Mountain View Voice

News - April 24, 2009

A look at the ballot measures in the May 19 special election

Following is an overview of the six measures on the ballot in the May 19 special election. Information is provided by the California League of Women Voters.

Prop 1A: State Budget

If passed, Proposition 1A would extend the length of recent tax increases in an effort to put more money in the state reserve. It would also place stronger restrictions on how this money can be spent.

Proponents say the proposition would help the state prepare for future downturns, while opponents say the proposition is too complex and removes legislative flexibility.

Prop 1B: Public Education Funding. Payment Plan

Under Proposition 1B the state would have to repay public schools and community colleges for not meeting funding obligations during the last two years.

The reserve, set up under Prop 1A, would help fund the $9.3 billion the state owes schools. If Prop 1A doesn't pass, 1B will not pass either.

Proponents say the proposition would allow the schools to receive required funding they may not otherwise see. Opponents say passing 1B means supporting extended tax increases under 1A, which they believe is not the way to address the state deficit or problems in the schools.

Prop 1C: Lottery Modernization Act

All profits from the state lottery currently go toward public education, totaling about 1 percent of schools' funding. Proposition 1C would change this, and under this measure the state could instead borrow $5 billion from future lottery profits to pay back debt. Schools would receive their funding from the state general fund instead of from lottery profits.

Proponents say this will provide funding for schools, while helping to balance the budget and potentially avoiding higher taxes. Opponents say this is only a one-time fix, and the state should not rely on gambling to fix its money woes.

Prop 1D: Protects Children's Services Funding

Proposition 1D would change the way the state funds some social and health programs for children under the age of 5. The group First 5 currently receives taxes from tobacco sales to help address health and educational needs for underrepresented children.

Prop 1D would transfer $340 million in 2009-10 from the First 5 fund and then $286 million each year for the next five years from tobacco taxes to the state general fund to help pay for similar programs for low-income children. First 5 would not be reimbursed.

Proponents say this will help prevent drastic cuts from health services for at-risk children, but opponents argue that children would be affected by cuts to the First 5 programs.

Prop 1E: Mental Health Services Funding

If passed, Proposition 1E would transfer money from a specific fund for mental health services to the state's general fund.

Prop 1E would transfer about $230 million each year for two years to pay for state mental health programs, specifically for Medi-Cal patients under age 21. The money would not be reimbursed.

Proponents say the proposition would allow the state to continue providing essential mental health services. Opponents argue that current programs are working to reduce incarceration and homelessness and should not be altered. These transfers, they say, would hurt a vulnerable population.

Prop 1F: Elected Officials' Salaries

Under Proposition 1F, state officials would not receive pay raises when the state faces a deficit of 1 percent or more. The League of Women Voters estimates that not giving raises of 3 percent to all elected officials would save $420,000.

Proponents argue that many state residents are not getting raises, and state officials shouldn't either, while opponents say withholding these raises will not give legislators an incentive to balance the budget.

— Casey Weiss

Comments

Posted by William Joseph, a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm

No on 1A

Vote NO to keep a lid on this rapacious state government.

1A extends the sales and income tax hike by 2 years.
California already has the highest income AND sales taxes...
AND the highest tax base.


Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 25, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Yes on 1A and 1B.

If California does not properly fund education, jobs will go to places with a more educated workforce and with them the tax base the state needs to balance the budget.

I don't see any reason to vote yes on the other props.


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