By Erene Abdelmeseeh
By Erene Abdelmeseeh
The California Statewide Special Election on May 19 is quickly approaching and it is important for voters to understand each of the propositions and its effect on the state.
According to the Official Voter Information Guide, the following are the six proposed propositions.
Proposition 1A: The “rainy day” budget stabilization fund
This proposition will increase the size of the state’s “rainy day” fund, limiting spending.
Part of the annual deposits into the “rainy day” fund would go toward savings for future economic downturns and the rest would go to education funding, infrastructure, debt repayment or for a declared emergency.
A YES vote on this proposition allows various state budgeting practices to be changed.
The recently passed higher state taxes would be extended for up to two years.
A NO vote would allow no changes to be made to the state’s current budgeting practices or its “rainy day” reserve funds.
The recently passed higher state taxes would end by 2010-11.
Proposition 1B: The education funding payment plan
This proposition requires the state to give supplemental payments to local school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts.
The annual payments would begin 2011-12.
One potential outcome of the proposition is state savings of up to several billion dollars in 2009-10 and 2010-11, the other is potential state costs of billions of dollars annually thereafter.
A YES vote on this proposition requires the state to make supplemental payments to schools and community colleges beginning in 2011-12. These payments replace other payments the state would otherwise be required to make in earlier years.
A NO vote means the state would not make supplemental payments to schools and community colleges, but instead make other payments as required under current law.
Proposition 1C: The lottery modernization act
This proposition will allow the state lottery to increase payouts and to improve marketing and management.
It will also require the state to maintain ownership of the lottery and protect funding levels for schools that are provided by lottery revenues.
The increase in lottery revenues will be used for the current budget deficit as well as reduce the need for more tax increases and state program cuts.
It will allow $5 billion of borrowing from future lottery profits to help balance the 2009-10 state budget.
This would likely make it more difficult to balance future state budgets, but this impact could possibly be lessened by potentially higher lottery profits.
Future lottery borrowing would also continue to be allowed.
A YES vote on this proposition allows the state to borrow $5 billion from future lottery profits to balance the 2009-10 state budget.
The California Lottery would then have more flexibility to increase its sales and profits.
Educational institutes would no longer receive lottery payments and the State General Fund would increase its payments to education to make up for the lost lottery funds.
A NO vote would stop the state from borrowing from lottery profits to help balance the state budget.
The lottery would continue to function as it does today and dedicate profits to education.
Proposition 1D: Children’s services funding
This proposition will allow more than $600 million to protect children’s programs during difficult economic times.
It would also redirect existing tobacco tax money to protect health and human services for children.
This includes services for at-risk families, children with disabilities and foster children.
Additionally, it will fund health and human service programs for children 5-years-old and under through the temporary redirection of existing money.
Finally, it will help balance state budget and ensure that counties retain funding for local priorities.
This proposition should create State General Fund savings of up to $608 million in 2009-10 and $268 million annually from 2010-11 through 2013-14 from the temporary redirection of a portion of funds from the California Children and Families Program replacing the state General Fund support of health and human service programs for children up to age five.
A YES vote would redirect a portion of funds previously approved by voters to the California Children and Families Program for early childhood development programs over the next several years in order to achieve State General Fund budgetary savings.
A NO vote allows the California Children and Families Program to continue to receive all the funding dedicated to early childhood development programs.
Proposition 1E: Mental Health Services Funding
This proposition will allow the transferring of funds from the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63 of 2004) to pay for children and young adults mental health services for two years.
The funds will be provided through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program, allowing more than $225 million in flexible funding for mental health programs.
This will help balance state budget with a State General Fund saving of $230 million annually for two years (2009-10 and 2010-11).
A YES vote will redirect a portion of funds previously approved under Proposition 63 to support the expansion of community health programs over the next two years to achieve state General Fund savings.
A NO vote would allow all Proposition 63 funds to continue to be used to support the expansion of mental health programs.
Other budget reductions would be needed to address the state’s fiscal problems.
Proposition 1F: Elected officials’ salary
This proposition will balance state budgets by preventing elected Members of the Legislature and statewide constitutional officers, including the governor, from receiving pay raises in years when the state is running a deficit, which will be determined by the director of finance.
It will also prevent an increase in elected officials’ salaries by the Citizens Compensation Commission in years when the state Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties is in the negative by an amount equal to or greater than one percent of the general fund.
Minor state savings related to state officials’ salaries may be expected when the state will end the year with a budget deficit.
A YES vote would stop elected state officials from receiving salary increases when the state General Fund is expected to end the year with a deficit.
A NO vote would allow state officials to continue to receive salary increases.