May 15, 2009

Editorial:

Props 1D, 1E and 1F

Two weeks ago, we reviewed State (budget) Propositions 1A, 1B, and 1C. Our recom-mendations on 1A, 1B, and 1C follow this editorial. This Tuesday is Election Day, so we will take a look at the three remaining propositions, 1D, 1E, and 1F.

Proposition 1D. Protects Children’s Services Funding. Helps Balance State Budget.

Temporarily provides greater flexibility in funding to preserve health and human services for young children while helping balance the state budget in a difficult economy.

Background: In 1998, Prop. 10 was passed by the voters in the State of California. It called for a tax on cigarettes. The revenues were to be used for specific programs related to school readiness, child care, research on school readiness, and related administrative expenses. The First Five program received 80% of the Prop 10 money, which funded newly established county commissions that developed early childhood development programs.

In order to break out of the cycle of poverty, gangs, unemployment, and drugs, the key for Hispanic families raising young children is education. It is documented that if a child is to succeed in school, the first three years of his education are the most important. The First Five program prepares young, low-income students who have the most gain from a quality education, as early as possible in their academic careers.

First Five also attempts to address other issues facing low income families. First Five provides health coverage for children who would otherwise be uninsured, ensuring immunizations and screenings for developmental delays that would most certainly affect a child’s education in later years. Over 850,000 California children below the age of 6 receive these important health care.

Proposition 1D would take monies away from the vital First Five program, using those funds to balance the budget. Prop 1D would expand the areas that First Five pays for to include direct health care services, human services, services by county welfare agencies to families at risk and early education services. It would also allow the State Controller to use any of the Prop 10 monies for “loans” to be pumped into the general fund to balance the budget.

Early childhood education is too important to Hispanic families. Money should not be diverted away from the voter approved initiative to fund early childhood education.

We Strongly Recommend a NO Vote on Prop. 1D

Proposition 1E. Mental Health Services Funding. Temporary Reallocation.

Helps balance state budget by amending the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63 of 2004) to transfer funds, for two years, to pay for mental health services provided through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program for children and young adults.

In 2004, voters passed Proposition 63 to address a glaring need in our society — mental health care. Four years later, identifying and caring for mental health patients is still a major problem for the state. Because of a lack of services, many people with mental health issues are left to fend for themselves. This creates and compounds issues such as homelessness. For young children, mental health issues are tricky to diagnose. Very few programs can adequately deal with mental health problems in youth. All too often our schools are left to identify and deal with the mental health issues of young students.

Taking money away from these already underfunded programs and underserved communities will only compound problems. We should not take away the few resources that are available for mental healthcare in society. Without these programs how many children will be lost? How many more people will be living on the streets?

We Recommend a NO Vote on Proposition 1E.

Proposition 1F. Elected Officials’ Salaries. Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years.

Encourages balanced state budgets by preventing elected members of the Legislature and statewide constitutional officers, including the Governor, from receiving pay raises in years when the state is running a deficit.

Back in February, the Governor and Democrats needed one more Republican vote to get their budget passed. Republican Senator Abel Maldonado was the hold out who offered his vote for the right price. Maldonado’s price was three constitutional amendments and a tax cut. The most interesting amendment of the three was for an Open Primary, but a vote on that will have to come at a later date. The least objectionable amendment and the one that made it on this ballot was Prop 1F. Proposition 1F, if passed, would not allow a pay increase for state legislators while the state is running a deficit.

This is a lightweight proposition which will not change a thing. A yes vote or a no vote won’t mean much. But we recommend a No Vote because we want to see what the individual legislators do when the rest of the state is suffering. Taking a pay raise in a suffering economy will give testimony to the character and intent of our politicians.

We Recommend a No Vote on
Prop. 1F.

Ballot Recommendations:

Proposition 1A. State Budget. Changes California Budget Process. Limits State Spending. Increases “Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund

A No Vote is Recommend on Prop. 1A.

Proposition 1B. Education Funding.
Payment Plan Requires supplemental.

We Recommend a No Vote on Prop. 1B

Proposition 1C. Lottery Modernization Act.

We Recommend a No Vote on Prop. 1C

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