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Morning Report: Here's all the State and Local Ballot Info You Need

Photo by Dustin Michelson

This year’s ballot measures may not be as interesting as in 2016, when Californians weighed in on the death penalty, pot and porn, but there are still 12 state propositions facing voters in November.

If you still have no idea what they are, we’ve got you covered.

VOSD’s Sara Libby and Ry Rivard recorded a special podcast explaining all the bonds and other propositions you’ll be voting on at the state level.

CALmatters also has cool one-minute video explainers on each measure, and this awesome interactive guide to help you figure out how to vote on each statewide measure.  

VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt also put together this handy guide to the major local ballot measures that will be on November’s ballot.

The ballot can be daunting, but now there’s no excuse for failing to study up.

It’s School Choice Time Already

It’s school choice time at San Diego Unified.

VOSD’s Will Huntsberry provides some resources to help parents make decisions, like our schools guide, and looks into why San Diego Unified’s choice window is so much earlier than other districts in this week’s Learning Curve.

The district told Huntsberry that it’s to help with logistics and planning, but one expert said earlier choice windows could hurt lower-income families, who may not be planning for the next school year eight months in advance.

Ruling Is a Blow But Not a Deal-Killer for Community Energy in San Diego

From Ry Rivard:  In a long-awaited decision, state utility regulators on Thursday raised the fee that customers must pay if they want to stop buying power from San Diego Gas & Electric. Across California, customers are leaving the state’s existing power companies – SDG&E, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric – for new government-run power agencies that are supposed to provide cheaper and greener power.

The city of San Diego is now weeks away from deciding if it too should start an energy agency, in part because its plan to fight climate change requires city residents use only green energy. Nearly half of SDG&E’s power is green but the company still uses lots of natural gas to generate power.

While the fee increase will make it harder for the city to provide power that is much cheaper than SDG&E’s, it appears the new, higher fee is not a deal-killer in San Diego.

The state-mandated “exit fee” is meant to ensure that customers who are stuck buying power from SDG&E are not also stuck paying higher rates when it loses many of its customers. The company has already bought power long into the future under the assumption it would maintain its monopoly.

Customers in different parts of the state are affected differently by the decision from the California Public Utilities Commission. A statewide “community choice” trade group called the fee increase “devastating” to its anti-monopoly movement because some governments in other parts of California will not be able to provide cheaper power than Edison or PG&E. The mayors of San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco called the decision a “severe blow.”

But Nicole Capretz, a prominent San Diego advocate of community choice energy, said “our understanding is that the city has crunched the numbers and is still able to move forward while still offering affordable or lower rates and finally giving families consumer choice.”

Already, a majority of the City Council favors forming a power-buying agency. Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s administration has also seemed to lean that way lately. On Thursday, a spokesman for the mayor said the city now has all the information it needs to make a decision and the mayor will make a recommendation in the next few weeks.

In San Diego, there is only one government-run energy agency up and running. That’s Solana Beach’s Solana Energy Alliance. The California Public Utilities Commission estimated that it could see a 5 percent rate increase, but SDG&E said it was still calculating the new exit fee, which is based on a variety of factors, including market prices for energy.

Disclosure: Mitch Mitchell, SDG&E’s vice president for government affairs, sits on Voice of San Diego’s board of directors.

Border News Roundup

In Other News

Quote of the Day

“I don’t really like this area too much, to be honest. I loved San Diego. It was my kind of energy, my kind of vibe. It was a perfect place for me. Everything was perfect.” Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who documented his game day routine for Sports Illustrated.

Correction

Our story about old rivalries rearing their heads in the race for a City Council seat in District 8 incorrectly said that Ben Hueso resigned his Council seat to run for Assembly. He declined to run for re-election.

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan, and edited by Sara Libby.

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