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June 23, 2021

Props. 55, 57, 58 very bad for California

Four important statewide measures appear on the March 2 ballot.
These measures will play a pivotal role in the financial future of
the state and we urge voters to study them carefully before casting
their votes.
Four important statewide measures appear on the March 2 ballot. These measures will play a pivotal role in the financial future of the state and we urge voters to study them carefully before casting their votes.

– Proposition 55

Prop. 55 asks voters to authorize the issuance of $12.3 billion in bonds to build and remodel school facilities. We urge San Benito County voters to deny that request.

The further money gets away from local control, the more potential there is for waste and politics to disrupt its wise use. We have no problem with most local school bonds, and have endorsed several, including the current request of Gavilan Community College for a bond, but we cannot endorse this plan.

Money will be doled out by the California Office of Public School Construction, a panel that has no local representation and is not under local control.

Quite frankly, we doubt that any local school agency will see a thin dime from this bond. If history is any guide, the process to get the funds will be cumbersome if not outright unfair.

Further, there couldn’t be a worse time for this bond request. California is bleeding red ink and there is simply no justification for it to mortgage itself further.

Vote no on Prop. 55.

– Proposition 56

Prop. 56 would move our state Legislature closer to majority rule when it comes to the budget process. It would allow budget passage with a 55-percent majority. Currently, any state budget must gain two-thirds approval in the state Legislature to pass. This has led to gridlock, late budgets, immense frustration for local governments and school districts, and allowed a minority to dictate spending to the majority.

Look at California’s fiscal mess – and its been brought about while we’ve lived under that supposedly better-for-the-taxpayer system of two-thirds approval for budgets, spending and tax plans. Not only are we bleeding red ink, Californians bear one of the heaviest tax burdens of any state. Clearly, the two-thirds system doesn’t work.

Let’s move closer to majority rule – the system our founding fathers envisioned. Let’s end gridlock and late budgets.

Vote yes on Proposition 56.

– Propositions 57 and 58

These proposals are more of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s more-of-the-same, tepid response to California’s fiscal crisis. The governor is asking Californians to approve Prop. 57, which would pay for California’s day-to-day operating expenses with a $15 billion, 15-year mortgage. It’s frightening, it’s bad fiscal management and it’s wrong.

Gov. Schwarzenegger has attempted to make his ridiculous proposal more palatable by pairing it with Prop. 58, which is more of his more-of-the-same. Prop. 58 purports to be a balanced budget requirement – we already have one. Even supporters acknowledge that Prop. 58 is filled with loopholes.

For either measure to take effect, both measures must pass.

California’s state officials are addicted to spending. It’s time for an intervention – and the failure of Prop. 57 would serve that purpose very well. If Prop. 57 fails, the legislature and governor would be forced to make real, meaningful cuts to the state budget.

State Sen. Tom McClintock has pointed out that a 13.5-percent spending cut would solve California’s fiscal woes in a year and a half. Surely that’s a better plan than paying billions of dollars a year in interest to finance these bonds.

Let’s force Sacramento to live within its means. Vote no on Props. 57 and 58.

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