Proposition 1F, which limits salary increases for elected state officials, was the only measure to pass.
“We have heard from the voters, and I respect the will of the people who are frustrated with the dysfunction in our budget system,” California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
Propositions 1A-1E were shot down with each proposition getting on average only one third of the necessary of 50 percent needed to pass.
“The people were telling us: Don’t bring this problem to our doorstep,” said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg in a statement. “We are going to cut … We’re not shying away from that.”
Proposition 1F passed with 73 percent statewide and received a resounding yes from 80 percent of the voters in San Luis Obispo County. 1F prevents elected officials including the governor from receiving pay raises in years when the state ends the fiscal year in a deficit. The responsibility of determining whether the year will end in deficit or not is given to the state director of finance. The measure was placed on the ballot at the insistence of local senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria), who voted yes on the February state budget-balancing deal conditional on a measure such as 1F being on the special election ballot.
Proposition 1A failed, with 65.8 percent of voters statewide and 61.9 percent in San Luis Obispo County voting no. Proposition 1A would have increased the size of the state’s “rainy day” fund, which would have allocated revenue from good fiscal years into the fund, to be used for future economic downturns.
“The California State University and other vital public services avoided a severe setback for the state’s future prospects when voters rejected Proposition 1A,” the California Faculty Association said in a statement Wednesday.
Proposition 1B received no votes from 62.5 percent of voters statewide and 63.9 percent of voters in San Luis Obispo county. The proposition rested on passage of 1A, and if both passed would have given $9.3 billion to K-12 schools and community colleges through the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF). The proposition was voted down despite not having any official campaigns opposing it.
Proposition 1C failed with rejection from 64.6 percent of voters statewide and 67.4 percent of voters saying no in San Luis Obispo County. If 1C had passed it would have “modernized” the state lottery system and would have allowed the state to borrow $5 billion from future projected lottery profits through the sales of bonds, with that money going into the state’s general fund. Opponents believed that projections for the future lottery revenues were over-optimistic and that 1C could have allowed the state to borrow money to be spent on unspecified reasons.
Proposition 1D sought to enhance funding for children’s services originating from 1998’s Proposition 10, which created the California Children and Families Program (now known as the First 5 Program) for promoting, supporting and improving health and early development of children during their first 5 years of age. 1D would have provided $600 million to fund children’s programs funded by revenues from state excise taxes on cigarettes. Voters statewide voted the proposition down by 66.4 percent and 69.4 percent of voters in San Luis Obispo County followed suit.
Proposition 1E would have basically been to mental health services what 1D would have been to children’s services, and was similarly rejected by voters with 66.4 percent voting no statewide and 67.1 voting no in the county.
In addition to Schwarzenegger, the propositions were championed by both democratic and republican state House and Senate leaders, as well as several large California labor unions and the California Chamber of Commerce.
Lawmakers will meet today to discuss their remaining options for reworking the state budget, which The Los Angeles Times recently reported is in jeopardy of going bankrupt by July.
In an effort to balance the budget, lawmakers may have to resort to deep cuts in public education and state jobs, and may even have to sell off state property. California will also consider the release and deportation of 19,000 illegal immigrants currently in state prisons, the Los Angeles Times reported. Twenty three thousand inmates could be transferred from state to county facilities as well.
– Marlize van Romburgh contributed to this report.