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Santa Monica Council Backs State and County Ballot Measures
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

October 3, 2016 -- Two measures appearing on the Santa Monica ballot in November received the backing of the City Council last Tuesday.

Council members unanimously voted to support the statewide Proposition 67, which would ban so-called single-use plastic bags, and Measure A, a Los Angeles County property tax proposal to support parks projects.

Councilmember Terry O’Day proposed the council endorse Proposition 67, saying there has been a "disinformation campaign from opponents."

O'Day noted that Santa Monica banned lightweight plastic shopping bags five years ago ("Santa Monica City Council Approves Bag Ban," January 26, 2011).

"This measure will continue the great work that Santa Monica has led to ban plastic bags in our community and leverage that work across the state," O’Day said.

Santa Monica’s prohibition would continue regardless of the outcome of this measure on Election Day.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a statewide ban into law two years ago. Shortly after that, the plastic industry drafted a petition and collected enough signatures to place the ban on the ballot.

Proposition 67 is one of 17 ballot statewide measures on the ballot.

Another one is Proposition 65, also brought to the ballot by the plastic industry, that would require the revenue from the 10-cent fee on store paper bags go to an environmental fund.

While the plastic industry says Proposition 65 is the best way to make sure money from the paper bag fee goes to environmental causes, major environmental groups have not bought the argument.

Among the opponents is Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay.

"Prop 65 is designed to distract from the environmental priority of defending the state's plastic bag ban," Heal the Bay wrote in its online voter guide. "All Prop 65 would do is direct money from the sale of paper bags to a vaguely defined environmental fund administered by the State."

The organization added, "The sole purpose of Prop 65 is to confuse voters. It would only serve the interests of plastic bag companies and would distract from phasing out plastic bags entirely."

The county tax measure that also received the Santa Monica council’s backing would cost property owners 1.5 cents per square foot of building area each year.

County officials say it would annually raise $94 million, which would be distributed to cities to use for various parks projects.

This tax measure would replace one that was approved by voters in 1996 and expires in 2019. A similar measure was proposed in 2014, but failed to earn the two-thirds support required for passage.


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