California Voters Approve Ballot Initiatives (Impacts Water, Infrastructure & Clean Water Projects)

By Jennifer Novak
Law Office of Jennifer F. Novak

June 5 was an important day for Californians. Voters approved bond initiatives that include Propositions 68, 69, 71 and 72. Of particular importance are Propositions 68 and 72 and the benefits to preparing for California climate change impacts. Here are a few highlights.

Proposition 68

The California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 will have far-reaching impact across the state.

Passing Prop 68 permits the state to sell $4.1 billion in general obligation bonds which will be distributed to environmental protection, state and local parks, water infrastructure, flood protection, land conservation projects and safe drinking water programs. Southern California will benefit as it provides support for the San Gabriel, Santa Ana and Lower Los Angeles Rivers, and the Mountains Conservancy.

General obligation bonds are offered for sale to investors and eventually paid back from the State’s General Fund over several decades. Repaying the bonds will occur over 40 years at a cost of $200 million per year.

Proposition 72: The Tax Relief Rainwater Capture Initiative

Rainwater capture systems are an excellent way for homeowners to store and reuse rainwater captured from the homeowner’s roof. Supporters of this ballot measure advocate that it can benefit local governments and agencies by conserving water during droughts. The initiative exempts taxes on adding rainwater capture systems to homes.

Up Next On The November Ballot

Voters will decide on a water bond measure which would approve $8.8 billion for water infrastructure and environmental projects that will affect state parks to restore watershed lands and other groundwater sustainability agencies. Other funds would be allocated public water infrastructure to meet safe drinking water standards. Funds will also be prioritized for disadvantaged communities.