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Californians Reject Gas Tax Repeal, Approve Farm Regulations

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Voters have rejected a proposal to repeal California’s gasoline tax increase that was passed by the Legislature to fund road and transportation projects.

Proposition 6 failed Tuesday after Democrats campaigned to preserve $5 billion a year to fix roads and improve transit.

The Republican-backed initiative sought to repeal increases in fuel taxes and vehicle fees that are expected to fund $52 billion in transportation projects over a decade. It also would have required voter approval for future gas tax hikes.

GOP officials argued that California has grown too expensive and state lawmakers should spend money more wisely. They hoped the measure would drive Republican turnout in contested state and congressional races.

Democrats and construction industry and union leaders maintained the revenues are vital to upgrade California’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Proposition 8 – Dialysis Profits

State voters also rejected a ballot measure that would have capped dialysis clinics’ profits in an effort to improve patient care.

Proposition 8 would have limited profits for clinics that provide vital treatment for people whose kidneys don’t function properly.

It was the most expensive initiative on the 2018 ballot in California. A health care workers union funded the $18 million supporting campaign. Dialysis companies contributed more than $111 million to kill the measure.

The union argues Proposition 8 would have forced dialysis companies to invest more in patient care.

Dialysis providers say the measure was actually a tactic to pressure the companies to let workers unionize.

In another healthcare-related measure, voters passed Proposition 11 to allow private ambulance companies keep their workers on-call during paid breaks.

Proposition 7 – Daylight Savings Time

Voters said it’s time to stop resetting clocks twice a year in California.

By approving Proposition 7, the state took the first step toward maintaining daylight saving time year-round. The measure would still require a two-thirds vote from the state Legislature and a change in federal law to put the proposed change into effect.

The issue was fresh on voters’ minds when they headed to polls Tuesday. California, along with most of the rest of the nation fell back an hour to standard time last Sunday.

Proposition 12 – Farm Animal Cages

California voters have approved a measure requiring all eggs sold in the state to come from cage-free hens by 2022.

Proposition 12 is leading late Tuesday with 59 percent of the vote with more than 3.7 million ballots counted.

The measure also sets new minimum requirements on the size of cages or pens that house breeding pigs and calves raised for veal. It also bans the sale of veal, pork and eggs in California from farms that don’t comply.

Supporters say the measure is a step toward more humane farming practices.

Opponents say it doesn’t go far enough.

Proposition 12 builds on Proposition 2, which passed in 2008.

That measure banned California farmers from keeping the same animals in tiny cages but lacked specific size requirements.