At press time, CTA State Council is meeting to define CTA’s positions on a number of measures slated for the May 19 special election. Five of the measures work in tandem to make the state budget operable. In the next issue of California Educator we will feature an update on the positions State Council decides to take and the rationale for those choices. Two additional ballot measures were approved by the Legislature as part of a last-minute compromise. The first, which would restrict legislative pay increases in deficit years, is set for a May 19 vote. The second, which would create an “open primary,” is expected to go on the June 2010 ballot. For up-to-date information on the special election, click here.
Proposition 1A — Reform and Stabilize State Budget (Budget Stabilization Fund)
Prop. 1A provides long-term reform to our broken budget system by stabilizing future state spending and creating an enhanced rainy day reserve fund. Without impacting the state’s minimum school funding guarantee, Prop. 1A requires the state to direct 3 percent of revenues into a rainy day fund each year, except when the fund is full or during economic downturns. It increases the overall size of the state’s rainy day reserve from 5 percent to 12.5 percent of the budget. Part of the money from the Prop. 1A reserve fund is used to repay the $9 billion owed to public schools. If Prop. 1A fails, there will be no mechanism in place to restore the funding to schools and community colleges. Prop. 1A does not downsize government or give the governor authority to make midyear cuts to education.
Proposition 1B — Protect Education Funding (Prop. 98 Restoration)
The budget crisis has cut more than $12 billion from our schools and colleges. Over 5,000 teachers and education support professionals have been laid off and thousands more are threatened. Prop. 1B starts the process of paying back our schools and community colleges as economic conditions improve. Prop. 1B sets up a repayment plan to ensure schools are repaid the $9 billion they are owed under the state’s minimum school funding law. The payments to schools would come out of the newly created rainy day fund established in Prop. 1A and are dependent on the passage of Prop. 1A. Payments would begin in 2011-12.
Proposition 1C — Lottery Modernization Act
Prop. 1C will increase the performance and accountability of the state lottery and bring immediate funding to the state without raising taxes. By modernizing the lottery, Prop. 1C will immediately raise $5 billion in new revenues to immediately help with this year’s budget deficit. The measure also guarantees that public schools will receive the same amount of funds they currently receive from the lottery. In fact, Prop. 1C takes education funding out of future lottery proceeds and places that money under the Prop. 98 minimum school funding guarantee. So schools will actually receive more money in future years due to cost-of-living increases. If Prop. 1C fails, there will be a $5 billion hole in the state budget, meaning schools and other programs could face additional cuts
Proposition 1D — Children’s Services Funding
Prop. 1D temporarily redirects a portion of excess funds from the voter-approved tobacco tax to pay for children’s health and social services over the next two years. Currently, the Children and Families Trust Fund has about $2.5 billion that has not been spent. Prop. 1D diverts a portion of this unexpended money to prevent deeper cuts to children’s health care and other human services programs. Only a portion of these tobbacco tax funds would be redirected, thereby protecting existing programs currently funded by the tax. Failure of Prop. 1D creates a more than $600 million hole in the state budget and means deeper cuts for children’s health and social service programs.
Proposition 1E — Mental Health Funding
Prop. 1E would temporarily redirect a portion of the funds from the Mental Health Services Trust Fund approved by voters in 2004 to fund children’s health programs that are at risk of elimination due to the state budget crisis, including health care screenings, diagnosis and treatment for children’s health. Failure of Prop. 1E means the state budget deficit grows by $227 million and means those programs face deeper cuts or even elimination.
Proposition 1F — Restricts Elected Officials’ Salaries
Prop. 1F prohibits legislators, the governor and other state politicians from getting pay raises whenever our state budget is running a deficit. By stopping legislative pay raises during state budget deficits, we can save California millions of dollars when they’re needed most and bring accountability to the Legislature and the governor’s office.