California voters approved bond funds in 2000 (Prop. 21) and again in 2008 (Prop. 12) to help veterans purchase single family homes, farms and mobilehomes. Assembly Speaker John Pérez drafted the League-supported AB 639, which became Prop. 41, to address both the housing needs and changing demographics of the state’s veteran population. This measure restructures $600,000,000 of the existing Prop. 12 money to construct and rehabilitate multi-family housing for veterans and prioritize legislation that aligns housing with services. It also preserves more than $500,000 in existing CalVet Farm and Home Loan Program dollars.
The board also considered Prop. 42 on the June statewide ballot, a measure that would amend the California Constitution to require local agencies to exempt the state from having to reimburse local agencies for related costs associated with complying with the California Public Records Act. This measure amends provisions added to the constitution via Prop. 59 of 2004, which established the following constitutional principle:
“The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.”
The League supported Prop. 59 and continues to support the goals of transparency, yet on Prop. 42 — which seeks to avoid state reimbursement of local agency costs — the League adopted a “concerns” position. This position reflects the reality that costs associated with the lack of reimbursement for state mandates for existing or future state laws affecting public records may pose a burden on some local agencies which are struggling financially, and concerns with the Legislature’s exemption of its activities from the transparency principle established by Prop. 59.