Early voting for the 2020 general election is now open in Texas, and we want to make sure you’re ready to cast your ballot. Before you head to the polls, your two best resources are your very own Chamber of Commerce’s voting microsite, yourvotesa.com and the League of Women Voters’ vote411.org.
There are a few ballot propositions we want you to be aware of before you head to the polls. Your Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to support these initiatives, and we hope you keep this in mind when you help decide the outcome of these issues with your vote.
We support allocating the one-eighth-cent sales tax to the Advanced Transportation District (ATD) to improve public transportation across San Antonio. The current one-eighth-cent sales tax is allocated to the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program (EAPP) and Parks Development & Expansion Venue Project.
We also support allocating the one-eighth-cent sales tax to the Workforce Education initiative, which is projected to impact 40,000 individuals by assisting them in attaining educational credentials and/or degrees in high-demand, high-wage fields. The current 1/8 cent sales tax, which is allocated to the EAPP, is set to expire in early 2021 after the City of San Antonio has collected the maximum approved amount ($100 million) for the EAPP. The 1/8 cent would then be redirected for a four-year period to the Workforce Development Program in September 2021, and once that period is over, it will be redirected to the ATD.
We support renewing the Pre-K 4 SA Program. As a supporter of the initial Pre-K 4 SA initiative in 2012, we recognize the data-proven, positive impact of the program and understand the critical role Pre-K 4 SA has on better preparing students to succeed in school, developing San Antonio’s future talent pool, and securing a prosperous future for the city.
Finally, the Chamber supports the adoption of the $1.3 billion SAISD Bond. Divided into two propositions (Prop A $1.21 billion; Prop B $90 million), the bond will address significant renovation and technology needs in District schools. Prop A will impact 36 campuses renovations and support safety and security upgrades in all District schools. Prop B will fund technology upgrades in every classroom including improvements to high-speed connectivity, individual devices, support tools, interactive smart boards and audio systems. These renovations and technology upgrades will enable the District to serve its more than 48,000 students with 21st-century learning, safety, and security systems. Taxpayers in the district will not see a tax increase if the bond is adopted.
The Chamber’s Board also adopted two policy statements opposing two current petition initiatives. If you are asked to sign the Recall CPS petition or the SAWS Accountability Act petition, we encourage you to decline.
Your Chamber believes the Recall CPS initiative currently underway by the Save Our Power Political Action Committee and the Sierra Club is a misguided effort to undermine CPS Energy’s administrative and appointed leadership and ultimately politicize operations, which will ultimately lead to higher utility rates for residential and commercial customers alike. The Chamber also believes The SAWS Accountability Act petition initiative is unnecessary and will undermine the well run and efficient operations of the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) administration and appointed leadership, and the petition is a “solution” looking for a problem.