About two-thirds of California voters supported Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as the Democratic presidential nominee in today's consolidated primary elections. In early returns, voters calling for the state to balance its budget with the passage of propositions 57 and 58. Proposition 55, the Public Education Facilities Bond Act also passed, which will give SF State money for upgrades to the library. San Francisco County voted contrary to the rest of California regarding propositions 56 and 57.
North Carolina Senator John Edwards dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination.
San Francisco County experienced an average voter turnout rate of 35 percent.
Measure 2: Regional Traffic Relief Plan
The Regional Traffic Relief Plan will divert a portion of bridge tolls to relieve both current and projected future traffic congestion by expanding and extending BART service, building another transbay bridge, making improvements to existing buses, ferry and rail services. It also called for/It will also implement a $1 toll increase starting July 1, 2004, on all bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge.
Proposition 55: Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2004
This measure will issue a $12.3 billion bond to repair and build facilities in the state public school system, including the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California.
Proposition 56: Budget-Related Taxes and Spending
DID NOT PASS
This highly contentious measure attempted to lower the voting requirements for passage of new taxes from 66.6 percent (two-thirds majority) to 55 percent.
Proposition 57: Economic Recovery Bond Act
The state will sell $15 billion worth of bonds to pay off existing debts.
Proposition 58: The California Balanced Budget Act
This requires the enactment of a balanced budget and establishes a budget reserve.
Note: In San Francisco County, voters were in favor of proposition 56 and against proposition 57.
SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY MEASURES
All propositions passed except for proposition J, billed by many as the "Affordable Housing Initiative."
Prop. A: Defered Taxation Plan
The Board of Supervisors will be allowed to create a plan through which city employees could defer accrued cash payments (through unused vacation/sick time) to said plan.
Prop. B: Retirement Benefits for Public Defenders, District Attorneys and Invesigators
The city will be allowed/will not be allowed to contract with the California Public Employees' Retirement System to provide retirement benefits for the aforementioned city employees if there is no change in cost to the city.
Prop. C: Civilian Jobs in the Police Department
The city will undergo a process to determine if positions normally held by uniformed police officers can be converted to civilian jobs. This proposition is estimated to save the city between $18,000 and $40,000 annually by paying administrative workers clerical-type salaries rather than police salaries.
Prop. D: Equal Treatment of Domestic Partners
Domestic partners--including those who live or work ouside the city--will now be allowed to register in the city and receive the same treatment as spouses from the City Employees' Retirement System.
Prop. E: Requests for City Records Containing Private Information
Earmarked as a safeguard against the Patriot Act, Prop. E will allow the Board of Supervisors--rather than city departments--to respond to federal requests for information regarding individual citizens.
Prop. F: Labor Negotiations with Deputy Sheriffs
The deputy sheriffs will now be subject to the labor negotiation rules as uniformed members of the Police and Fire departments.
Prop. G: Supplemental Pay for City Employees on Military Duty
The Mayor and Board of Supervisors will be authorized to determine whether to provide supplemental pay to city employees when called to active military duty for more than 180 days.
Prop. H: Public Education Fund
The city will create a Public Education Fund, contributing at least $165 million to the San Francisco Unifed School District over the next 11 years. One-third will fund arts, music, sports and library programs; one-third will fund preschool programs, and one-third will go to the school district for general education purposes.
Prop. I: Replacement of Diesel Buses
Muni will be required to replace diesel buses purchased before 1991. All new Muni vehicles will be required to meet the anti-pollution standards applicable to other city vehicles. Replacement of buses will have to be completed by 2006.
Prop. J: Incentives to build Below-Market-Rate Housing
DID NOT PASS
Housing developments located downtown and along the central waterfront will not be subject to less-restrictive density and height rules if the developer agrees to sell or rent 27 percent or 29 percent of the units under market rates.
This contentious proposition, voted down by almost 70 percent of San Franciscans, was placed on the ballot through a citizens' initiative requiring 9,735 signatures. Mayor Newsom and Glide Memorial Pastor the Rev. Cecil Williams were two notable proponents of Prop. J, calling attention to the projected 10,000 new housing units to be developed in the "downtown workforce" and "central waterfront" areas.
Sups. Ammiano, Daly, Hall, Maxwell, McGoldrick, Peskin and Board President Matt Gonzalez were some who voiced opposition to the measure, saying the measure would fail to provide working families with affordable housing while weakening neighborhood zoning laws and helping developers more than tenants.
The above information was excerpted from the Voter Information Pamphlet prepared by the San Francisco Department of Elections.