By, Julia Matulionis |Staff Writer|
Proposition 31 is proposing a change in the way state and local budgets are determined, the results of which cannot be predicted.
It won’t directly affect Californians right away, if ever. There isn’t a tax increase of any kind in the proposition. It’s basically proposing a new way to move the state’s money around, after they’ve cut through all the red tape of course.
One of the main points of the proposition is to allow local agencies like cities, school districts, and community college districts to create their own plans regarding services, public safety, and economic development to name a few.
Instead of waiting for the state to administer funds, they would be allowed to use their own local funds for projects they deem necessary.
For example, it would allow local governments to transfer property taxes to either expand current state department programs or create new local programs.
The effect of which would cause a mirrored loss in state revenue.
The voters guide ensures, “Each plan would have to be approved by the governing boards of the (1) county, (2) school districts serving a majority of the county’s students, and (3) other local governments representing a majority of the county’s population.”
Other effects include allowing the governor to enact a reduction for general fund spending, in the face of a fiscal emergency following a 45 day period allowing the legislature to respond.
The Governor’s proposed reduction can not cut most school spending, debt service, pension contributions, some spending for health and social service programs, or any spending that is required by the Constitution or federal law.
Proposition 31 would also change the state’s budget process from a one-year process to a two-year process.
“Specifically, the measure requires the Legislature to create a process and use it to review every state-funded program- whether managed by the state or local government- at least once every five years,” according to the voter guide.
Proposition 31 is being opposed by the California Federation of Teachers and California Labor Federation.
Proponents of Proposition 31 include the CA Republican Party, the California Chamber of Commerce.