Someone has to try to shine a spotlight on the upcoming May 19th election, which asks for thumbs up or down on California’s budget propositions. These days, it’s easy to forget Sacramento when focused on Oakland’s own financial travails. Remember you do have a say – even if slight – in how the state operates too.
Come on, vote. The upcoming election isn’t exciting like that POTUS election, but it’s still worth exercising your civic responsibility. In this election, you pass judgment on six different ways the state coffers could get shifted around, emptied, and slightly refilled! Take a minute to check your registration or register to vote by the deadline – Monday, May 5th.
For or against the props? Our state representatives, Senator Loni Hancock and Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, are against the propositions and strongly oppose the first one which is about growing rainy day funds and restricting budget use. The League of Women Voters feels that many propositions are short-term fixes, too. Now that your views are biased, take a look at the propositions and decide for yourself.
Review the ballot here. If you’re registered, then you have seen the propositions in the mail. I’m betting that you didn’t pay close attention to this voter mailing or maybe even tossed it into the recycle bin. For starters, the League of Women Voters comes to the rescue with voter and ballot info available through their Smart Voter site.
Watch a few videos instead. The fastest way to get a “lay of the land” is through short YouTube videos. These videos run under two minutes each – and feature a plain-spoken guy, Stuart Paap, who introduces the props without spin.
- Prop 1A – State Budget – Video – Description – This prop would enable the State to extend tax increases in place since last February. There was no guidance about how the tax revenues would be spent, and this prop seeks to put limits on spending with an increased rainy-day fund.
- Prop 1B – Public Education Funding – Video – Description – Voters previously approved minimum funding for public schools and community colleges. Some of what’s owed is permitted to be paid back in future years. This prop requires state to pay the $9.3 billion owed now, from available budget.
- Prop 1C – California State Lottery – Video – Description – Voters previously approved the lottery for school funding, and about one percent of our state’s school budget comes from this source. This prop shifts school funding to the state general fund, and permits the state to raise $5 billion now via lottery bonds.
- Prop 1D – Transfer of Child Development Funds – Video – Description – Voters previously increased the state’s tobacco tax to fund programs for kids up to age five. There’s $2.5 billion in unspent funds (6/08), and funds would be re-directed to the state general fund for programs like foster care, health care, preschool, childcare, etc.
- Prop 1E – Transfer of Mental Health Funds – Video – Description – Voters previously passed a one percent tax on personal income over $1 million, for new mental health programs. There’s $2 billion in unspent funds (6/08), and $460 million would gradually transfer to the state general fund, thus providing mental health services for patients under age 21.
- Prop 1F – Pay Raises for State Officials – Video – Description – Voters previously approved a state commission to set salaries for legislators, governor and other elected officials. This prop prevents state officials from getting raises in years when state income falls short of state spending by one percent or more.
More info: Your Polling Location – Check Your Registration – Register To Vote – Online Registration Form – Easy Voter Guide – Quick Reference Guide To Props – Budget Propositions – Full Voter Information Guide – Google News Results