Support education, accountability
Posted May 15, 2009
There are six propositions on the Tuesday election ballot.Here are our recommendations for how to vote on each:

Proposition 1A limits state spending and increases the rainy day fund. The general budget is to increase to 12 percent and the money will go to the low economy first and then the schools. If there is any left. The plan is to take future tax revenues and place them into a non-regulated fund whether the economy is up or down. It seems like a good concept, but it needs a bit more work before we decide to place our money into questionable hands. We vote no.

Proposition 1B addresses a payment plan for education funding to address recent budget cuts. Annual payments to school districts and community colleges will begin in 2011 and will last through 2012. Payments will come from the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund. This proposition is a good in case 1A falls through to ensure the school systems will receive money. We vote yes.

Proposition 1C is the lottery modernization act. This proposition allows the state to improve the lottery to entice more people to buy lottery tickets. About $5 billion would be borrowed from future lottery profits to help balance the current 2009-10 state budget crisis. Schools will continue to be funded and more people may want to buy into the lottery allowing net profit to grow. We vote yes.

Proposition 1D The state wants to take money from the First Five fund and redirect it to benefit other children so that money will not be taken from the state’s general fund. There is currently 2.5 billion sitting in the First Five fund. Some say that using some of that money will protect children’s services. This proposition is an update of Proposition 10 to tax tobacco products for child education and development. Not taking money from the general fund sounds good, but the First Five Program says that it needs the money that is sitting in its fund. We vote no.

Proposition 1E Amends mental health services funding and temporary reallocation. The plan is to transfer funds for a two-year period from mental health programs to pay for the mental health services for young children and adults. This will provide more than $225 million in flexible funding or mental health programs. The government is going to take money from a special fund and put it into the general fund for statewide mental services. We vote no.

Proposition 1F concerns elected official’s salaries and prevents pay increases during budget deficit years. Currently, California legislators are being paid more than $100,000 annually. They are also given a $170 a day “per diem” expense for every day they are in session and California legislators serve full time. Why should we vote to allow elected officials to get pay raises during years when they do not pass a balanced budget? The answer is we should not. We vote yes.

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