Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Much more rides on Prop. 30 than schools

By
From page A1 | November 06, 2012 |

By Marisa Lagos and Wyatt Buchanan

In speeches and ads supporting Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown has largely focused on the initiative’s effect on public school and
university funding. He says little, however, about Prop. 30′s significant impacts on public safety and health care.

In addition to raising about $6 billion in taxes annually for seven years, Prop. 30 would amend the California Constitution to permanently set aside funding for Brown’s prison realignment program.

That program, which began in October 2011, has shifted the responsibility — and costs — for incarcerating and supervising tens of thousands of nonviolent offenders from the state to county governments. Prop. 30 would guarantee that county governments continue to receive funding from the state for their extra expenses.

And while California continues to lead the country on the implementation of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the stability of the state’s budget is a key factor in the success of the effort. The failure of Prop. 30 would reduce state spending by billions annually, restraining California’s ability to invest in medical care.

Yet the governor has largely pushed aside those aspects of the ballot measure as he has barnstormed the state in recent weeks. At a campaign event in San Francisco last week, Brown mentioned the public safety angle only twice and never mentioned health care, while repeatedly invoking the cuts to schools and universities that would take effect if Prop. 30 fails.

‘Keep it simple’

Asked why he doesn’t talk about everything else riding on Prop. 30, he responded: “Keep it simple.”

University of Southern California political science Professor Sherry Bebitch Jeffe said that tactic — to focus on schools which “everybody cares about” — was “exactly right.”

“You don’t want to overload voters with complexities — when voters are in doubt, they tend to vote no.” she said. “You can criticize the governor, but not for any lack of understanding of the dynamics in this state. … He knows what he’s doing in terms of message.”

That simple message — that Prop. 30′s failure would have devastating cuts to public education — was, from the beginning, by design.

The state budget adopted by the Legislature and signed by Brown in June counted on the tax measure passing. Failure would trigger automatic spending cuts of $6 billion on Jan. 1. Those cuts would translate into tuition increases in the California State University system and likely the University of California system. They would have the greatest impact on K-12 public schools and community colleges, enabling public school districts to cut nearly a month from the school year.

Brown has repeatedly defended the plan, saying Californians must be willing to pay for the services the state provides or be prepared to lose them.

Funds for realignment

County governments, meanwhile, are counting on the realignment funding guarantee in Prop. 30, which ensures that future lawmakers and governors cannot touch the approximately $6 billion a year that the state is already giving to counties to run jails, probation departments and rehabilitation services.

If Prop. 30 were to fail, said Marin County Sheriff Bob Doyle, “in the long term, it will be devastating.” The philosophy behind the shift, he said, is that counties can do a better job rehabilitating offenders, instead of simply rotating them in and out of prison – if they have the resources to provide the programs necessary. Marin County is getting $4.5 million a year, he said.

“If that funding were to go away, it would basically strip us of money to provide programs, jail supervision, probation supervision, and we would be in the same situation that the state was in – meaning they weren’t doing a very good job,” he said. “All we would be able to do is find people and put them back into custody. Recidivism would be sky high, and we wouldn’t be able to program people, to offer them job training, housing – it would all go away.”

Local decisions

In his comments at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club on Thursday, Brown did note that one of his election pledges was to “strive to return decision making closer to the cities, the counties, the school districts, believing … that the institutions closest to the problem should have the appropriate responsibility to deal with it.”

Later, while answering questions, the governor again invoked that pledge, saying without Prop. 30, the state funding currently being sent to counties to deal with the change in policy could be taken away by future policymakers.

Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan, president of the California State Association of Counties, acknowledged that the ballot measure’s failure could also put counties and school districts in the “untenable” position of competing for limited state funds.

“We don’t need to squabble with each other,” he said. “When I talk to people, I talk about the whole thing. I see it as holistic – for schools to prosper, counties have to prosper.”

He and Doyle said they make a point of talking about both the school funding and law enforcement funding when they are discussing the ballot measure in their own community — and that voters are receptive.

“Personally, I wish (the governor) stressed the public safety aspect more,” Doyle said. “Every time I go someplace, I mention how important it is.”

Impact on Medi-Cal

For health care, the biggest cost to the state probably will be the expansion of the Medi-Cal program. The federal government is picking up the cost for much of the implementation of the law through 2016, but the state will have to pay 50 percent of the costs of people currently eligible for the program but who are not yet enrolled.

The price tag for that is not yet clear, but will be included in next year’s budget, said Diana Dooley, secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency.

“This is a bit like pulling the thread on the sweater. The whole state government has to work in order for health care reform to be successful,” Dooley said.

Anthony Wright, executive director of the organization Health Access California that advocates for state health programs, said if Prop. 30 fails there probably would be fewer benefits for people who get their health care from the state. That could mean no coverage for things like prescription drugs and prosthetic limbs, he said.

“It creates problems,” Wright said.

Opponents of Prop. 30 have criticized the governor for his focus on the education funding portion of the measure, saying he isn’t being straight with voters.

“The problem is they’re lying in their ads, saying the money is guaranteed for the classroom when in actuality it is a general fund tax increase to go to all the wonderful or not wonderful things the general fund pays for,” said Aaron McLear, a spokesman for the No on 30 campaign and former press secretary for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Prop. 30 spokesman Dan Newman dismissed McLear’s accusation. “If anything, we’re guilty of being overly modest in our ads,” he said.

Comments

comments

San Francisco Chronicle

.

News

 
Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

Gallery hosts poetry night

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Parenting advice on radio show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Archer event set for Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Check out Soroptimists at info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Unitrans persists through changing times

By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

 
Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
There are plenty of fun activities around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Climate change is coming for you

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A true vision for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Drivers, just follow the rules

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Let’s fix the park deck

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Barbara Archer for school board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Vote for change on board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Poppenga considers all students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

 
Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

Davis robotics team pays it forward

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

 
Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6