By Jordan Ward / Staff writer
By Jordan Ward / Staff writer
The boom of a microphone invited willing listeners to the steps of the Martin Luther King Jr. Teaching and Learning Center to increase awareness over propositions that can have far-reaching effects on millions of Californians.
On Sept. 19, Associate Students of Riverside City College hosted an open forum to present the legislative issues surrounding Proposition 30. During this time, students were informed on the importance of Proposition 30, and ways they could encourage others to vote this November.
Jose Medina, former Riverside Community College District Trustee and California State Assembly candidate, described the need for students to vote yes on Proposition 30 and no on Proposition 38.
“The educational system in California will have the funding that it needs and deserves,” said Medina. “Voting yes on Proposition 30 will be a move in the right direction.”
Along with Medina, Mark Sellick, associate professor of political science and economics, explained the repercussions of Proposition 30 not being voted upon on the November ballot.
“The result is that colleges will close in the area. That can have repercussions on student enrollment and financing for students at RCC,” Sellick said.
Proposition 30 is a statewide initiative that would raise the income tax of those earning at least $250,000 a year, and sales taxes by a quarter cent next year, to increase revenue for the California school system.
Returns from this seven year plan are designed to help close the state’s budget gap, as well as prevent shorter school years, limited resources, and higher tuition. The projected revenue increases would generate $6.8-$9 billion dollars in 2012 with an additional $5.4 to $7.6 billion through 2018.
The state’s fiscal year budget assumes added revenue with the passing of Proposition 30. However with its possible rejection, a series of spending reductions will go into effect. These reductions, otherwise known as trigger cuts, will result in a $5.5 billion cut to education across all levels; the hardest hit being public schools and community colleges.
Because Propositions 30 and 38 are mutually exclusive, the one with the majority of votes will be enacted. The state constitution proves that when two measures conflict, as in the case of Propositions 30 and 38, the one that holds more votes, regardless of whether voters wish to enact both, will be instituted over the other.
The chief advocate of Proposition 38, Molly Munger, calls for progressive tax increases over 12 years with the resulting $10 billion in revenue going to education and bond-debt repayment.
Proponents of Proposition 38 describe Proposition 30 as a means of only temporarily repairing a problem that can only be resolved through reform of the California educational system and the pension system to save money. Supporters of Proposition 30 think otherwise.
Gov. Jerry Brown views it as a central component of a long-term solution to balance the budget. The overall goal of Brown’s budget plan is focused on protecting education, public safety, and other core state services while improving management of the state’s volatile economic structure.
“The most important thing for students to do to help pass Proposition 30 is to help spread the word,” Medina said, “Talk among each other, write letters to the newspaper, and lastly be active participants in open forums about issues such as this.”