Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Are Propositions J and K legal?

A crowded Muni Metro train.
From Howard Wong at Save Muni:

Propositions J & K may be illegal---and at minimum, they are cynical and deceptive. 

· California State Law specifically prohibits more than one subject to be included in a single ballot measure. Yet the Prop J budget set-aside includes four distinct subjects (homelessness, transportation, planning, street paving) in four distinct city departments. 

· State Law requires tax measures to pass by a two-third vote. Yet Prop K requires only a 50% plus one vote by dedicating the new sales tax to general fund use---not to distinct uses. 

Both laws provide important and reasonable safeguards, and both are being violated by Props J & K. Cynically and deceptively, Prop J & K are portrayed as independent measures to circumvent the two-thirds vote requirement. But in reality Prop J & K are joint measures.

. The proponent’s political campaign advocates for Prop J & K as joint measures.

· Three city department heads are speaking for Prop J & K as joint measures.

· Legislatively, Prop J & K are joined together in the voter ballot, as described by the Department of Elections: “When the Board of Supervisors voted to place the General Sales Tax ordinance on the ballot, the legislation included a requirement that the ordinance be assigned the letter successive to the letter assigned to the Funding for Homelessness and Transportation Charter amendment.” 

For transparency and honesty, Prop J & K could have been combined as a single ballot measure that requires a two-thirds vote. But as cynical and deceptive measures, Prop J & K deserve to be rejected by voters.


Budget Set-Aside that takes funds from other needs. Only 12.6% goes to improving Muni service.


Regressive Sales Tax that disproportionately hurts low-income families. Cuts sales at local businesses in amounts that exceed new revenue. 

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