Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CA Election May 19, 2009

If you are registered for permanent absentee ballot you should probably mail it in today.

Here is some advice from the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club a terrific progressive Bay Area group:


On May 19th Vote NO! on all the propositions

PROP. 1A – Imposes a permanent spending cap based on a rolling 10- year average of revenues, extends recently approved tax increases ($18 billion) for 5-years, creates ‘rainy day” fund.

The tight, inflexible spending cap on state spending is permanent, but tax increases associated with the budget deal will end in five years. Therefore the drastic cuts in services imposed this year will be mostly permanent and will cripple future possibilities of significant new programs for education, health care, and other needed state services when the economy improves. If 1A is defeated the tax increases made as part of the budget deal will expire in two years when a better long term solution for the structural budget deficit could be developed Vote No!

PROP. 1B - Restores Prop. 98 school funding formula for years after 2010 so cuts made to public education as part of this year’s budget deal can be restored in future years, but is dependent on state revenues increasing.

Will only take effect if Prop. 1A passes. While there is merit in protecting education funding in future years if proposition 1A passes, this could also be done directly by the legislature so proposition 1B is unnecessary. Vote No!

PROP 1C - Borrows up to $5 billion against future increased lottery revenues to go into general fund this year.

State promotion of gambling is irresponsible. A better place to bring in additional revenue is increasing taxes on the wealthiest citizens and corporations. Vote No!

PROP. 1D - Children’s Services (“First 5”) funding
Allows funds specified for younger children’s services collected by special tobacco tax to be used for a wider variety of education and social services previously financed through general fund. Vote No!

PROP. 1E - Mental Health Funding - Allows special fund for mental health services previously passed by voters to be spent for a wider variety of health and social services currently supported primarily by the general fund.

Taken together the money shifted to the general fund by Props. 1D and 1E will close only about $1.5 billion of a $42 billion dollar budget deficit. Rather than raid funds passed by voters to prioritize needed children’s and mental health services, we should find new sources of revenue, such as an oil severance tax, to help close the budget deficit. Vote No!

- Prevents payment of Cost of Living salary increases to state legislators and Constitutional officers whenever the budget is in deficit.

While understandably there is anger directed at all legislators for the drawn-out budget process, this is a gimmick that misses the real villain here— extreme right wing groups pressuring Republican legislators to “shrink government down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub” by starving it of revenue. Vote No!


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