Voters reject tax measures

The budget and tax measures presented to voters at Tuesday's election did just about as badly as predicted, with all but one going down to defeat by nearly 2-1 margins.

State leaders can take little comfort from the one issue which did pass, Measure 1F, which cuts off pay raises for elected officials in any year the state faces a deficit.

The measure, which was the showcase of the governor's proposals, the rainy day reserve-tax measure known as 1A, received only 34.1% yes votes, the worst of the five losing propositions.

Prop 1B, which would have used some of the revenue from 1A to pay back money borrowed from schools, was the best among the five, receiving 37.4% approval.

Prop C, designed to borrow future lottery revenues, lost with 35.4%; and Props D and E, converting children's health and mental health revenues to use in the general fund, lost with 34.2% and 33.6% respectively. Voters were more than happy to let elected officials do without pay raises, voting 73.9% yes.

Voters, clearly showing election fatigue, turned out at a 22.9% rate statewide. Los Angeles was the second lowest county, with 17.4% turnout. Only tiny Tulare County did worse, with 17.1%. The latest hit to the governor's prestige will make it even harder to craft a new budget. Schwarzenegger is predicting a $21 billion deficit next year, with schools, counties and cities taking another blow. With a race for governor approaching and lawmakers facing angry voters at home, it's difficult to see where leadership will emerge to keep the state from financial disaster.


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