Public safety, labor, local government and infrastructure advocates announce strong opposition to California Business Roundtable ballot measure

SACRAMENTO, February 2, 2022 — Today, the League of California Cities, California Professional Firefighters, SEIU California, California Alliance for Jobs, AFSCME California and the California Special Districts Association announced their strong opposition to the “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act”, a ballot measure sponsored by the California Business Roundtable (CBRT), an organization that represents the interests of California’s largest and wealthiest corporations.

The coalition of public safety, labor, local government and infrastructure groups are voicing their opposition as the California attorney general prepares to release an official title and summary of the measure tomorrow, February 3. Once the title and abstract are published, sponsors can begin collecting signatures. They must submit 997,139 valid signatures to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. The Secretary of State’s recommended date for submitting signatures is April 29, 2022.

“This far-reaching measure would significantly compromise the ability of cities to provide essential services and infrastructure to local residents,” said Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director and CEO, League of California Cities. “It would impose undemocratic restrictions on local voters and local governments that could impose significant cuts to vital services like fire and emergency response, infrastructure, libraries, parks, sanitation, etc.”

“This irresponsible action would significantly reduce state and local funding available for fire prevention and response, including emergency services,” said Brian K. Rice, President, California Professional Firefighters. “At a time when our state and local communities are reeling from the impacts of intense and prolonged wildfires, this proposal interferes with the ability of firefighters and first responders to do their jobs and keep the public safe. “

The CBRT measure would create major new loopholes that would allow wealthy corporations to avoid paying their fair share for the impacts they have on our communities; while also allowing companies to evade law enforcement when they violate environmental, health, safety, and other state and local laws. It would also severely restrict the ability of local voters, local governments and state elected officials to fund essential services such as public schools, fire and emergency response, public health, parks, libraries , affordable housing, homeless and mental health services and public infrastructure. .

“This initiative is a deceptive scheme written and paid for by wealthy corporations for their sole benefit,” said Tia Orr, Acting Executive Director, SEIU California. “These wealthy corporations are trying to create constitutional loopholes to avoid paying their fair share, while shifting the burden onto hard-working Californians.”

“This move would make it much more difficult to fund critical infrastructure needed in California,” said Michael Quigley, Executive Director, California Alliance for Jobs. “It would reduce our ability to invest in virtually all forms of infrastructure, including safe bridges, local streets and roads, public transport, drinking water quality, new schools and public services. »

“This proposal would make it much more difficult for state and local regulators to impose fines and levies on businesses that violate laws designed to protect our environment, public health and safety, and our neighborhoods,” said Alia Griffing, Policy and Legislative Director, AFSCME California. “It’s a free get out of jail card for wealthy corporations that will hurt our efforts to provide essential public services needed to keep our communities healthy and safe.”

“This measure exposes taxpayers to a new wave of costly litigation, limits the discretion of local elected officials to meet the needs of their communities, and injects uncertainty into critical infrastructure funding,” said Neil McCormick, CEO, California Special Districts Association. “We strongly oppose this dangerous measure which jeopardizes the health and safety of communities and prevents critical investments in climate adaptation and community resilience to deal with drought, floods and wildfires. , as well as to reduce emissions and harmful pollutants.”

Fund

A broad and growing coalition of local governments, labor and public safety leaders, infrastructure advocates and businesses opposes this measure. The measure:

Gives wealthy corporations a major loophole to avoid paying their fair share – forcing local residents and taxpayers to pay more

  • The measure creates new constitutional loopholes that allow companies to pay far less than their fair share for the impacts they have on our communitiesincluding local infrastructure, our environment, water quality, air quality and natural resources shift the burden and make taxpayers pay more.

Allows companies to dodge law enforcement when they violate environmental, health, public safety, and other laws

  • This creates new loopholes that make it much harder for state and local regulators to impose fines and levies on companies that violate laws meant to protect our environment, public health and safety, and our neighborhoods.

Jeopardizes vital local and state services

  • This far-reaching measure jeopardizes billions of dollars currently spent on essential state and local services.
  • It could force the cuts to public schools, fire and emergency response, law enforcement, public health, parks, libraries, affordable housing, homeless resident support services, mental health services , etc
  • It would also be reduce critical infrastructure funding such as streets and roads, public transport, drinking water, new schools, sanitation, utilities, etc.

Opens the door to frivolous lawsuits, bureaucracy and bureaucracy that will cost taxpayers and hurt our communities

  • The measure will encourage frivolous lawsuits, bureaucracy and red tape that will cost local taxpayers millions — while significantly delay and halt investments in vital infrastructure and services.

Undermines voter rights, transparency and accountability

  • It would be limit voter turnout by banning local advisory measures, where voters give politicians directions on how they want their local taxes spent.
  • It would change our constitution to make it harder for local and state voters to pass the necessary measures to fund local services and local infrastructure.
  • It also includes a hidden layout that would retroactively nullify the measures adopted by local voters — effectively undermining the right of voters to decide for themselves the needs of their communities.

Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a statewide nonprofit association that advocates for cities to state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected officials and elected municipal officials.