Next Tuesday the voters of California will go to the polls in a special election which offers us one of the wonderful benefits of democracy: a choice between two absolutely horrible options. The election offers us five propositions, numbered 1A-1F and is the result of the recent budget agreement which took about 100 days to reach.
The basic choice is between supporting the proposals which would cure the problems in the short term but do nothing to fix things for the long term. In addition the tax hikes and spendng cuts would also cause problems.
On the other hand rejecting them would put the state in serious peril right now. The budget is so tight already that rejecting the proposals would force drastic cuts in vital services.
So it amounts to having something sort of bad happen now and continue for many years or to have something completely horrible to happen right now and last until we are forced to fix it.
Proposition 1A would increase the rainy day fund reserves from 5% to 12.5% and would impose new restrictions on how the funds were spent. To fund this increase it would extend current tax hikes for several more years.
Proposition 1B would restore about $ 9 billion in funding to schools ovet the next several years but only if Proposition 1A passes.
Proposition 1C would allow the state to borrow $ 5 billion which would be repaid out of revenues from the state lottery. Since all lottery funds currently go to schools, the $ 5 billion would have to be made up from somewhere else in the general fund.
Proposition 1D would cut funding for early childhood development programs by about $ 1.7 billion over the next five years.
Proposition 1E would cut funding from mental health programs by about $ 200 million a year for the next 2 years.
Proposition 1F would prevent pay raises for legislators and state officials in recession years.
Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice