California 2009 ballot propositions

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Six statewide ballot propositions were on a special May 19, 2009 election ballot in California. The ballot measures were voted onto the ballot in a special legislative session in Sacramento the week of February 16th as a negotiated effort between Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Democratic majority in the California State Legislature and a handful of Republican legislators.[1][2]

On the ballot

See also: May 19, 2009 ballot measures in California
Type Title Subject Description Result
LRCA Proposition 1A Taxes Prop 1A combines a 4-year tax hike of about $16 billion with a state spending cap Defeatedd
LRCA Proposition 1B Budget Modification of California Proposition 98 (1998) to free up money for state's budget overruns. Defeatedd
LRCA Proposition 1C Budget Sell rights to future lottery proceeds as a way of raising some cash now for state budget. Defeatedd
LRSS Proposition 1D Budget Asks voters to approve taking money from Prop 10 in 1998 for purposes not allowed in that 1998 vote. Defeatedd
LRSS Proposition 1E Budget Asks voters to take money from Prop 63 for purposes not allowed in that 2004 vote. Defeatedd
LRCA Proposition 1F Budget No pay raises for state legislators in years when there is a state budget deficit Approveda
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Although five of the six ballot propositions (1A through 1F) were intended to close an approximately $42 billion budget gap, the California Legislative Analyst's Office, an agency of the state government, said in early March that tax revenues flowing into the state treasury are "well below" the projections it used earlier in the year, and that California's government now faces an additional $8 billion gap in addition to the earlier $42 billion gap.[3]

Public opinion polling

  • The Field Poll conducted a public opinion research survey between February 20 and March 1 to assess the current state of public opinion regarding the six budget-related measures on the May 19 ballot. A Sacramento Bee report notes that the poll question on Prop 1A "omitted the fact that it would trigger $16 billion in tax hikes."[4][5]
  • A Public Policy Institute of California poll that concluded in late March showed declining support for 5 of the 6 budget measures. Mark Baldassare of PPIC characterized the poll results as indicating, "Voters' disappointment with the state's elected leaders is deep, and the temptation to send a message by voting down these propositions is strong."[6][7]
  • On April 20-21, SurveyUSA conducted a poll of 1,300 California adults for KABC-TV Los Angeles, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KGTV-TV San Diego, and KFSN-TV Fresno. 15% of the registered voters they spoke with had already cast their vote. They concluded, "As early voting begins on six state of California ballot propositions, opposition is growing to 5 of the 6 measures."[8]
  • Field conducted a second poll between April 16-26 that indicates that "voters strongly oppose" five of the six budget measures on the May 19 ballot, including Prop 1A. According to Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo, "The majority of voters just doesn't believe what is being sold to them. The skepticism extends up and down the ballot. Voters feel the Legislature isn't doing its job, hasn't been able to work with the governor and is just passing these things on to them."[9]
  • PPIC conducted its second poll on the propositions between April 27-May 4. This poll shows growing opposition to five of the six measures. Worse news, from the point-of-view of supporters, is the poll's finding that "the more voters learn about the measures, the more likely they are to want to vote them down."[10]
Prop Pollster Conducted Likely voters Pollster Conducted Outcome Pollster Conducted Outcome
1A Field February 20-March 1 57% yes/21% no PPIC Late March 39% yes/46% no SurveyUSA April 20-21 29% yes/42% no
1B Field February 20-March 1 53% yes/30% no PPIC Late March 44% yes/41% no SurveyUSA April 20-21 42% yes/37% no
1C Field February 20-March 1 47% yes/39% no PPIC Late March 37% yes/50% no SurveyUSA April 20-21 23% yes/41% no
1D Field February 20-March 1 48% yes/36% no PPIC Late March 39% yes/46% no SurveyUSA April 20-21 37% yes/39% no
1E Field February 20-March 1 57% yes/23% no PPIC Late March 47% yes/37% no SurveyUSA April 20-21 32% yes/41% no
1F Field February 20-March 1 77% yes/13% no PPIC Late March 81% yes/13% no SurveyUSA April 20-21 32% yes/34% no

Voter turnout predictions

  • In contrast to the 78% voter turnout in November 2008 in San Mateo County, elections manager David Tom says he expects a much lower turnout for the May 19 election, in the vicinity of 30-35%.[11]
  • Ventura County Assistant Registrar of Voters Tracy Saucedo said on May 15 that about a third of voters who had been issued mail-in ballots had returned them, or about 13% of Ventura County's 422,342 registered voters. This rate of voting is about the same as the June 2008 ballot proposition election, in which a total of 29.5% of voters in the county ultimately voted.[12]
  • Fresno County Clerk Victor Salazar said, ""I just don't see any driving force that's going to bring out the voters." He predicts that turnout in the county will come to 25% of registered voters. It was 72% in November.[13]

Not on 2009 ballot

Other ballot propositions that had been under discussion but which ultimately did not appear on the May ballot were:

The Maldonado amendments

Interview with Maldonado

State senator Abel Maldonado wanted several new constitutional amendments in exchange for his vote on a budget package that included $14.3 billion in tax increases. One of those amendments went on the May 2009 ballot, and one went on the June 8, 2010 ballot.[15]

The propositions Maldonado negotiated for are:

External links

Additional reading: