March Primary Election - Pros and Cons

March Primary Election - Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons Scale Image


LA County Measure FD  

LA County Measure R 

State Ballot Measure Prop. 13


Ballot Measures—Pros and Cons

Below are the pros and cons for the March 3 ballot measures. These are issued by the LWV of Los Angeles County. County Measure R is being revised as of this publication and will be posted online at when it becomes available.

County Measure FD

Los Angeles County Fire District 911 Firefighter/Paramedic Emergency Response Measure


Parcel tax: requires 2/3 vote.

Imposes a Parcel Tax to be levied on all unincorporated areas and the 58 cities which utilize the LA County Fire Department. Placed on ballot by the Board of Supervisors.

PRO – County Firefighters and Paramedics/Ambulance services are overstretched and need resources to serve the large areas that depend on the County for these services. The increase in fires and the growing, aging population require more resources to ensure that first responders are available for both fires and health emergencies. This tax will go directly to the County Fire Department; it cannot be mingled with General Funds.

CON – The Board of Supervisors put this on the ballot with almost no public input. The measure allows voters OUTSIDE the taxed areas to vote to increase other peoples’ taxes. Government should tighten its belt and stop taxing property owners.

League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County agrees that  LA County needs more skilled firefighters to fight increasingly more severe and frequent wildfires that sweep into residential areas. Data show that  9-1-1 calls for paramedics have increased more than 50% in 10 years but the number of paramedics has only increased by 5% stretching their capacity to respond to emergencies.  LA County Fire Department’s communications system is badly out of date and incompatible with wireless networks and needs to be totally modernized to be useful and responsive.

 The League of Women Voters has chosen to remain neutral on this measure because the parcel tax has no sunset date. The League believes that special taxes need to be revisited and reapproved by voters periodically.

County Measure R

Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commision Ordinance

Citizen's Initiative - requires a majority vote

Measure R requires that the Los Angeles County sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission research and draft a Comprehensive Public Safety Reinvestment Plan and Feasibility Study to reduce the county’s jail population and reinvest savings from reducing the jail population to provide prevention and mental health treatment. The plan should create mental health alternative custody programs that reduce recidivism and expand youth centers and programs to prevent youth from getting into crime.

The measure also would empower the Commission to conduct their own investigations of the Sheriff’s operations by granting the power to subpoena documents and witnesses, to administer oaths and to produce written reports of investigations.

 The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County supports promoting police accountability through independent oversight. “Effective oversight requires subpoena power to compel documents and the witness testimony necessary to perform a full investigation,” stated state president Carol Moon Goldberg. In addition, studies have shown that youth violence prevention, mental health treatment, and housing programs that address chronic homelessness work better than incarceration to prevent crime. It has also been found that recidivism of youth and adults is higher if persons have been jailed rather than released to supportive treatment.  Therefore, the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County supports Measure R and urges voters to vote YES on Measure R.

State Ballot Measure Prop. 13

Education Bond Measure

Requires Majority vote

$15 billion in borrowing (bonds) for educational infrastructure, K–12 public schools (including charter schools) and Higher Education (Community Colleges, CSU, UC).

PRO – YES on PROP. 13 funds essential repairs to make California public schools safer and healthier. Removal of toxic mold and asbestos from aging classrooms. More school nurse facilities. Cleaner drinking water. Fire and earthquake safety upgrades. Strong taxpayer controls. Endorsed by firefighters, doctors, nurses, and teachers. For California’s students.

CON – We should not borrow money for our children and grandchildren to pay off. These long term obligations burden taxpayers for decades. This measure authorizes $15 billion in borrowing, costing taxpayers $27 billion including interest, to build and repair schools. Borrowing is nearly twice as expensive as paying for school construction from the regular budget, which has a huge $21 billion surplus. This is just more government waste.

Bond Measure for Schools and Colleges Explained

The Way it is Now: One of the ways state government supports public education is by providing money to build and repair school and college buildings. This money usually comes from bonds.

What Prop. 13 would do if it passes: Prop. 13 would allow the state to sell $15 billion in new bonds to help build and repair schools, including:

  • $9 billion for preschools and K–12 schools
  • $6 billion for public universities and community colleges

Schools could use this money to make buildings safer, to construct new buildings, or to increase the amount of student housing. Prop. 13 would also increase the amount of money local school districts could raise by selling their own bonds. Districts with less money could also apply for more help from the state to pay for construction projects.

Effect on the State Budget: The state would spend about $740 million per year for the next 35 years to repay the bonds. The effect on local governments would depend on the choices that school districts and universities make about building repairs and new buildings.

YES People for Prop. 13 say:

  • Prop. 13 is a smart investment that will make California’s schools and colleges safer.
  • Money from Prop. 13 will help pay for badly needed repairs and security improvements.

NO People against Prop. 13 say:

  • Voters already approved $9 billion in 2016 to build and repair schools
  • Prop. 13 would allow school districts to borrow more money, which could increase taxes for all California property owners



Issues referenced by this article: 
This article is related to which committees: 
Voter Services Committee
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