How Prop 30 came back in the final days

prop30a.jpgCredit stepped-up advertising, Gov. Brown's statewide campaigning, and the fact that the tax measure was on the November ballot, when turnout was going to be larger among sympathetic voters than at any other time of the year. A couple of weeks back I had declared the measure to increase taxes (both the sales tax and the personal income tax on the wealthy) all but dead. Polling showed support slipping below 50 percent, and as a rule tax-related initiatives have a difficult time gaining voters during the closing days of a campaign. But with the numbers remaining in the high 40s, and with the targeting of likely voters, the governor found a way to climb back over 50 percent. It was the first statewide tax increase since 2004. And it happened despite well-funded opposition, along with a competing tax measure that was bankrolled by civil rights lawyer Molly Munger. From EdSource:

According to the state's nonpartisan Legislative Analysts Office, K-12 education spending for the current year will remain pretty much flat at $7,530 per student. Had Prop 30 failed, however, public education faced a catastrophic $6 billion in trigger cuts, including half a billion from state colleges and universities. For some school districts, such as the state's two largest, Los Angeles and San Diego Unified, those midyear cuts would have lopped as many as 20 days off the school year, according to a survey by EdSource Today. Joel Montero, head of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, a public agency overseeing school district finances, had also warned that several dozen districts would have been forced into bankruptcy if voters rejected the initiative. Even though districts can exhale this morning, many still face acute financial pressure following years of cuts and borrowing to cover the state's late payments.

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Cost of Berman-Sherman campaign: $16.3 million
Now that's close: Measure J falls 0.56 percent short
Santa Monica mayor resigns, heads to Sacramento
Measure J edges closer to (but not over) 2/3
Richard Bloom's lead grows in Westside Assembly race

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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