Gov. Jerry Brown continued to press his case for Proposition 30 on Friday, telling a coalition of business leaders in Burbank that if the tax measure fails, K-12 and higher education will be hit with billions of dollars in funding cuts.
Proposition 30 would implement a quarter-cent hike in the state sales tax for four years and a seven-year increase in income taxes for those making more than $250,000 a year. The measure has been clinging to a narrow lead in the polls ahead of the Nov. 6 election, but it faces renewed opposition on the airwaves.
Speaking at the Valley Industry & Commerce Assn.’s Business Forecast Conference at the Burbank Airport Marriott, Brown called out a “secret donation” of $11 million this week from “shadowy forces” in Arizona to a small business committee to fight Prop. 30 and support Proposition 32, an initiative that would ban unions and corporations from contributing directly to candidates.
“Today, I challenge those people from Arizona. I challenge those opponents of Proposition 30, to come out from behind the shadows,” Brown said. “Take your mask off and let the people of California see who you are. They have the right to know before the election.”
He also said the democratic process requires that “all the people who participate be known, they be public and be transparent.”
Brown warned that if Prop. 30 doesn’t pass, it will trigger almost $6 billion in cuts to K-12 education, community colleges, and universities.
Impacts would include less school time in secondary education, reduced class offerings at community colleges and hikes in tuitions at state universities, Brown added.
While he told the crowd funds would go toward education, opponents of Prop. 30 have pointed out that money could be directed to other programs in the state budget. Their argument also includes the fact that the measure doesn’t increase education funding, just keeps it at current levels.
However, Brown pledged to be frugal with the money.
“If it passes, I promise you … I will be a very careful steward of those funds,” he said. “We will put the money into the schools and we will continue to exercise the fiscal discipline that’s absolutely crucial."
-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News
Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam