San Francisco Chronicle: Vote NO on Prop 53: ‘A one-man crusade isn’t the way to run California’s finances’

The San Francisco Chronicle today announced its opposition to Proposition 53, warning that "the concept could be (a) fiscal disaster spawning lawsuits, delays and higher costs.”

“The problems with initiatives like this one are almost too many to list. Instead of a real seasoning before legislators and state officials, there’s only one author. Clearer language and attempts at compromise are ignored. If it proves disastrous, it can’t be amended or repealed without another public vote,”
the newspaper's Editorial Board writes.

The Chronicle warns that “the risks of unintended consequences are high.”

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. The measure will erode local control and add red tape and delays to crucial infrastructure projects, by requiring statewide votes for some local projects.

Under Prop 53, an airport expansion or container port might not be able to tap state revenue bonds without a statewide vote, the Chronicle writes, or Bay Area water agencies would face the same statewide test for certain projects even though the water rates are paid locally.

“It could get even more twisted. To avoid the need for a state vote, a public agency might seek private financing, which costs more than public borrowing. There’s also the fear factor. Instead of taking on a project to improve a port, widen a bridge or build a medical center, public agencies might do nothing to avoid the uncertainty of a statewide vote that might be two years away.”

Other major newspapers opposing Prop 53 include the San Jose Mercury News, The East Bay Times, and the Bakersfield Californian.

Read the full editorial here:

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