Capitol Alert

Gas tax repeal 2.0 + Ballot endorsements, revealed + Heart Walk

DeMaio defends new initiative redirecting car sales taxes

Carl DeMaio is introducing a new initiative for the 2020 ballot he says will force California to be more accountable when using tax dollars. The initiative would end the high-speed rail project and establish a “citizen lock-box” for road repairs.
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Carl DeMaio is introducing a new initiative for the 2020 ballot he says will force California to be more accountable when using tax dollars. The initiative would end the high-speed rail project and establish a “citizen lock-box” for road repairs.

GAS TAX REPEAL 2.0

As they promised in July, supporters of Proposition 6 to repeal the state’s 2017 gas tax increase unveiled a follow-up ballot measure on Tuesday. The proposed initiative filed to the Attorney General’s Office to qualify for the 2020 ballot calls for a constitutional amendment that would halt activity on the High Speed Rail project, establish a “citizen lock-box” for road repairs and create a dedicated transportation fund for all existing sales taxes on cars.

Opponents, such as the League of California Cities, have previously called this idea “silly” and “unworkable.” But Carl DeMaio, the main proponent of Proposition 6 and new initiative, insisted this was a serious policy mechanism to hold the government accountable and force it to properly fund infrastructure projects.

“We fix the problem with California’s infrastructure by actually taking the money away from the Sacramento politicians and make sure it goes into roads in a real lock-box,” DeMaio said at a morning news conference. “By dedicating relatively steady streams of funding every year, we will provide a predictable stream of revenue for road improvements.”

Redirecting car sales taxes would cut about $870 million from city budgets. DeMaio said he believes local governments could easily find other ways to make up for the revenue loss.

“The shift of funds on sales tax on cars at the local level currently could be utilized by other funds,” he said. “Public health, public safety are some of the earmarks. … Would they like to share their budget? Because we would love to look at the budget and look at the pensions, the overtime and the bloated bureaucracies. We can help them cut their expenditures.”

BEE RELEASES FULL LIST OF ENDORSEMENTS

The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board has concluded its review of the 11 propositions heading to California voters this November and has offered its final recommendations. Here’s where The Bee stands:

Proposition 1: Yes

Proposition 2: Yes

Proposition 3: No

Proposition 4: Yes

Proposition 5: No

Proposition 6: No

Proposition 7: No

Proposition 8: No

Proposition 10: Yes

Proposition 11: Yes

Proposition 12: No

*Note: Proposition 9 — the plan to split California into thirds was struck down in July by the state Supreme Court. You can familiarize yourself with all the ballot measures here.

HEART WALK

The American Heart Association of Sacramento is hosting a walk at the Capitol for state employees who want to promote increased funding for stroke and heart disease research. The walk begins at 11:30 a.m., and more than $800,000 has been raised.

People attending are encouraged to meet on the south steps of the Capitol and take three loops around the building to make it a 3-mile course.

GENDER PAY GAP

The California Pay Equity Task Force is holding its final meeting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today to discuss plans to release a guide next year to get companies to provide equal pay to women and men.

MATHIS TOWN HALL

Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, is hosting a town hall at 5:30 p.m. today at the Visalia Veteran’s Memorial Building. In July, he was reprimanded for violating the Legislature’s sexual harassment policy, but investigators couldn’t confirm misconduct allegations made last year.

TWEET OF THE DAY

Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) — “There’s only one voice that needs to be heard. Yours. Register to vote today: http://hbo.com/vote #NationalVoterRegistrationDay”

INFLUENCER OF THE DAY

Should California voters repeal the gas tax increase in November? Influencers have plenty to say.

“We are in the beginning stages of an electric transportation revolution essential to preserving the planet. While the world’s cars are going electric, it is not fast enough. The urgency of this moment in history requires a more rapid transition to electric vehicles.

“Transportation accounts for 41 percent of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions, producing millions of tons of carbon pollution each year. Pollution from cars and trucks poses a critical threat to our health, and the planet’s sustainability. Modernizing transportation is essential if we are to reverse climate change. Beyond our health, it is also a smart business move to take advantage of the growing trillion-dollar global market for electric vehicles. Electrifying transportation is a cornerstone of modern living and is fundamental to a profitable, sustainable economy.”

Karen Skelton, Founder and President, Skelton Strategies

MUST-READ: ‘A superb public servant’: Longtime California official Cliff Allenby dies at 82

OPINIONATED

The Bee’s Editorial Board urges California voters to support Proposition 4 and oppose Proposition 12.

TOONED OUT

Jack Ohman goes to the latest comedy show at the United Nations.

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