May 11 2009

Voters Disagree on Propositions 1A and 1B

Feature Stories | Published 11 May 2009, 9:32 am | Comments Off on Voters Disagree on Propositions 1A and 1B -

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propositionsIn just 8 days Californians will head to the polls for a special election called by the governor and state legislature. Sparked by a budget deadlock from last year, the ballot features six propositions designed to re-draw budget allocations, preserve some tax increases, and pay back schools for money owed. But likely voters have expressed a disgust with this method of financial decision-making through polls that strongly suggest all but one measure look set to fail. Proposition 1f, favored by voters, will cap legislator salaries in financially tough years. Republicans are characterizing this response as a state on the verge of tax revolt. On Friday we spoke with Jessica Levinson of the Center for Governmental Studies who argued that the propositions are just too complex and that voters want legislators to do the job they were hired to do. Today we’ll take a look at Propositions 1a and 1b, the two main measures. Proposition 1A would temporarily extend tax increases to help with a $42 billion budget shortfall, impose new spending restrictions, and increase the size of a “rainy day” fund to more than 12% of the general fund. Prop 1B, which will be valid only if voters pass it _and_ 1A, requires supplemental payments totaling $9.3 billion for K-14 institutions to make up for recent cuts in the education budget. Prop 1B was devised by lawmakers and linked to 1A as a way to gain the support of teachers unions for both propositions.

GUESTS: Brian Bonner, Legislative Advocate for the California State PTA (www.capta.org), Pete Stahl, independent expert for over 20 years on ballot propositions, blogs at www.peterates.com, Steve Hopcraft, spokesperson with the California Federation of Teachers (www.cft.org).

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