PROPOSITION 22 -- LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Prohibits state from shifting, taking, borrowing, or restricting use of revenues dedicated to local government services, community redevelopment projects, and transportation projects and services. Prohibits the state from delaying distribution of tax revenues for these purposes. Major funding support provided by League of California Cities and California Alliance for Jobs (a group including Associated General Contractors, Operating Engineers, Carpenters Union, and Association of Engineering Construction Employers).
Proposed GPCA Position
For Greens, and at first glance, this proposition seems a good thing: local levels of government are presumably more responsive to local issues therefore this will lead to more grassroots control of the purse. And there is no doubt that the state government has been somewhat high-handed recently in its approach to struggling cities and counties.
However, this proposition is just one more example of "budgeting by ballot-box". We elect representatives to go to Sacramento and make budget decisions. That is how our Republic is supposed to work. And if those representatives cannot get the job done, then we go to the polls and replace them (hopefully with Greens, of course).
Yet through use (some would say "abuse") of the direct democracy system, each election cycle leaves our State Senators and Assemblymembers, from whatever party, with less and less room to move when trying to manage our state's affairs. This has led us to more partisanship, more back-room deal making, and more just plain bad government.
The provisions of Prop 22 are mostly concerned with "transportation money" - that is the funds normally used for highways and so forth. But we cannot view the state budget in such black and white terms. Our Senate and Assembly must sometimes make hard choices and forcing money away from the state in one place will mean reductions in funding elsewhere. Because of this principle, one likely outcome of Prop 22 will be even less money state-wide for schools and universities as well as less funding for other programs that Progressives feel are important for the common good.
In conclusion, let's not try to manage our budgets piece-meal or by doing what is popular this week, let's instead change the people we send to Sacramento to represent us and let those representatives do their job.
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