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Prop 53 is opposed by a broad, bipartisan coalition of organizations including the California Professional Firefighters, California Chamber of Commerce, California Hospital Association, California State Sheriffs Association, firefighters, paramedics, family farmers, environmentalists, law enforcement, and local governments. Prop 53 takes away local control by requiring a statewide vote even for some local infrastructure projects. The measure would add new layers of bureaucracy and red tape that will delay or derail needed improvements to critical infrastructure, including after emergencies and natural disasters. Here are some facts:

Prop 53 Erodes Local Control by Requiring Statewide Vote for Some Local Projects.

Erodes Local ControlUnder this measure, cities and towns that want to come together with the state and form a JPA to issue revenue bonds to upgrade local water systems, roads, bridges, and universities would have to put their project on a statewide ballot.

That means voters in faraway regions could veto some local projects your community needs and supports – even though those distant voters don’t use, won’t pay for, and don’t care about your local community improvements.

That’s why groups representing California’s cities, counties and local water agencies, including the League of California Cities and Association of California Water Agencies, all oppose Prop 53.


Prop 53 Jeopardizes Ability to Repair Outdated Infrastructure.

Disrupts Vital Infrastruture DevelopmentOur communities already suffer from a massive backlog of local infrastructure needs, including outdated water supply and delivery systems, unsafe bridges, overpasses and freeways, and community hospitals that need to be upgraded to make them earthquake safe.

Reliable Infrastructure is critical to public safety. This measure erodes local control and creates new hurdles that could block communities from upgrading critical infrastructure such as bridges, water systems and hospitals.” - Sheriff Donny Youngblood, President, California State Sheriffs’ Association

Prop 53 Threatens Water Supply and Drought Preparedness.

Contains NO exemptions for emergencies or a major disasterThe Association of California Water Agencies says: “Prop 53 could threaten a wide range of local water projects including storage, desalination, recycling and other vital projects to protect our water supply and access to clean, safe drinking water. Prop 53 will definitely impede our ability to prepare for future droughts.”

Prop 53 Contains No Exemptions for Emergencies or Natural Disasters.

Contains NO exemptions for emergencies or a major disasterBecause Prop 53 fails to contain an exemption for emergencies, in cases of an earthquake or flood, the state and local governments may need to wait as long as two years in order to get voter approval to begin rebuilding damaged or destroyed roads, freeways, bridges, hospitals and water delivery systems.

California Professional Firefighters, representing 30,000 firefighters and paramedics, warns: “Prop 53 irresponsibly fails to contain an exemption for natural disasters or major emergencies. That flaw could delay our state’s ability to rebuild critical infrastructure following earthquakes, wildfires, floods or other natural or man-made disasters.

Prop 53 Makes No Fiscal Sense.

UnnecessaryPrivate investors bear the financial risk for revenue bonds, not the state or its general fund. And revenue bonds are repaid by users of a project who directly benefit, not taxpayers. For instance, repairs to a bridge would be paid by tolls on the bridge, or customers in a specific water district would pay to build a water recycling plant, not taxpayers. It makes no sense to have a statewide election on projects not financed by taxpayers for which the state and local governments bear none of the financial risk.

Prop 53 is Financed and Promoted by Multi-millionaire with a Personal Agenda.

Deceptive Abuse of InitiativeThis measure is financed entirely by one multi-millionaire and his family, who are spending millions in an attempt to disrupt a single water infrastructure project. Irrespective of one’s position on that single project, his initiative has far-reaching, negative implications for other infrastructure projects throughout California. We cannot allow one wealthy person to abuse the initiative system to push his narrow personal agenda.