Gas prices
Gas prices at a California station. File photo by Ben Christopher

The California Democratic Party executive board voted Sunday to oppose the measure on the November ballot to repeal last year’s gasoline tax increase while supporting the proposition to overturn a law limiting the use of rent control.

The board also voted to oppose Proposition 9, which would divide California into three states, Proposition 5, which would change requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property tax base to replacement property, and Proposition 11, that would require private-sector emergency ambulance employees to remain on call during work breaks.

Carl DeMaio, the author of the gas tax repeal, told City News Service, he was “disappointed that the California Democratic Party is turning its back on working families” by opposing the measure that would repeal Senate Bill 1, the 2017 law increasing the gas tax and vehicle registration fee to fund highway and street repairs and other transportation projects.

“They’re putting the interest of special interest groups and politicians over working families,” said DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman. “That’s shameful and shows they’re not about the working poor, they’re about the folks who are going to make billions of dollars off of the gas tax increase.”

But Michael Quigley, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, which advocates advocates responsible investments in public infrastructure, praised the state party’s action.

“The California Democratic Party has joined a coalition including the California Professional Firefighters, California Association of Highway Patrolmen and more than 200 organizations dedicated to defeating this partisan attack on bridge and road safety,” Quigley said.

Passage of the gas tax repeal, which is Proposition 6, would also require future gasoline tax and vehicle registration fee increases to be approved by voters.

The rent control initiative, Proposition 10, would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a 1995 law that bans rent control on apartment buildings, condominiums and houses built after 1995 and froze local rent control laws. The 1995 law also allows landlords to raise rents by an unlimited amount when a unit becomes vacant.

If adopted by voters, the initiative would give cities and counties expanded authority to enact rent control on residential property.

The party’s board, meeting in Oakland, also voted to support four other initiatives on the November ballot:

  • Proposition 3, which would authorize bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance and groundwater sustainability and storage
  • Proposition 4, a bond measure to fund grants for construction, expansion, renovation and equipping of children’s hospitals
  • Proposition 8, which would limit amounts outpatient kidney dialysis clinics may charge
  • Proposition 12, which would establish new standards for confinement of certain farm animals and ban sale of certain non-complying products

The board also voted to support three measures placed on the ballot by the Legislature:

  • Proposition 1, a $4 billon veterans housing bond measure
  • Proposition 2, which would assist in the construction of housing for the homeless
  • Proposition 7, which would allow the Legislature to place California on year-round daylight saving time

City News Service contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.