No on Prop. 53 Commercials Spread BIG LIES about the “Big One” 

Ads Include Debunked Myths About Measure’s Impact on Emergency Response

SACRAMENTO, CA – Last week, the No on Proposition 53 campaign, consisting of special interests and Sacramento insiders, began airing television ads aimed at defeating the measure that would give voters a voice on state megaprojects.

The new ads stretch the truth and spread misinformation that has already been disproven by an independent fact check. The initiative, by proponent Dean Cortopassi, would simply require a public vote for state megaprojects that use more than $2 billion in state revenue bonds. It would also ensure the disclosure of the total cost of a project before the vote.

The ad inaccurately claims that Proposition 53 would hinder the state’s ability to respond after a natural disaster, specifically “The Big One,” referring to a large earthquake. This myth was debunked in a Sacramento Bee fact check earlier this year which stated, “…the LAO said nothing in its analysis about disaster response. That is because emergency repairs are traditionally paid for by the federal government or other sources – not revenue bonds.”

California has never used revenue bonds to rebuild after a natural disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) typically provide the majority of funding to repair and restore after a natural disaster. The FEMA provides no less than 75% of the eligible cost to restore. Additionally, the FHA provides 90% for interstate highways and 80% for all other highways.

“It is clear that the politicians and special interests that oppose Proposition 53 are so scared of losing their unchecked power they are willing to mislead the voters,” said Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “They don’t want to give voters a voice before their hard-earned money is spent on state megaprojects.”

Proposition 53 would require statewide voter approval for state revenue bond projects costing more than $2 billion, closing a loophole that allows politicians to issue massive new debt for multi-billion dollar projects without voter approval. For more information, visit:


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