Nov 02 2012
Voters trying to get a handle on all the props before next Tuesday’s election may find themselves slightly more perplexed than usual when it comes to Prop 31, an initiative which aims to fix budgetary and legislative problems in California by amending the State Constitution. The 9,000 word proposition covers nine different issues, and opponents are disagreeing with some but not all of its various proposals.
Although California Forward, the non-profit behind the proposition, is the same group which sponsored the laudable citizens’ redistricting commission which went into effect in 2010, critics are skeptical of Prop 31 which is backed by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen. Berggruen, who has stated in the past that he would like governments to run more like businesses, gave $1.6 million dollars of his own money to support the passage of the proposition.
Among the less controversial proposals in Prop 31 is increasing the State’s Budget cycle from one to two years and allowing all state bills to be available for public viewing three days prior to the legislature’s vote. But the initiative also mandates a so-called Pay-As-You-Go provision that lawmakers find funding sources for any projects costing more than $25 million before they are approved.
Prop 31 also promotes “Community Strategic Action Plans” to address the struggle between local and State governments which would enable local governments to disregard State laws to implement local level concerns. Locally planned projects would be able to tap into a $200 million a year fund created by siphoning off California State sales tax revenue. Prop 31 would also allow local governments to determine how their community property taxes are spent, thereby changing the current system which permits Counties to allocate the money. According to some polls, over a third of voters are undecided on the Proposition.
GUESTS: James Mayer, Executive Director of California Forward and Lenny Goldberg Executive Director of the California Tax Reform Association
For more on the Yes on 31 campaign, visit www.accountableca.org.
For more on the No on 31 campaign, visit www.prop31facts.com.