California Proposition 1B, Supplemental Education Appropriations (May 2009)

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California Proposition 1B is one of six ballot propositions that were on a special statewide May 19, 2009 election ballot in California, appearing as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. It was defeated.[1]

Proposition 1B was part of the 2009-2010 California state budget and tax increase agreement.[2][3]

Proposition 1B would have mandated supplemental payments of $9.3 billion to schools and community colleges. This figure is the difference between the amount actually appropriated in recent budgets, and the amount that, under some interpretations of Proposition 98 (1998), should have been spent. If approved by a popular vote majority, Proposition 1B would only have been enacted if Proposition 1A (May 2009) had also won. Proposition 1A would have allowed an extension of tax increases imposed as part of the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 budget agreement, resulting in an additional tax increase of some $16 billion.[4]

Election results

California Proposition 1B (May 2009)
Defeatedd No2,975,56061.9%
Yes 1,834,242 38.1%
Final results from the California Secretary of State


Proposition 1B arose out of a dispute in late 2008 between Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration and state public school system interests regarding various interpretations of Proposition 98 (1998), which uses complex and somewhat ambiguous formulas to mandate certain levels of state spending on schools and community colleges.[4] Under the terms of a Fiscal Year 2009-2010 state budget and tax increase agreement:

  • Schools and community colleges will be given supplemental payments of $9.3 billion beginning in the 2011-12 fiscal year.
  • The payments are contingent on an extension of the 2009 budget deal tax increases that Proposition 1A (May 2009) would authorize if it is approved.

Proposition 1B is one of six statewide ballot propositions placed on the May 2009 ballot. They were cumulatively intended to close an approximately $42 billion gap between desired spending and expected revenues. In absolute terms, however, as of March, 2009 projections, when the budget deal's $10 billion tax increase and the $5 billion in borrowed money proposed by Proposition 1C are included, total general fund spending in the 2009-2010 budget will only decline by around 2 percent, from $94.089 billion to $92.206 billion.[5] However, the nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst's Office which is the source of those figures, also 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 at that time faced an additional $8 billion gap betweeen expected revenue and the amount appropriated.[6]

Constitutional changes

California Constitution

If Proposition 1B had been approved, it would have added an entirely new Section 8.3 to Article XVI of the California Constitution.

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Education Funding. Payment Plan. Legislative Constitutional Amendment.


The official summary provided to describe Proposition 1B said:

  • Requires supplemental payments to local school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts.
  • Annual payments begin in 2011–12.
  • Payments are funded from the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund until the total amount has been paid.
  • Payments to local school districts will be allocated in proportion to average daily attendance and may be used for classroom instruction, textbooks and other local educational programs.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The estimate of net state and local government fiscal implications of Proposition 1B provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • Fiscal impact would depend on how current constitutional provisions would otherwise be interpreted.
  • Potential state savings of up to several billion dollars in 2009–10 and 2010–11.
  • Potential state costs of billions of dollars annually thereafter.


See also: Supporters of California Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E or 1F (May 2009)


Proposition 1B was supported by the California Teachers Association school employees union[4], and by "Budget Reform Now," a coalition of special interest groups assembled by the Governor to support the overall 2009-2010 budget agreement and tax increases.

The official argument in the voter guide was signed by David Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Association.[7]

On April 26, the California Democratic Party, meeting in its annual convention, endorsed Proposition 1B.[8]

Arguments in favor

Arguments made in favor of Proposition 1B included:

  • "California schools have been hit very hard by the state budget crisis. Education spending has been cut by over $12 billion. These horrific cuts have forced the layoff of more than 5,000 teachers and threaten the jobs of at least 13,000 more. These cuts have increased class sizes, left classrooms with out-of-date textbooks and provided school children with too few teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians. Important student programs like vocational education, art and music have been eliminated in many schools. Prop. 1B starts the process of paying back to the schools and community colleges some of the money lost by these devastating cuts."[7]
  • "1B provides a way for schools to continue to get the minimum funding already set out in voter approved Prop. 98 by establishing a repayment schedule starting in 2011. This will allow local school districts to rehire teachers, reduce class sizes, purchase up-to-date textbooks and restore critical education programs. 1B requires strict accountability for education funding repayment and guarantees that the funding will go to local school districts to be spent in the classroom. School districts are audited annually by law."[7]


$32,822,826 was reported contributed to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 1B, with an additional $38,291 of reported independent expenditures in support.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Donors of $200,000 or more were:

Donor Amount
California Teachers Association $9,180,743
National Education Association $3,010,888
Jerrold Perenchio $1,500,000
Chevron Corp. $750,000
California Republican Party $650,000
California Hospital Association $600,000
Philip Morris (tobacco) $500,000
California Chamber of Commerce $405,000
California Alliance for Jobs $400,000
General Electric $355,000
Reed Hastings $251,491
Cisco Systems $250,546
Brian L. Harvey $250,000
Universal City Studios $250,000
California Dental Association $250,000
Occidental Petroleum $250,000
Henry Segerstrom $250,000
Walt Disney Studios $250,000
Shell Oil $200,000
Aera Energy, Inc. $200,000



The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association strongly opposed Proposition 1A, passage of which was required for Proposition 1B to go into effect.

Some special interest groups representing individuals who benefit from state spending in other non-education areas opposed Proposition 1B, because it would potentially divert their preferred government spending to education. These groups included:

Arguments against

Opponents of Proposition 1B did not submit any arguments to the official voter guide, preferring instead to direct most of their fire against Proposition 1A, which had to pass for Proposition 1B to go into effect.


A group called "Stop Taxing Us-No on 1A-F" was formed to oppose Proposition 1B, but no donations were received by the group.[10] $901 was reported in independent opposition expenditures.[11]


See also Public opinion polling for all May 2009 statewide ballot propositions
  • The Field Poll conducted a public opinion research survey between February 20 and March 1 on Proposition 1B and the other five budget-related measures that will appear on the May 19 ballot.[12][13]
  • 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 that for Proposition 1B, "support is flat, but opposition is up 12 points from an identical SurveyUSA tracking poll 6 weeks ago."[16]
  • 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 1B.[17]
Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided
February 20-March 1 Field 53 percent 30 percent 17 percent
March 10-17 PPIC 44 percent 41 percent 15 percent
March 11-12 SurveyUSA 38 percent 30 percent 32 percent
April 20-21 SurveyUSA 37 percent 42 percent 22 percent
April 16-26 Field 40 percent 49 percent 11 percent
April 27 - May 4 PPIC 40 percent 47 percent 13 percent
May 8-10 SurveyUSA 41 percent 50 percent 10 percent
May 15-17 SurveyUSA 37 percent 54 percent 9 percent

Editorial opinion

"Yes on 1B"

  • The San Francisco Chronicle, which said, "Requires the state to make $9.3 billion in supplemental payments to K-12 schools and community colleges, starting in 2011-12, if Proposition 1A is passed."[18]

"No on 1B"

Media endorsing a "no" vote on Proposition 1B included:

  • The Los Angeles Times, which wrote, "It could ratchet up the autopilot spending that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he's trying to stop."[19]
  • KSBW-TV, which said that Prop 1A and 1B are "no more than a hocus-pocus twosome of unintended consequences waiting to happen."[20]
  • La Prensa San Diego, which said, "Fix Proposition 98 and take away the Governor’s ability to suspend education payments to the school districts and there won’t be a need for Proposition 1B."[21]
  • The Ventura County Star, which said, "It just another in a long line of voter initiatives that has led to California’s current budget fiasco, with voters locking in spending and automatic increases with no concern about fiscal impacts later on. It does not address the current state budget shortfall."[22]

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 1B on the ballot via Assembly Constitutional Amendment 2 of the 2009–2010 Third Extraordinary Session (Resolution Chapter 2, 2009–2010 Third Extraordinary Session).

Votes in legislature to refer to ACA 2 to ballot
Chamber Ayes Noes
Assembly 68 11
Senate 28 10

External links

Center for Government Studies Review of 1B

Basic background information:

Advocacy websites ("yes"):

Advocacy websites ("no"):

Additional reading:


  1. Sacramento Bee, "Angry voters whack budget, politicians," May 20, 2009
  2. Los Angeles Times, "With budget stalemate over, next move is up to California voters," February 20, 2009
  3. Los Angeles Times, "May 19 election deadlines already drawing near," February 20, 2009
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Capitol Weekly, "Budget crisis spawns uneasy election alliance between governor,teachers," March 5, 2009 (dead link)
  5. 2009 Budget Act General Fund Budget Summary With All Budget Solutions, Legislative Analyst's Office, updated March, 2009
  6. San Diego Union-Tribune, "State budget springs a leak," March 14, 2009
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Voter Guide, "Arguments for and against Proposition 1B"
  8. Los Angeles Times, "State Democrats decline to endorse 3 of 6 ballot measures," April 27, 2009
  9. Mercury News, "Support, opposition for May ballot propositions," March 25, 2009 (dead link)
  10. Campaign finance reports for "Stop Taxing Us"
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named followthemoney
  12. Sacramento Bee, "Field Poll shows early backing for budget items on ballot," March 4, 2009
  13. Field Poll results for initial polling on six budget measures on May 19 ballot
  14. Sacramento Bee, "Budget ballot measures face uphill fight," March 26, 2009 (dead link)
  15. Public Policy Institute of California, "Special Election Ballot Propositions Face Tough Road," March 25, 2009
  16. SurveyUSA, "One Month From California Special Election, Opposition Grows to 5 of 6 Ballot Measures," April 22, 2009
  17. Sacramento Bee, "Field Poll: California voters oppose five of six May 19 ballot measures," April 19, 2009 (dead link)
  18. San Francisco Chronicle, "The Chronicle Recommends: May 19 election," April 27, 2009
  19. Los Angeles Times, "Yes on 1A, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F," April 26, 2009
  20. KSBW-TV, "Editorial: California’s Special Election"
  21. La Prensa San Diego, "California Special Election Recommendations," May 1, 2009
  22. Ventura County Star, "Star Editorial Board positions on ballot propositions," May 17, 2009 (timed out)