Next year’s ballot might be bananas.
The California Supreme Court made a bombshell ruling a few months ago that could lead to a bevy of tax increase proposals floated during the 2018 election. The ruling suggests that if a group of citizens in California gathers enough signatures to get a tax measure on the ballot, it requires only a simple majority to pass, not two-thirds of voters.
That was how many people read the ruling, anyway. Yet some were skeptical.
This week, though, the San Francisco city attorney issued the first memo on the ruling from a city official that we’ve seen, and his take was that the ruling indeed lowers the bar for voter-initiated tax measures.
On this week’s podcast, Lewis and cohosts Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts discuss how the California Supreme Court ruling could open the floodgates for local citizens initiatives seeking to raise taxes for things like an expanded Convention Center, homeless services, funding for Balboa Park, a boost to the San Diego Unified School District’s budget and more.
As Keatts points out, though, this could be a fleeting opportunity – a temporary loophole in the law that could be closed if someone takes the issue back to court, or if the Legislature changes the law.
Also on the podcast, an important discussion about mascots, including the San Diego Chicken and Point Loma Nazarene University’s Roary the Sea Lion, who is not in fact a sea lion, but rather an actual lion with seaweed on his head.
We also have a bonus episode in the Voice of San Diego Podcast feed this week about a new documentary on San Diego’s homeless, and a recap of what’s happened during San Diego’s hepatitis A outbreak.
Hero of the Week
Our hero this week goes to Poway Unified School District. The district, which is under new leadership, voluntarily handed over damning documents to their lawyers, the district attorney and our Ashly McGlone that showed how some district officials had been receiving special retirement pay without evidence that the board ever approved the payments.
Goat of the Week
This week, Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office gets goatted. The mayor and his staff held a press conference this week giving themselves a pat on the back for progress reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In reality, however, a lot of the things the city is claiming credit for are thanks to federal and state laws requiring decreases in carbon emission reductions.