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Understanding California Proposition 30

Understanding California Proposition 30 is based on a single crucial point: The $6 billion in revenue that Prop 30 expects to raise is already included in the state budget. Thus, if Prop 30 does not pass, the California budget will have an immediate, gaping hole of $6 billion. This will trigger $6 billion in mandated budget cuts. Almost all of it will affect public education which has already had $20 billion in cuts in the past four years.

This and more on the most visible of the California propositions. Gov. Jerry Brown backs it. There is a competing measure. If the proposition doesn’t pass, budget cuts will be beyond Draconian. But Prop 30 mandates that money be spent only for education without providing a steady source of funds, which is precisely how California got into the financial pit it is in. Prop 30 assumes $6 billion in revenue from a sales tax hike and higher income tax on the wealthy, yet the state has a long and tired history of hugely overestimating future revenue only to have a major shortfall a few months later.

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