Monday, March 9, 2009

Sparks Along The Third Rail, Part 6

CA's "sturm & durnge" budget passed with great fanfare, but it is still not in effect because the voters must pass 6 (up from 5!) propositions that change the manner in which funds are spent. I predicted that they would not pass without a fight from both sides of the aisle.
The GOP will likely never approve any further tax increases (the state takes enough as it is, and is driving away business). But, the interest groups who are some of the Dems biggest allies - teachers' unions, public employee unions, health advocates - will NEVER allow these funding changes to be voted on without a fight. The attack ads practically write themselves.
Well, gee willickers, lookee here: Next Front Opens in Fight Over California Budget

Challenging the wording is the first step toward trying to defeat Proposition 1A, which the Howard Jarvis association objects to as a disguised tax increase that could become permanent, said Timothy Bittle, the association's director of legal affairs. "We are definitely going to fight this, and a full-fledged campaign is in the works," he said.

Another measure, Proposition 1E, is drawing fire from mental-health advocates. The proposition diverts mental-health funding from a voter-approved program to a state-designated health program. A coalition of groups, including the Mental Health Association in California and Mental Health America of Los Angeles, said it is building a campaign to defeat the measure. The coalition has begun raising money to advertise against the proposition on television and other venues, said Rusty Selix, executive director for the mental-health association.


Signs of union opposition to some of the measures are beginning to show. The California Nurses Association is gearing up to fight Proposition 1A. The association, which represents about 75,000 nurses, expects to soon announce its campaign against the proposition, said Charles Idelson, spokesman for the association. The proposition would stop the state's budget from expanding to meet future health needs, he said.

The California Faculty Association, representing about 24,000 members, will join the campaign to defeat Proposition 1A because it would set in stone years of spending cuts, said Lillian Taiz, the association's president. Ms. Taiz said she will reach out to other unions and advocacy groups to mount a major campaign. "After years and years of cuts, a spending cap will not permit reinvestment of programs to rebuild them."

I would like to go on record right now as saying all of the editorial and political hysterics will fall heavily on the Jarvis people, while the nurses, teachers, and mental health advocates will be allowed to skate away from responsibility if even one of these propositions is rejected. 

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