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Politics & Government

4 California Ballot Propositions Pass, 1 Goes Down

Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

California voters have given thumbs-up to four ballot propositions but shot down another. 

Here's the rundown, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting ...

Proposition 68 is a bond measure slated to put about $4 billion into parks, wastewater recyling, river protections and similar public works projects.

Supporters said the money would help catch up on a repair and maintenance backlog in state parks, as well as help prepare for future droughts.

Opponents said the measure was too costly, especially when interest on the bonds is factored in.

Nonetheless,  Prop 68 handily passed, 56 to 44 percent.

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Proposition 69 requires that the fuel tax and vehicle fee increases approved by lawmakers as part of last year's transportation package be spent only on transportation projects.    

The measure will enshrine the spending requirement into the state constitution.

Voters overwhelmingly approved Prop 69 by 80 to 20 percent.

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Proposition 71 changes the way voter-approved measures are put into effect.

Currently, a proposition passed by voters takes effect the day after the election. Since as much as half the ballots cast in California these days are mailed in, it's possible for a measure to be put into effect, but be overturned once the vote totals are finalized.

Under Prop 71, the effective date changes to five days after the election is certified by the Secretary of State's office.

Prop 71 passed, 77 to 23 percent.

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Proposition 72 makes newly-installed rainwater capture systems free of property taxes. 

Like the existing tax break for solar panels, Prop 72 won't count the value of a new rainwater capture system toward the property's taxable value. The break, however, is only for systems installed after Jan. 1, 2019.

Voters liked this measure a lot; they passed it 83 to 17 percent.

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Proposition 70, however, did not meet with voter approval. The measure would have required a 2/3 supermajority when the Legislature votes to distribute money from California's carbon cap and trade system  -- but only in 2024.

This measure set environmental groups and some legislative Democrats against Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Chamber of Commerce. If passed, it would have given Republican lawmakers -- who curently occupy  only a third of the seats -- extra leverage in how cap and trade money is spent in six years.  This could give them the opportunity to torpedo the state's high speed rail program, for example.

The measure was the result of a bargain between Brown and a key Republican leader to get the cap and trade program renewed last year.

Voters, however, were unimpressed. They shot the measure down, 64 to 36 percent.