Tuesday, May 19, 2009
California Californians have a chance to weigh in on their state's financial future today. The special election ballot features six measures. As Ben Adler reports, they'll directly impact the state's budget crisis.
Governor Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers placed Propositions 1A through 1F on the ballot as part of February's budget deal. They're designed to help balance the state's deficit - and they feature a mix of short and long-term fixes.
The highest-profile measure is Prop 1A. It would restrain state spending when the economy is strong, and set aside extra revenues in a rainy day fund for when money runs short. It would also extend sales, car and income tax increases passed in February by one to two years.
Other measures would allow California to borrow against future lottery revenues to shore up the budget, and ban pay raises for elected officials when the state is short on funds.
Since the budget deal was passed in February, the deficit has grown. It's now more than $15 billion if the measures pass, and more than $21 billion if they don't.