The Voter Information Guide explains that Proposition 22 “prohibits the state from borrowing or taking funds used for transportation, redevelopment, or local government projects and services.” Even during periods of “severe financial hardship,” like what the state is currently facing, the legislature cannot access these funds.
What this means, if the measure passes, is that the state will no longer be able to borrow against or designate for any other purpose, funds collected from gas and property taxes. This will result in a $1 billion shortfall in the general fund.
Proponents of the initiative use stronger words to explain the state’s ability to borrow gas tax funds; they call it ‘raiding.’ In fact, their argument in favor of 22 proclaims that “yes on 22 will stop state raids of local government and transportation funds.”
The argument goes on to say that by voting yes on Prop. 22, emergency services such as 9-1-1 dispatch, police, fire, and paramedic response will be protected.
Advocating for the measure is a mile-long inventory of associations, entities, and elected officials. The complete list can be found on the Our Coalition page of their website savelocalservices.com.
Publications that have come out in favor of the initiative include the Long Beach Press Telegram, Los Angeles Daily News, San Jose Mercury News, and the San Diego North County Times.
Less well funded but much more vocal, the anti-Proposition 22 group is making its stand known through radio ads. Playing off the fears of the current City of Bell scandal, the No on 22 group claims in their ads that this initiative puts money in the hands of city managers, much like what happened in Bell.
Redevelopment agencies will have locked-in protections. As stated on the Vote No on Prop 22 website, redevelopment agencies currently “take in 12 percent of all property taxes paid in California.”
They have the authority to declare eminent domain and take away homes.
Prop. 22’s opponents claim that the measure hurts taxpayers. It also takes money away from firefighters, leaving residents in “greater danger from fires, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters,” as acknowledged in the voter guide. Schools, they say, will lose $1 billion immediately and another $400 million per year after that. They also call Prop. 22 another case of ballot box budgeting.
Publications in opposition to Prop. 22 include the Oakland Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. California Teachers Association, California Professional Firefighters, and about 50 other groups oppose the initiative.
Both supporters of and those against Proposition 22 claim that their side protects emergency services. Schools, libraries, and other services are either shielded from loss of revenue or are in danger of being cut.