Thursday, April 16, 2009

Proposition 1A: Really Bad Idea

Both the California Faculty Association (CFA) and CSUEU are publicizing the problems with Proposition 1A. (If you've already read this week's CFA Headlines and CSUEU E-News, you've seen most of this.)

The CSU Board of Trustees voted to support Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E at the March 2009 Trustees meeting.

The last day to register to vote in the May 19, 2009 Special Election is May 4. The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is May 12.

From this week's CFA Headlines:


This week, CFA continues its effort to raise awareness about the upcoming special election and the potentially devastating effect Proposition 1A could have on the CSU.

Not only is this measure bad for the CSU, said CFA President Lillian Taiz. But it is so poorly written and filled with such complex formulas and convoluted language that it is impossible to know its full consequences if passed.

I strongly urge everyone to read the text of 1A before deciding how to vote.

You can read Proposition 1A at:

To learn more about Prop 1, go to:

From today's CSUEU E-News:

Be Sure to Vote on May 19!

CSUEU is joining forces with SEIU leadership, the California Faculty Association and a variety of other concerned groups to get out the vote for the special election on May 19. It's important for all CSUEU members to take part in this crucial election and to vote against Proposition 1A.

If passed, Prop. 1A will impose a spending cap on the state's general fund, which is destined to wreak havoc with the CSU budget for many years to come.

When the state legislature finally adopted a two-year state budget in February, it placed seven propositions on upcoming ballots, including six for the May 19 special election and one for the June, 2010, primary ballot. Only five of the seven measures are budget-related, with the remaining two related to legislative pay and primary elections. Of the five budget-related propositions, CSUEU members should be especially concerned about 1A , which:

  • Creates a rainy day fund, called the Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF), that will ultimately become a slush fund that would allow unlimited borrowing
  • Requires that three percent of annual general fund revenue be diverted from the budget and deposited into the BSF until the BSF balance equals 12.5 percent of General Fund revenues--even in a year like this, when we are in the depths of a recession, with state revenues falling
  • Gives the governor extraordinary unilateral power over the budget. The director of finance, a political appointee of the governor, makes all the critical decisions, determining when revenues are excessive and can be diverted into the rainy day fund, with no checks and balances from the legislature
  • Gives the governor more power to make unilateral cuts to the budget after it is signed into law, again with no oversight by the legislature (through a corollary law that kicks in if 1A passes)

During the budget process, CSUEU opposed the budget cap, which the governor and legislature hastily drew up with little review. If approved by voters, 1A's budget cap provision will divert billions of our tax dollars away from our schools, colleges, home care, and healthcare, even in bad years. As a result, our schools, healthcare, and other vital public services will face even deeper cuts in the future and will never recover from this downturn.

Read Proposition 1A.

Read SEIU's analysis of the budget and of each of the propositions. [Unit 9 Editor's note: this is a link to a Word document.]

Read the California Budget Project's analysis of this controversial initiative. [Unit 9 Editor's note: this is a link to a PDF document.]


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