Marijuana, Airbnb and the $15 Minimum Wage: How 5 Ballot Measures Fared on Election Day
Local issues took the spotlight on Tuesday. Here are the most important results.
— -- Local issues took the spotlight on Election Day 2015 as voters from San Francisco to Houston cast their ballots on important -- and controversial -- initiatives.
Here’s a look at five key results from Tuesday’s local elections:
San Francisco Voters Reject Restrictions on Housing Rentals
Proposition F, which proposed restrictions on the short-term housing rentals that are Airbnb’s bread and butter, was struck down by voters Tuesday. There was almost 60 percent opposition to the measure, which would have fined sites like Airbnb if they listed apartments that weren’t registered as rentals with the city. The proposition would also have allowed the city to restrict renters to only 75 nights of short-term renting a year. Airbnb had spent $8 million on a campaign opposing the measure.
Ohio Voters Reject Legalizing Marijuana
Ohio’s Issue 3 would have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, but with a catch -- only a certain group could grow and sell it for at least four years following the vote. Had the measure passed, Ohio would have been the sixth state to legalize recreational marijuana. However, over 60 percent of Ohioans rejected the measure.
Tacoma Voters Support a $12 Minimum Wage
Tacoma, Washington, will raise the city’s minimum wage to $12 over the next two years, thanks to support for Initiative 1B. The other option? Initiative 1, which would have raised the minimum wage in Tacoma to $15 immediately. Voters could have also decided to keep the city’s minimum wage at $9.47 -- that measure failed, with only 41 percent of the vote.
Tacoma voters widely favored a $12 minimum wage, rather than an increase to $15 -- initiative 1B received 71 percent support at the polls on Tuesday.
Houston Voters Strike Down an LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law
In Houston, voters struck down the HERO law, an anti-discrimination measure that stated that no person would “be subject to discrimination based on an individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or pregnancy.” The Houston City Council passed the law 11-6 last year, but opponents pushed for a referendum to repeal it, and the Texas Supreme Court agreed that the law either had to be overturned or placed on Tuesday’s ballot.
Despite the measure’s wide reach, opposition focused on its protections for "gender identity," namely the fact that the bill would allow transgender citizens to use the bathroom that aligned with their gender identity rather than their biological sex. Those who opposed HERO said this was a safety risk, especially for women.
Colorado Votes to Let the State Keep the Extra Tax Revenue From Marijuana
Colorado residents voted 2 to 1 on Tuesday in favor of Proposition BB, which will let the state keep the $66 million in excess tax revenue it earned this year from the sale of marijuana. By law, Colorado would have had to return the extra revenue to residents in the absence of a public vote favoring the state keeping the money.
Had Proposition BB been rejected, the state would have refunded $25 million to taxpayers and $24 million to those who grow marijuana in-state. A temporarily-lowered tax would have refunded $17 million to marijuana users. Instead, the state will spend $40 million of the funds on construction for public schools, and $26 million on drug education and other school programs.