Politics ESSENTIAL POLITICS

This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more, or subscribe to our free daily newsletter and the California Politics Podcast

California Legislature

California voters could make it easier to raise taxes to build transit and low-income housing under new legislation

The Expo Line in Los Angeles is shown. (Los Angeles Times)
The Expo Line in Los Angeles is shown. (Los Angeles Times)

A Sacramento-area assemblywoman wants Californians to decide if it should be easier to raise taxes or issue bonds to finance transit, water, parks and low-income housing projects.

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) has proposed a constitutional amendment that would lower the margin needed for local governments to pass a tax hike or bond measure to pay for such efforts from a two-thirds supermajority to 55%.

"Local communities know their priorities best," Aguiar-Curry said in a release. "This constitutional amendment will offer an important tool for local leaders to support projects and determine how to pay for them."

Because the measure is a constitutional amendment, it will require a two-thirds supermajority vote of the Legislature to pass. If that happens, state voters will decide whether to lower the threshold to pass these tax hikes in 2018.

Nearly 80% of two-thirds supermajority measures put before local voters since 2001 garnered more than 55% “yes” votes, but ultimately failed because they fell short of the two-thirds threshold, according to Aguilar-Curry's office.

Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) has proposed a similar constitutional amendment to lower the threshold for passage, but only for transportation projects.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
67°