Argument in Favor of Proposition 76
PROPOSITION 76 IS ONE OF THE CRITICAL REFORMS
WE NEED TO CLEAN UP THE MESS IN SACRAMENTO!
YES on Prop. 76: Control State Spending
California’s budget system is broken. We have record
deficits, unbalanced budgets, and out-of-control spending.
The politicians can’t say “no” to more spending. Since
1999–2000, the state has increased spending by twice as
much as it has increased its revenue.
“California faces a budget crisis that
needs to be resolved this year. The Governor’s reforms . . . can go a long
way toward establishing and maintaining fiscal responsibility in the state.”
Contra Costa Times, April 3, 2005
Budget experts project next year’s budget deficit at $6 billion
and annual deficits after that of $4–$5 billion. At that pace,
the State will accumulate $22 to $26 billion in deficits over
the next five fiscal years.
The choice is simple: Pass Prop. 76 or face higher taxes such
as the car tax, income tax, sales tax, and even property taxes.
PROP. 76 IS THE BIPARTISAN SOLUTION THAT FORCES
THE STATE TO LIVE WITHIN ITS MEANS:
- Limits spending to the average rate of tax growth of the
past three years, so we don’t overspend in good times
followed by huge deficits in bad times.
- Establishes “checks and balances” to encourage the
Governor and Legislature to work together.
When tax revenue slows, the Legislature can cut
wasteful spending to balance the budget. If the
Legislature doesn’t act, the Governor can then cut
wasteful spending, while protecting funding for
education, public safety, and roads.
- Stabilizes K–14 education spending. By cutting wasteful
spending and balancing the budget, we’ll have more funds to
spend on what the state needs, without raising taxes.
- Stops the autopilot spending binge and holds the politicians accountable.
- Guarantees that taxes dedicated for highways and roads
are spent on those projects and never again raided to balance the budget.
Unfortunately, Opponents of Prop. 76 Don’t Want Reform:
- They think deficits and gridlock are just fine in
- They will stop at nothing to defeat Prop. 76 and have
spent millions for television ads to confuse voters.
- They use scare tactics, inaccurate statements, and
outright deceit, like their claims that it will cut funds for
law enforcement. It’s not true.
“Prop. 76 requires repayment of previously borrowed funds
so we can build new roads and repair existing roads and
it doesn’t reduce dedicated tax spending on local law
Alan Autry, Mayor of Fresno
“YES” on Prop. 76:
- Balance our budget without raising taxes.
- Promote bipartisan cooperation between the Legislature and the Governor.
- Eliminate wasteful spending and provide more money
for roads, health care, law enforcement, and other
important programs without raising taxes.
PLEASE VOTE “YES ON PROP. 76”—TO CLEAN UP THE
BUDGET MESS IN SACRAMENTO.
GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
TOM CAMPBELL, Director
California Department of Finance
SANDRA L. McBRAYER
Former National Teacher of the Year
Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Proposition 76
According to an analysis by two recent California Finance
Directors: “Proposition 76 makes a mess of the state’s
budget process and destroys our system of checks and
balances. It slashes school funding, could force deep cuts in
local services like health care and public safety, and gives
the governor unchecked power over the budget—with no
oversight or accountability.”
Prop. 76 wasn’t written by budget experts or taxpayer
advocates. It was written by the president of a big business
group that lobbies for tobacco, oil, insurance, and other
PROP. 76 DOESN’T “STABILIZE” SCHOOL FUNDING. It will cut school funding by over $4 billion a year and
eliminate voter-approved school funding guarantees.
PROP. 76 DOESN’T STOP NEW TAXES. Even the
president of the California Republican Assembly says Prop.
76 “actually encourages tax increases.”
PROP. 76 DOESN’T HOLD POLITICIANS
ACCOUNTABLE OR ENCOURAGE BIPARTISAN
COOPERATION. It destroys our system of checks and
balances by giving the Governor unlimited power over
budget decisions. He will be accountable to no one.
PROP. 76 DOESN’T END WASTEFUL SPENDING. The
Orange County Register calls its spending controls “phony.” While forcing cuts in education and public safety, Prop. 76
actually prevents cuts in programs like the California Dried
“PROPOSITION 76’s IMPACT ON PUBLIC SAFETY
WILL BE DEVASTATING,” warns Ron Cottingham,
president of the Peace Officers Research Association of
California. “It strips local government of the funding
needed for police and fire, health care, and other essential
PROPOSITION 76 IS “PHONY” AND A “BAD IDEA.” VOTE NO.
BARBARA KERR, President
California Teachers Association
DEBORAH BURGER, President
California Nurses Association
LOU PAULSON, President
California Professional Firefighters
Argument Against Proposition 76
PROPOSITION 76 WILL CUT FUNDING FOR
SCHOOLS, HEALTH CARE, POLICE, AND FIRE. It
undermines our democratic system of checks and balances
by giving the governor awesome new powers without any
oversight. And it opens the door to higher taxes.
PROPOSITION 76 OVERTURNS THE MINIMUM
SCHOOL FUNDING PROTECTIONS APPROVED
BY CALIFORNIA VOTERS WHEN THEY PASSED
PROPOSITION 98. Proposition 76 allows the Governor to
permanently reduce school funding without a vote of the
Our students and schools lost three billion dollars when
Governor Schwarzenegger broke his promise to repay the
money he took from education. Proposition 76 “terminates
the repayment requirement,” meaning the Governor will
never have to return this money to our schools’ minimum guarantee.
Proposition 76 will permanently reduce the money
schools will get by over $4 billion—$600 per student. That
means teacher layoffs, larger classes, fewer textbooks, less
classroom materials, poorly paid teachers, and overcrowded
schools. Proposition 76 keeps California behind states like
West Virginia and Kentucky in per pupil education funding.
PROPOSITION 76 DEPRIVES CITIES AND COUNTIES
OF HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN STATE
FUNDING NEEDED FOR POLICE, FIRE, AND HEALTH
CARE. Incredibly, if a “fiscal emergency” is declared,
this initiative requires funding be cut for vital services
like education, health care, fire, and police, but actually
prevents cutting “pork barrel” road projects.
PROPOSITION 76 ATTACKS CALIFORNIA’S SYSTEM
OF CHECKS AND BALANCES BY PLACING TOO
MUCH POWER IN THE HANDS OF ONE PERSON—THE GOVERNOR. Even if you trust this Governor, who
knows what future Governors might do with this unlimited
Under Proposition 76, any Governor could declare
a “fiscal emergency” simply by having his own staff
overestimate state revenues. Once a fiscal emergency is
declared, the Governor would be free to cut vital programs
without voter approval and without oversight.
Under Proposition 76, “The Governor could exercise
any whim or impose any political vendetta,” warns the Los Angeles Times, which calls Proposition 76 “a really
THIS INITIATIVE ALSO GIVES STATE LEGISLATORS
NEW POWER TO MAKE MISCHIEF. Just 14 of 120
legislators could block passage of the budget indefinitely,
putting government spending on autopilot. This could
allow the Governor to declare a “fiscal emergency,” giving
the Governor sweeping new powers to make state spending
and budget decisions “at his discretion,” with absolutely no
oversight or accountability.
CLAIMS THAT PROPOSITION 76 PREVENTS NEW
TAXES ARE ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE. This initiative does
nothing to prevent higher taxes. If it passes, the Governor
and Legislature can raise car taxes, income taxes, or sales
taxes without voter approval. Even the President of the
California Republican Assembly says that Proposition 76 “actually encourages tax increases.”
CALIFORNIANS CAN’T AFFORD PROPOSITION 76.
It will cut education, health care, fire, and police. It attacks
our system of checks and balances. And it opens the door to
higher taxes. Vote NO.
BRENDA J. DAVIS, President
California State PTA
HENRY L. “HANK” LACAYO, State President
Congress of California Seniors
WAYNE QUINT, JR., President
California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations
Rebuttal to Argument Against Proposition 76
Opponents of Prop. 76—The Live Within Our Means
Act—have a solution to California’s budget crisis:
Spend wildly, incur huge debt, and raise taxes to cover the deficits!
That’s how California ended up $22 billion in debt.
California doesn’t have a revenue problem—it has a spending
problem. We need Prop. 76 to fix our broken budget system.
Don’t be misled by outrageous claims that Prop. 76 will
gut education spending or harm police and fire protection.
Education funding increased by a record $3 billion this year
and now accounts for more than 50% of our general fund
spending! Prop. 76 upholds existing state law that mandates
education is the state’s #1 funding priority.
Prop. 76 will protect dedicated funds for highway and road
“Prop. 76 will permanently protect law enforcement special
funds so politicians cannot cut police and emergency services.”
David W. Paulson, Solano County District Attorney
Proposition 76 is real reform to ensure our state lives by the
basic rule California families live by: Don’t spend more money than
you bring in:
- Controls state budget growth by limiting annual state
spending increases to average growth in revenue for the
past 3 fiscal years.
- Stops autopilot spending that threatens our economic
- Establishes “checks and balances” for budget decisions. If
the Legislature doesn’t cut wasteful spending when
revenues drop, the Governor can—a similar provision
to what previous California governors had for decades.
“YES on 76”—Balance the Budget Responsibly.
SEBASTIAN EDWARDS, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
University of California, Los Angeles
ALAN BERSIN, Secretary of Education
State of California
JON COUPAL, President
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association