Proposed Ballot Measure Aims To Place Controls on State Spending
The initiative -- filed by the California Taxpayers Association, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Small Business Action Committee -- came one day after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) proposed a ballot measure to raise $7 billion in additional taxes to make up for low state revenue.
Details of the Ballot Initiative
The initiative aims to reconfigure Proposition 4, known as the Gann Limit, which places restrictions on how tax revenue is used. Voters approved the measure in 1979 (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 12/7).
Under the proposed ballot initiative, spending levels would be based on theÂ 2010-2011 fiscal year,Â and revenues above that level would be used to pay off state debt (Harmon, San Jose Mercury News, 12/6). Leftover funding would be divided among schools and rainy-day accounts. Any remaining funding would be returned to taxpayers.
Effect on Health Care Programs
Anthony Wright -- director of Health Access California -- said instituting a spending cap would harm programs such as Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, and other health services for low-income residents.
According to the Bee, Medi-CalÂ expenses are expected to outpace the rate of inflation because of rising medical costs and expanded enrollment under the federal health reform law (Sacramento Bee, 12/7).
Opinion Piece From Initiative Filers
Since its passage, "the Gann Limit has been diluted to the point of ineffectiveness," Teresa Casazza, -- president of the California Taxpayers Association -- Jon Coupal -- president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- and Joel Fox -- president of the Small Business Action Committee -- write in a Bee opinion piece.
They add, "The only way to control government spending, root out waste, pay off our debt, and protect taxpayers is to impose a reasonable spending limit that will force California politicians to once again live within our means and stop the unrestrained growth of government spending" (Casazza et al., Sacramento Bee, 12/7).
On Tuesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the ballot initiative to limit state spending (O'Mara, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 12/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.