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CDF-CA supports ballot initiatives that further our efforts to dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline and ensure a level playing field for all children. We support initiatives that raise revenues to fund critical programs and services serving children and reform our criminal justice system.
Children’s Defense Fund-California recommends the following positions on key initiatives:
|Proposition 30: Temporary Income and Sales Tax Increases||YES. Prop. 30 temporarily increases personal income taxes on the highest earners and makes a small increase to the sales tax. Prop. 30 will raise about $6 billion a year between 2012 and 2017 to fund public schools, and other social services that are critical to California's children. If the measure does not pass, public schools and higher education will be hit with nearly $6 billion in additional "trigger" cuts.
|Proposition 32: Restrictions on Using Payroll Deductions For Political Purposes||NO. Prop. 32 supporters claim the law will limit big campaign spending from all sides. But the reality is that it would restrict everyday Californians from coming together to have a voice in elections while creating massive special exemptions for the same groups funding the campaign. Every serious government reform group in the state agrees that while California elections are badly in need of reform, Prop. 32 is a deceptive measure that would make a bad system worse by giving its wealthy backers the keys to Sacramento.
|Proposition 34: Eliminate the Death Penalty||YES. Prop. 34 will replace California’s death penalty with a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole as the maximum punishment for murder. California taxpayers will save $130 million each year by eliminating the death penalty with the savings being directed into the investigation of unsolved rape and murder cases.
|Proposition 36: Three Strikes Reform||YES. Prop. 36 will eliminate unintended and ineffective life sentences currently imposed for nonviolent, non-serious crimes. Prop. 36 will restore the original intent and core purpose of the Three Strikes law: to keep dangerous and violent criminals behind bars. The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office projects that Prop. 36 will save the state $70-100 million annually.
|Proposition 38: Income Tax Increases for Education and Early Childhood||YES. Prop. 38 increases income taxes for 12 years using a sliding scale, with the wealthiest taxpayers paying more. Prop. 38 will raise about $10 billion each year to fund K-12 schools, early childhood and debt reduction.
|Proposition 39: Income Taxes on Multi-State Businesses For Clean Energy/ Energy Efficiency Funding||YES. Prop. 39 requires multi-state companies to pay taxes based on their sales in California. Prop. 39 will generate an additional $500 million in revenue next year, and $1 billion a year after 6 years. This long term revenue will help reduce the deficit and increase available funding for vital services for children such as education and health and social services.|
Prop. 30 v. Prop. 38
CDF-CA believes strongly that California needs increased revenue in order fully invest in our children, and thus supports both Prop. 30 and Prop. 38. Both Prop. 30 and Prop. 38 would have a dramatically positive impact on California’s children by raising billions for California schools and reducing the pressure on the state budget in the immediate term, which will help avoid future cuts to key programs serving children and families.
Both propositions do have some tax implications for low and moderate-income families. Prop. 30 increases the marginal Personal Income Tax rate by 1-3% on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years, while Prop. 38 proposes tax increase on earnings using sliding scale of .4% to 2.2% for twelve years (more details on how it will impact your income are available here). Prop. 30 also raises the state sales by one-quarter cent for four years.
It is important to note that if voters approve both Prop. 30 and Prop. 38, the State Constitution specifies that the provisions of the measure receiving more “yes” votes prevail. If both measures were to pass, what a great signal that would send to policymakers and other stakeholders about California voters’ willingness to support higher taxes to pay for education and state services!
We have recently developed a new fact sheet, "Slashing Children from the Budget: California Budget Cuts to Children Over the Past Five Years," that shows how budget cuts over the past five years have impacted poor children and why it is critical to vote for measures increasing revenue.
Educational Sources for Ballot Measures