“Read it yourself” Before Voting on Prop. 1A

by Mike Roth, The California Majority Report

California seniors, teachers, and college faculty today warned voters that despite misleading claims by Proposition 1A supporters, the confusing and deeply flawed proposition will do nothing to stop California’s budget chaos this year or next and will actually make our problems worse. They urged every voter to ‘Read it yourself’ before voting on the confusing and deeply flawed proposition.

"We all want to fix the budget, but even after reading all the small print in Prop. 1A you cannot find a single thing it does to help solve the immediate budget crisis. What you will find is lots of complex formulas and confusing information," said Gary Passmore, spokesman for Congress of California Seniors. "Saving for a rainy day is a good idea, but when it’s already raining, where will the money come from and who decides how it’s spent?"

Prop 1A, on the May 19 Special Election ballot, was hastily written in the middle of the night by the Governor and legislature in Sacramento and promises a so-called "rainy day fund" along with an extension of $16 billion in tax increases that were adopted as part of the budget package.

Opponents held a news conference today in front of the California State Library, surrounded by the entire text of the proposition — close to 3000 words on large poster boards — and invited audience members to try to decipher the fine print of the measure. 

"Just one look at Prop. 1A will reveal to voters its fatal flaws. Prop. 1A gives the governor new power to make midyear cuts to school funding, with no checks or balances," said Dennis Smith, Secretary Treasurer of the California Federation of Teachers. "Prop. 1A would also harm the most vulnerable students’ health and welfare, and hungry or sick kids don’t learn very well. This constitutional amendment is so poorly written it could even make it more difficult to balance the state budget."

Smith also noted that supporters of Prop 1A have been attempting to fool voters with misleading information. The measure’s authors were recently forced by a judge to accurately explain Prop 1A. California Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny repeatedly described the original ballot language written by legislators and the Governor as ‘misleading’ and ordered changes to the measure’s title and summary that will now appear in the state’s Official Voter Information Guide.

"Voters who carefully study Prop. 1A will see it is chock full of loopholes and will lead to unintended consequences. It could force cuts that harm seniors, health care and education even in good years and divert funds to the "rainy day" slush fund even in the worst times," said Lillian Taiz, President of the California Faculty Association. 

Proposition 1A’s opponents include the League of Women Voters of California, Congress of California Seniors, Health Access California, California Nurses Association,  California Federation Teachers, Consumer Federation of California, Older Women’s League of California, SEIU California State Council, and the California Faculty Association.