items that will be heard on the June ballot. Briefly:

  • Proposition 68: The state currently operates several programs to protect the environment and to offer recreation activities to the public, spending approximately $5 billion annually using a combination of general obligation bonds, fee revenue and the state’s general fund. These programs also offer loans and grants to local governments in support of natural resource programs. Proposition 68 would allow the state to sell $4.1 billion in general obligation bonds to support these initiatives, with $4 billion in new bonds and a reallocation of $100 million in unsold bonds that were approved for natural resource uses.
    • Per the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office:
      • A yes vote would mean that the state could sell a $4.1 billion dollar bond to support these projects
      • A no vote would prevent the state from selling a $4.1 billion dollar bond
    • If voters approve Proposition 68, San Gabriel may be able to acquire funding for improvements to Smith Park, Vincent Lugo Park and an urban trail to the Valley Boulevard commercial district

On voting against the motion, Mayor Harrington noted that “it’s a $4 billion bond, and when you start reading into the bond what it actually does, we’re going to get about less than 10 cents on the dollar from every tax dollar that leaves San Gabriel.” He continued, “If we want to increase parks in San Gabriel, let’s have a park fund ourselves. Maybe we can have a local tax where we get 100% of it.” [To hear the full quote, fast forward to 52:30 in the City Council recording linked to below]

  • Proposition 69: Perhaps the most buzzworthy proposition brought to the City Council, Proposition 69 will amend Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) to require that the state legislature spend revenues collected from SB 1 on transportation related purposes. Specifically, the proposition will prohibit the state from loaning this revenue or using it to repay state transportation bonds without voter approval.
    • Per the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office:
      • A yes vote means that the state legislature will be required to spend revenue from SB 1 on transportation purposes under the state constitution
      • A no vote means that the legislature could spend revenue collected from SB 1 on non-transportation related items
    • If voters approve Proposition 69, San Gabriel will receive funding to address a $50 million dollar backlog in pavement improvements

Mayor Harrington also voted against supporting this proposition, noting “when the first initiative was signed last year [SB 1] raising the tax, it had these constitutional protections in it.” Harrington continued, “what they’re actually accomplishing with this is to raise the amount of money they can spend and raise the amount of money they can tax by the exact amount of money they taxed us last year.” [57:46]

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