The Modesto Irrigation District has come out against a June ballot measure that could hinder expansion of its electricity service areas.
The district board voted 5-0 on Tuesday to oppose the measure, which is sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and aimed at public agencies that might compete with it for territory in California.
The measure, Proposition 16, would require a two-thirds vote of a public utility's residents before it could expand service in an area where it is not the exclusive provider. The same vote would be needed among residents of the area proposed for expansion.
This could affect Oakdale, Riverbank, Escalon and Ripon, where the MID and PG&E both operate, said Tim O'Laughlin, the district's general counsel.
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The measure could affect Mountain House, a new town west of Tracy where the MID provides power but many homes are not yet built, he said.
"It puts everything in chaos," O'Laughlin said. "It's a really poorly drafted ballot initiative."
PG&E contends that voters should have a say over whether their public agencies should get into the complex electricity business.