Policy News

An Interview with Gov. Gavin Newsom

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POLITICO California Pro sat down with Gov. Gavin Newsom for an exclusive interview profiling his thoughts on some of California’s most pressing policy priorities.

During the interview Newsom notes that his team is currently focused on finalizing a budget and dealing with wildfire issues, but that he is “starting to have 2020 conversations.” Two 2020 election areas where Newsom is beginning to focus are battles over a tax cap on commercial properties and the soda industry.

Keep reading to see Newsom’s take on two of California’s largest issues.


Newsom on Proposition 13:

There are few issues as charged as Proposition 13, the 1978 ballot initiative that limits property tax increases. According to Newsom, Proposition 13 will likely be the “biggest” issue Newsom and his team will face as they start thinking toward the 2020 election. While homeowner protection is considered untouchable in California, labor groups believe voters might be willing to end the benefits for business property.

Newsom was reluctant to offer details on conversations around Proposition 13 or weigh in on the possibility of a legislative deal that could avert an enormously costly ballot campaign, but Newsom said “It’s a huge, tectonic issue, and to screw this one up, it’s really consequential”. Keep an eye out to see how Newsom handles this looming ballot fight.


Newsom on the soda tax

The soda industry, led by the American Beverage Association, successfully defeated four bills this year that would have imposed a 2-cents per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages; banned the sale of large fountain drinks; ended retailer discounting, and curtailed sales near checkout stands.

After these resounding victories by the soda industry this legislative session, Gov. Gavin Newsom told POLITICO California Pro on Tuesday that he's participating in new talks on a 2020 initiative that would target the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Newsom was unable to offer specifics, but directed back to his efforts as San Francisco mayor to pass a soda tax as an indication of his stance on the issue. During the interview Newsom stated that "I've been concerned about this for years," and "that gives you a little hint and a preview, but I'm listening to the different perspectives on this." Be sure to watch how this will play out in the next several months and in the 2020 elections.



Don’t miss a beat on 2020 issues.
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Content produced outside of the POLITICO Pro newsroom.

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