Voters Concerned Proposition 76 Spending Cap Would Reduce Funds for Health Care
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has campaigned statewide to raise support for Proposition 76 -- a Nov. 8 special election ballot measure that would place a spending cap on the state budget -- but voters "appear to lose interest when they learn of the sacrifices" that the measure would require, such as funding reductions to health care or education programs, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Opponents of the measure, such as nurses and emergency services employees, maintain that the spending cap could cause reductions in emergency services and payments to community clinics. In addition, some opponents have said that a similar spending cap in Colorado caused a recession that forced a reduction in funds for health care. Spending on health care and education programs accounts for more than 75% of the state general fund, the Times reports (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 10/7).
However, supporters of the measure maintain that the spending cap would protect local revenues, according to the Sacramento Bee. Fresno Mayor Alan Autry said the measure would implement "sound business practices" that would ensure local governments "would get more resources and delivery of services that are important to people."
Legislative analyst Elizabeth Hill also said that the measure could force some local governments to provide social and health care services to some residents in the event the state reduces funds for such services (Hecht, Sacramento Bee, 10/7).