State lawmaker to propose changes to Proposition 13


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A state lawmaker said Thursday he wants voters to alter Proposition 13 to make it easier to pass local taxes for schools.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said he will introduce a constitutional amendment that would allow local parcel taxes for schools to pass with 55% of the vote, instead of the two-thirds currently required.


“This change in law would give voters the power to make decisions about public education at the local level, allowing schools much-needed flexibility to improve instruction, fund libraries, music, the arts or other programs, or hire more teachers to reduce student-to-teacher ratios,” Leno said in a statement.

With new supermajorities in both legislative houses, Democrats now also have the power to place measures such as Leno’s on the ballot without GOP backing. In 2000, voters passed a measure changing the vote threshold for local school bonds from two-thirds to 55%.

The two-thirds requirement for tax increases was part of Proposition 13, the landmark 1978 initiative that placed limits on state property taxes.


Democrats face pressure from left to use new powers

Democrats’ new power in Legislature could bring peril too


--Anthony York in Sacramento