San Diego voters will find a nine local propositions on the ballot, with an increase in the local minimum wage and a long-term plan to fix crumbling infrastructure the key ones. There’s also one statewide proposition. Here’s what these proposed laws would do, and who supports them.
Proposition A — Redistricting
This proposition raises the number of members on the city’s independent redistricting commission from seven to nine to increase the diversity of representation and clarifies rules. This change has support from the City Council, League of Women Voters and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. There is little or no opposition.
Proposition B — Bonds
This is a housekeeping change to the City Charter regarding procedures for issuing bonds to borrow money. The change is necessary to conform with California law. There is little or no opposition.
Proposition C — Property Taxes
This is another housekeeping change to ensure that property tax collection conforms to California law. There is little or no opposition.
Proposition D — Salaries
This proposition clarifies archaic language in the City Charter and ensures that the City Council has ultimate say in setting salaries for public employees. This change has support from the City Council, League of Women Voters and the Chamber of Commerce. There is little or no opposition.
Proposition E — Budget Process
This measure updates the City Charter to streamline the city’s budgeting process, remove impractical deadlines and require multi-year capital budget planning. It has support from the City Council, League of Women Voters and the Chamber of Commerce. There is little or no opposition.
Proposition F — Financial Operations
This proposition would allow proceeds from the sale of city-owned property to be used for public improvements and require a two-thirds vote of the City Council to spend emergency reserves. It also brings the city into the modern age by allowing electronic fund transfers for certain payments. The measure has support from the City Council, League of Women Voters and the Chamber of Commerce. There is little or no opposition.
Proposition G — ‘Close-Out’ Audits
This measure eliminates a requirement for the city to audit officials and officers upon their death, resignation or removal from office. This is now done routinely by the city’s human resources department. The measure has support from the City Council, League of Women Voters and the Chamber of Commerce. There is little or no opposition.
Proposition H — Infrastructure
The “Rebuild San Diego” proposition, championed by City Councilman Mark Kersey, would dedicate between $3 billion and $4.5 billion over 25 years for neighborhood improvements. The money wouldn’t come from higher taxes, but from three existing city revenue streams: sales tax growth, major general fund growth and pension payment savings. The City Council approved the plan 7-2. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the Chamber of Commerce are supporters, but critics like Councilman David Alvarez say the measure doesn’t go far enough.
Proposition I — Minimum Wage
Proposition I gives voters a chance to weigh in on a city ordinance raising San Diego’s minimum wage from the statewide $10 to $10.50 an hour almost immediately, and to $11.50 an hour on Jan. 1. Thereafter, raises would be based on increases in the cost of living.
The measure also requires all employees to receive earned sick leave of up to 40 hours per year.
This is by far the most contentious measure on the ballot, with business and political heavyweights on both sides. It’s on the ballot instead of already law because of a signature drive in 2014 backed by the business community. The Chamber of Commerce opposes it, but on the other side is Irwin Jacobs, co-found of San Diego’s largest company, Qualcomm.
Many cities have raised their minimum wage even higher, notably Los Angeles at $10.50 already and San Francisco at $13 on July 1. California’s minimum wage will increase in stages to $15 by 2022. So a “yes” vote may have only a minor impact on both the prevailing local minimum wage and San Diego’s competitive position.
California Proposition 50
There’s only one state proposition on the primary ballot, but many more are coming in the general election in November.
Proposition 50 would allow each house of the state legislature to suspend a member without pay on a two-thirds vote. They can already do this on a simple majority vote, but the suspended member continues to receive his or her roughly $100,000-a-year salary. The League of Women Voters is a strong supporter, but two San Diego legislators — state Sen. Joel Anderson and Assembly Member Brian Jones — are against it.