Campaigns on Health Care-Related Measures Yield Tensions
Tensions over voter-approved spending measures are being highlighted in the battle over measures on the May 19 special election ballot that would let the state balance the budget in part by tapping into special accounts for mental health services and early childhood health care and education programs, the Los Angeles Times reports (Bailey, Los Angeles Times, 4/20).
Proposition 1D would shift funds from First 5, which was created in 1998 when voters approved Proposition 10 to increase the state tobacco tax to fund early childhood health care and education programs.
In fiscal year 2009-2010, the measure would shift as much as $608 million in Proposition 10 revenue to the state general fund for other state health and human services programs for children who are not older than age five.Â The measure would shift as much as $268 million to the state general fund in each of the next four fiscal years.
Proposition 1E would shift $226.7 million from mental health care programs that Proposition 63 funds to the existing Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program for low-income children for two years.Â
In 2004, voters approved Proposition 63, which increased the state income tax on high-income Californians to fund mental health services (California Healthline, 4/16).
Steinberg, Reiner on Opposite Sides
The campaign is marked by the different conclusions that Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and filmmaker Rob Reiner reached on the measures.
Steinberg, a leading proponent of Proposition 63, helped craft the budget deal that put the measures on the ballot and is urging voters to approve them.Â Steinberg maintains that funding from Proposition 63 would go primarily to fund similar mental health services that are paid for through the state general fund.
Reiner, the lead backer of Proposition 10, is opposing the measures and argues that the measures are "short-sighted" (Bailey, Los Angeles Times, 4/20).
- The California Republican Party voted to oppose the six budget-related measures on the special election ballot, including propositions 1D and 1E (Young, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 4/18).Â Mike Spence, head of the initiatives committee, said the recommendation is intended primarily to show the party's opposition to the February budget deal (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 4/18).
- On Friday, Steinberg, Sen. Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto), Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines (R-Fresno) appeared at a Silicon Valley Leadership Group event urging voters to approve the budget-related measures on the May 19 ballot.Â SVLG has recommended that voters approve the measures (Woolfolk, San Jose Mercury News, 4/18).
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel advised voters to approve all six measures (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 4/19).
- The Mercury News advised voters to reject Proposition 1D -- shifting funds from First 5 California -- but urged voters to approve Proposition 1E (San Jose Mercury News, 4/18).
- The Contra Costa Times recommended that voters approve both propositions 1D and 1E (Contra Costa Times, 4/20).