Sacramento Bee Editorial: Vote NO on Prop 53

‘Beware of quick fix offered by wealthy farmer’s initiative’ 

The Sacramento Bee editorial board has opposed Proposition 53, warning the November ballot measure “creates too many uncertainties and corollary problems.” The Bee, one of the state’s largest newspapers with a readership stretching from Stockton to the Oregon border, says that Prop 53 sells itself as a measure to ease state debt, but “will put government in a different kind of chokehold.”

“…In the guise of combating government debt, Proposition 53 could increase construction costs and add unnecessary layers of complexity and uncertainty to an already unwieldy state government.”

The Bee editorial states, “It would require voters to approve any state project funded by $2 billion or more in revenue bonds, which sounds simple. Unfortunately, California voters too often have discovered after the fact that seemingly straightforward initiatives have unintended and unpleasant ramifications.”

The newspapers also note the measure will undermine local control and threaten water, highway, and other vital infrastructure projects in California. The Bee warns of ambiguity in the measure about exactly which projects it would affect.

More than 200 groups have joined the bipartisan statewide coalition representing local government, public safety, water, business, labor, agriculture, educators and more opposing Prop 53.

Other newspapers opposing Prop 53 include the San Francisco ChronicleSan Jose Mercury NewsThe East Bay Times, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Monterey Herald, Bakersfield Californian, and The Press Democrat.

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.

Says the Bee: “Gov. Jerry Brown, the California Chamber of Commerce, the building trades unions and many others oppose Proposition 53, for good reason. It could further hamstring elected leaders and impede important construction projects in a state where NIMBY attitudes can block progress.”

 Read the editorial here: