Your guide to Proposition 5: Making it easier to pass local housing, road bonds


Currently, most local bond proposals require a two-thirds vote of the public to be approved. If voters pass Proposition 5, this threshold will be lowered to 55% for bonds supporting low-income housing, road and transit expansions, parks, wildfire resilience and other public infrastructure projects.

The existing supermajority requirement for local bond approval goes back to the series of tax restrictions in California’s Constitution inaugurated by the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978.

Because of a prior ballot measure, the threshold for approval for local school construction bonds already has been lowered to 55%.

If Proposition 5 passes, it would affect all future local bond campaigns covered by the measure, including those concurrently on the November ballot.

Most notably, Bay Area officials are asking voters in November to approve a $20-billion bond to finance various affordable housing programs in that region, the largest housing bond in the state’s history. Proposition 5’s approval would mean that the Bay Area measure would need the support of only 55% of voters to pass rather than two-thirds.



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