California Ballot Measures – MapLight Follows the Money

Amari Cowan | October 26, 2018

With less than two weeks until the 2018 election, contributions to California’s 11 ballot measures have surpassed $350 million. At least 76 percent of all contributions has gone to just three measures: Proposition 8, Proposition 10, and Proposition 6.

Key Statistics:

  • The most expensive ballot measure so far is Proposition 8, with $126 million contributed from supporters and opponents of the measure.
  • Los Angeles gives the most money toward ballot measures of all cities in California, contributing at least $48 million.
  • The measure with the most financial support is Proposition 11 at $29.9 million.
  • The measure with the most financial opposition is Proposition 8 at $105.6 million. The most raised by a campaign for or against a single ballot measure since 2001 was $109 million contributed to oppose Proposition 61, the unsuccessful 2016 initiative to limit the amounts that the state paid for prescription drugs.

Proposition 1: Authorizes bonds to fund specified housing assistance programs.
Proposition 2: Authorizes bonds to fund existing housing programs.

Support: $5,983,057
Oppose: $0.00

Propositions 1 and 2 are supported by a single committee, Affordable Housing Now - Yes on Props 1&2 Coalition. Proposition 1 would authorize the state to allocate as much as $4 billion to fund affordable housing for veterans, low-income residents, and chronically homeless individuals. Proposition 2 would amend the Mental Health Services Act to fund the No Place Like Home Program, which provides funding for housing mentally ill, homeless people. There are no contributions opposing the measures.

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. Chan Zuckerberg Advocacy - The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative  ($250,000) 2. Chevron  ($250,000)
3. KP Financial SVCS OPS  ($250,000)
4. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)  ($250,000)

Proposition 3: Authorizes bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance, and groundwater sustainability and storage.

Support: $5,485,103
Oppose: $0.00

This initiative would allocate $8.87 billion toward water infrastructure projects. At least $5.4 million has been contributed to support the initiative. The biggest contributor to this measure is the California Waterfowl Association, which has given at least 10 percent of the total contributions. There are currently no contributions in opposition to this measure.

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. California Waterfowl Association  ($575,230)  
2. Ducks Unlimited  ($400,000)
3. California Wildlife Foundation  ($300,000)

Proposition 4: Authorizes bonds to fund construction at hospitals providing children’s health care.

Support:   11,459,325
Oppose:  $0.00

The initiative would set aside $1.5 billion of the state’s general fund to repair and build children’s hospitals. At least $11.4  million has been contributed in support of this measure. At least 95 percent of all contributions supporting the measure have come from in-state children’s hospitals.  There are currently no contributions opposing the measure.

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. Children's Hospital of Orange County  ($1,363,100)
2. Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles  ($1,363,100)
3. Valley Children's Hospital  ($1,363,100)

Proposition 5: Changes requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property tax base to replacement property.

Support: $13,204,875
Oppose: $3,085,546

Property owners who are older than 55, disabled, or the victims of disaster could qualify to transfer the tax status of their property to other properties when moving. The California Association of Realtors has accounted for 63 percent of total contributions.

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. California Association of Realtors  ($10,204,825)
2. National Association of Realtors  ($3,000,000)

Top Opposing Contributors
1. SEIU California  ($1,000,000)
2. California Teachers Association  ($750,000)
3. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees  ($362,500)

Proposition 6: Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding. Requires certain fuel taxes and vehicle fees to be approved by the electorate.

Support: $5,354,324
Oppose: $45,463,227

This proposition repeals the 2017 gas tax and vehicle fees. All future related taxes would require a vote by the electorate before implementation. At least 89 percent of contributors oppose this measure.

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. California Republican Party  ($469,412)
2. Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association  ($320,050)
3. Kevin McCarthy for Congress  ($300,000)

Top Opposing Contributors:
1. California Alliance for Jobs  ($3,022,500)
2. State Building & Construction Trades Council of California  ($2,077,855)
3. Southern California Contractors Association  ($1,802,283)

Proposition 7: Conforms California daylight saving time to federal law. Allows legislature to change daylight saving time period.

Proposition 7 would allow lawmakers to vote for a year-round Daylight Saving Time.

Support: $0.00
Oppose: $0.00

Proposition 7 currently has no committees supporting or opposing the measure.

Proposition 8: Regulates amounts that outpatient kidney dialysis clinics can charge for dialysis treatment.

Support: $20,395,715
Oppose: $105,631,925

The  proposition has drawn the most financial contributions of any ballot measure this cycle. At least $105 million has been spent to defeat Proposition 8 - more than any other campaign this year. DaVita Inc., one of the largest healthcare providers of dialysis services in the United States, has contributed more than $66.9 million against the initiative.

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. SEIU California  ($1,000,000)
2. California Democratic Party  ($52,971)
3. IBEW Local 617  ($2,500)

Top Opposing Contributors:
1. DaVita Healthcare Partners  ($66,974,313)
2. Fresenius Medical Care  ($28,532,043)
3. US Renal Care  ($8,176,421)

Proposition 10: Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential property.

Support: $25,676,166
Oppose: $68,434,939

Proposition 10 would repeal legislation that restricted local governments’ ability to expand rent control or amend existing rent control policies. About one-quarter of all contributions opposing proposition have come from out of state, totaling over $17 million. Ninety-eight percent of all contributions in support has come from within California.

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. AIDS Healthcare Foundation  ($17,721,140)
2. California Teachers Association  ($500,000)
3. Committee to Save Our Neighborhoods, Sponsored by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action ($367,703)

Top Opposing Contributors:
1. California Association of Realtors  ($5,000,000)
2. Blackstone Property Partners,LP;BREIT MF Holdings LLC; Blackstone 
Real Estate Partners (VI-VIII) LP; & their Holdings  ($4,999,998)
3. Western National Group  ($4,761,840)

Proposition 11: Requires private-sector emergency ambulance employees to remain on call during work breaks. Eliminates certain employer liability.

Support: $29,925,786
Oppose: $0.00

Private-sector ambulance employees will be required to be on-call while on breaks. The proposition has received more financial support than any other measure on the ballot. American Medical Response Inc., a Colo.-based ambulatory service provider, has provided 99 percent of total contributions to support the measure. There are currently no contributions opposing Proposition 11.

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. American Medical Response  ($29,900,786)
2. 911 Ambulance Providers Medi-Cal Alliance ($25,000)

Proposition 12: Establishes new standards for confinement of specified farm animals; bans sale of non-complying products.

Support: $12,913,291
Oppose: $566,360

Products from hens, veal calf, and pigs can only be sold in the state of California if their living conditions meet certain size requirements. All opposition was funded by the Humane Farming Action Fund.  

Top Supporting Contributors:
1. Open Philanthropy Action Fund  ($3,000,000)
2. The Humane Society Of The United States  ($2,161,606)
3. Stone, Deborah  ($1,650,000)

Top Opposing Contributors:
1. Humane Farming Action Fund  ($566,360)

To learn more about this year’s ballot initiatives and contributions, visit


MapLight analysis of contributions to committees supporting or opposing California state ballot measures during the 2018 election cycle using data available from the California Secretary of State as of Oct. 22, 2018. Top contributors data was obtained from excluding Proposition 8, Proposition 3 and Proposition 11.