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A closer look at Prop 53

Prop 53 is among many propositions on the November ballot.

It involves giving voters power to approve or deny state projects that will cost more than $2 billion in revenue bonds.

Opponents of prop 53 held a press conference in Santa Barbara on Wednesday to persuade residents to vote against it.

“It gives veto power to voters in faraway regions like San Francisco and Sacramento over local infrastructure projects that we need, and that makes absolutely no sense,” said Ken Oplinger, the president of the Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region.

Governor Jerry Brown mirrored that comment in a political ad.

“We say no on 53 because it’s bad for California,” said Brown.

Currently, the governor and legislatures are the ones who can vote on these megaprojects. They want to keep the decision making process in the Capitol.

“So when these guys say it’s a loss of local control, it’s absolutely false. This involves only those projects in which the state is a partner or directly responsible for the operation or management of the project,” said Jon Coupal, the president of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Coupal says politicians use the word “local” to hook voters.

“Can you identify one purely local project ever built in the history of California that costs $2 billion? They can’t,” said Coupal.

If approved, the measure would likely require Governor Brown’s public works proposals to go before voters who would have the power to vote against the projects.

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