California Proposition 22, Ban on State Borrowing from Local Governments (2010)

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
California Proposition 22, The Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved.[1][2]

Language for the proposed initiative was filed with the California Attorney General on October 20, 2009 by an alliance of local government groups, including the League of California Cities. 1.1 million qualifying signatures were filed with election officials on April 29.[3]

Their goal is to protect existing funds that are allocated to local government, public safety, and transportation. The initiative would prohibit the state from raiding these funds.

Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities, says of the current system that it is "unsustainable, and we want to make sure that local services are not sacrificed because of the inability of state leaders to manage the state budget."

Opponents of Proposition 22, including the California Teachers Association, say that Proposition 22 will give money to redevelopment agencies at the expense of the state budget and the core services that are supported by the state budget, such as public education.

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Proposition 22 (State Borrowing)
Approveda Yes 5,733,755 60.7%

These are the final results for this election as per the California Secretary of State's statement of election results.

Specifics of the proposal

Under the proposal, the state would not be allowed to take:

  • Revenue derived from locally imposed taxes, such as hotel taxes, parcel taxes, utility taxes, and sales taxes. These local taxpayer dollars are dedicated to cities, counties, special districts and redevelopment agencies and are used to fund public safety, emergency response, and other local government services.
  • Local public transit and transportation funds, including funds from the Proposition 42 gas tax, HUTA gas tax.[4]

Also, if the ballot proposition is approved, when a local government entity sues the state government under the law and wins, the state comptroller must automatically appropriate the funds needed to pay to that local government the funds that the court has decided it is owed.[5]

  • Since 1992, the state government has taken $11.2 billion in locally approved tax measures for the general fund.

Text of measure

See also: Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California's 2010 ballot propositions

Ballot title:

Prohibits the State from Borrowing or Taking Funds Used for Transportation, Redevelopment, or Local Government Projects and Services.
Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Official summary:

Prohibits the state, even during a period of severe financial hardship, from delaying the distribution of tax revenues for transportation, redevelopment, or local government projects and services.

Estimated fiscal impact:

Due to restrictions on state authority over fuel and property taxes, the state would have to take alternative actions -- probably in the range of $1 billion to several billion dollars annually. This would result in both:

Reductions in General Fund program spending and/or increases in state revenues of those amounts.
"Comparable increases in funding for state and local transportation programs and local redevelopment.[7],[8]

Note: Supporters of Proposition 22 filed a lawsuit in early August seeking to force the fiscal impact statement for the measure to use the phrase "local government." The plaintiffs said, "Despite the fact that Proposition 22 is the most significant ballot measure in recent memory protecting and stabilizing local government revenues, the fiscal impact statement fails to even include the phrase 'local government' once...In fact, of the 58 words summarizing Proposition 22's fiscal impact, 51 words detail the impacts to the state. Only 7 words contain even an obtuse reference to local government revenues and, again, the phrase 'local government' is completely excluded."[9]

On August 6, the court ruled in their favor, saying that the second bullet point of the proposition's Fiscal Impact Statement is to read, "Comparable increases in funding for state and local transportation programs and local redevelopment," instead of the original wording of "Comparable increases in transportation and redevelopment resources."[10]

See also: 2010 ballot measure litigation

Constitutional changes

See Text of Proposition 22, the "Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act of 2010" (California) for the complete text of the changes that Proposition 22 made to the California Constitution
California Constitution

Proposition 22 amended or re-numbered these parts of the California Constitution.

It also added three new sections to existing Articles of the constitution:

It also repealed:

And, finally, Proposition 22 added an entirely new article, Article XIX C, to the state's constitution.

The changes to the constitution became effective on November 30, 2010.


"Yes on 22" website banner


Some of the supporters of a "yes" vote on Proposition 22 include:

Arguments were submitted to the official California Voter Guide on behalf of a "yes" vote on Proposition 22, as were rebuttals to the arguments provided by Prop 22 opponents. The signers of these arguments were:

Arguments in favor

Campaign video on behalf of Prop 22

Some of the arguments that have been made for a "yes" vote on Proposition 22 include:

  • "Cities spend more than 60 percent of their general funds on police and fire services. By prohibiting State raids of local funds, Proposition 22 will help maintain law enforcement, 9-1-1 emergency response, and other public safety services."Chief Douglas Fry, President, Fire Chiefs Department, League of California Cities[12]
  • "The State Legislature took and borrowed $5 billion last year and is planning to take billions more this year. State raids have forced deep cuts to vital local services like 9-1-1 emergency response, police, fire, libraries, senior services, road repairs, and public transportation improvements. Yes on 22 will stop state raids of local government and transportation funds."[12]
  • "The gas taxes we pay at the pump should be used to improve road safety, relieve traffic congestion, and to fund mass transit. But state politicians keep diverting our gas taxes for non-transportation purposes. Yes on 22 ensures that gas tax funds are used for transportation improvements as voters intended."[12]
  • "Proposition 22 will not increase taxes. And claims that 22 will hurt school funding are just scare tactics by those who want to continue State raids of local funds. Proposition 22 simply ensures that our existing local tax dollars and existing gas taxes cannot be taken away by the state politicians again."[12]


Main article: Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions

Two campaign finance committees supported Proposition 22, the "Yes on 22/Californians to Protect Local Taxpayers and Vital Services, a Coalition of Taxpayers, Public Safety, Local Government, Transportation, Business and Labor" and the League of California Cities CitiPAC. The "Yes on 22" campaign committee raised $5.8 million.[13]

Larger donors, and the amounts they contributed to the "Yes on Prop 22" committee included:

Donor Amount
League of California Cities $3,080,350
California Alliance for Jobs $500,000
California Transit Association $299,177
California Public Securities Association $250,000
Members' Voice of the State Building Trades $150,000
California Redevelopment Association $108,820
Amalgamated Transit Union $105,000
United Transportation Union $75,000
California Society of Municipal Finance $50,000
Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education (DRIVE) $50,000
Peace Officers Research Association $50,000


See also: Vendors and consultants to California's 2010 ballot proposition campaigns

Political consultants who provided paid services to the "Yes on 22" campaign included:



Logo of the "No on Prop 22" campaign

The arguments against Proposition 22 in the state's official Voter Guide, and the rebuttal to the arguments by Proposition 22 supporters, were written by:

Organizations and individuals that have come out against Proposition 22 include:

  • The editorial board of the San Diego Union Tribune editorialized against the measure, saying that it will perpetuate the ballot-box budgeting that they believe plays a role in California's budget travails.[15]
  • Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, while not outright opposing Proposition 22, has declined to support it, saying, "I think that one of the problems the state is facing is too much ballot-box budgeting. What happens when you do this, you break up the budget into lots of silos."[16]

Arguments against

Some of the arguments that have been made for a "no" vote on Proposition 22 include:

  • Proposition 22 would "create a wall that will prevent borrowing in times of economic crisis and would place an even greater burden of cuts on public education and the backs of our students," according to a spokesperson for the California Teachers Association.[14]
  • "By protecting one part of the budget, Proposition 22 puts health, education and other core services at greater risk."[17]
  • "If Proposition 22 passes our schools stand to lose over $1 billion immediately and an additional $400 million every year after that."[12]
  • "It will leave us all in greater danger from fires, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters. It also means cuts in emergency medical services, forcing longer response times if your family needs a paramedic—or perhaps no paramedic at all in a major emergency."[12]
  • "Tens of thousands of children in California are at risk of losing their health insurance and access to affordable health care if Proposition 22 passes."[12]
  • "It locks protections for redevelopment agencies into the State Constitution forever. These agencies have the power to take your property away with eminent domain. They skim off billions in local property taxes, with much of that money ending up in the hands of local developers. And they do so with no direct voter oversight."[12]
  • "We all know that ballot propositions often don’t do what they promise, and too often make things worse. Proposition 22 is the perfect example. During the current budget crisis we face throughout our state, why would locking in more budgeting be a smart thing? With virtually no accountability and no taxpayer protections? To benefit redevelopment agencies and the developers they serve?"[12]


Main article: Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions

The campaign finance committee set up to finance a campaign to oppose Proposition 22 was called "No on 22 - Citizens Against Taxpayer Giveaways, Sponsored by California Professional Firefighters." This organization raised about $1.8 million for its campaign against Proposition 22.

These larger donors supported the "No on Prop 22" committee:

Donor Amount
California Professional Firefighters Ballot Issue Committee $897,500
California Teachers Association $604,240
SEIU $100,000
California School Employees Association $50,000


See also: Vendors and consultants to California's 2010 ballot proposition campaigns

Political consultants who provided paid services to the "No on 22" campaign included:

Editorial opinion

2010 propositions
Flag of California.png
June 8
Proposition 13
Proposition 14Text
Proposition 15Text
Proposition 16Text
Proposition 17Text
November 2
Proposition 19Text
Proposition 20Text
Proposition 21Text
Proposition 22Text
Proposition 23Text
Proposition 24Text
Proposition 25Text
Proposition 26Text
Proposition 27Text
Local measures
See also: Endorsements of California ballot measures, 2010

Yes on Prop 22

  • Bakersfield Californian: "If one were to sum up Proposition 22 in one word, that word would be 'accountability.'"[19]
  • The Gilroy Dispatch: "There's no reason to trust the state legislators to make difficult decisions that invariably compromise the special interests to which they are so beholden. It's sad but true: ballot box budgeting is preferable to leaving it to our legislature. Yes on Proposition 22."[20]
  • Lompoc Record: "Our state government is in serious need of restructuring, and passage of Proposition 22 is one way to begin the process. It’s painful, but necessary — and inevitable."[21]
  • Long Beach Press-Telegram: "Proposition 22 on the Nov. 2 ballot would - once and for all, we hope - protect local governments and agencies from these money grabs."[22]
  • Los Angeles Daily News: "Lawmakers in Sacramento have for years borrowed or outright raided billions from cities and redevelopment and transit agencies, blowing holes in local spending plans in an attempt to paper over the state's structural deficit. It's dishonest and may even be illegal, and it contradicts the will of voters. Proposition 22 on the Nov. 2 ballot would - once and for all, we hope - protect local governments and agencies from these money grabs."[23]
  • Palm Springs Desert Sun: "The local agencies of this valley and elsewhere have been responsible with their budgets and have made tough decisions when facing massive shortfalls. Now it's time for the state Legislature to do the same."[24]
  • The San Bernardino Sun has written in favor of Proposition 22.[25]
  • San Gabriel Valley Tribune: "It's not as if we approve wholeheartedly of all the spending done on the local level - not that it's somehow purer than spending generated from our state Capitol. In fact, the taxing-and-spending scandals journalists are uncovering in California city halls show that local pols and municipal administrators are top-notch scam artists indeed. But citizens are rising up against that institutional corruption, and will clean house."[26]
  • San Jose Mercury News: "Proposition 22 would close the loopholes and ensure that local governments and agencies can keep the funding voters want them to have."[27]
  • San Diego North County Times: "Our legislators in Sacramento have yet to pass a budget, and are now 77 days past the legally mandated deadline. If the state politicians can't get their collective act together to perform their most basic task, then they certainly shouldn't be allowed to muddy the fiscal waters of other government bodies in the state."[28]

No on Prop 22

  • Contra Costa Times: "Certainly, California is in dire need of major fiscal reforms, and it cannot rely on raiding local revenues in the long term. But Proposition 22 is hardly the kind of change that is needed, especially now."[29]
  • Fresno Bee: "Government officials continue to protect the money and turf they view as their own. The League of California Cities is the latest group seeking ballot protection of local funding, with Proposition 22 on the Nov. 2 ballot. Cities have legitimate complaints. But Proposition 22 is ill-timed and an overreach. It should be rejected."[30]
  • Los Angeles Times: "It's hard to see why redevelopment agencies' ever-growing share of local property taxes (at 12% statewide by one estimate) is more worthy of protection than school budgets, worker training programs or any of the other public services coming under the knife. Nor does it make sense to force the Legislature to use the general fund instead of fuel tax revenue to pay off existing transportation bonds, as Proposition 22 would do."[31]
  • Oakland Tribune: "With the weak economy and huge deficits, California needs to have flexibility in balancing its budget. Short-term borrowing and shifting of funds is far from an ideal solution, but it is preferable to huge tax increases or the loss of essential services."[32]
  • Orange County Register: "We oppose Prop 22 for several reasons. First, it's good to see the rapacious redevelopment agencies lose some funding. The state should go further and abolish them. Second, we oppose "ballot-box budgeting," in which voters lock in portions of government spending, making it more difficult to cut budgets and increasing pressure for tax increases. Third, even though some worthy local programs may be cut, that's better than increases in state taxes to offset money the state otherwise would have grabbed."[33]
  • Sacramento Bee: "The League of California Cities is the latest organization seeking to build a moat around "its" money by pushing Proposition 22 on the Nov. 2 ballot. City leaders have legitimate complaints. But Proposition 22 is ill-timed and is an overreach, and should be rejected."[34]
  • San Francisco Chronicle: "Proposition 22 does not fix this distorted system: It most protects cities' interests - at the expense of others. For example, it would no longer allow 14 percent of state fuel-tax revenue to be sent to the general fund to help pay off voter-approved transportation bonds. It is telling that the California State Association of Counties has remained neutral on the measure."[36]
  • Santa Rosa Press-Democrat: "If it passes, Proposition 22 would blow a $1 billion hole — perhaps more — in a state budget that’s already $19 billion in the red."[37]
  • Ventura County Star: "...the ballot measure reminds us of an apartment dweller refusing to open his door to firefighters as they struggle to control a spreading blaze in the apartment next door. We’re all in this together, and when the apartment house — California — is on fire, it’s time for everyone to share some very real pain, even if it’s quite inconvenient and even though it might feel extremely unfair to some."[38]

Path to the ballot

See also: California signature requirements

694,354 valid signatures were required to qualify the measure for the ballot. Organizers submitted 1.1 million signatures to election officials on April 29, 2010.[3] The signatures were collected by Progressive Campaigns, Inc. at a cost of $1,646,596.

See also: 2010 ballot measure petition signature costs

See also

External links

Suggest a link

Basic information


See also: 2010 ballot measure campaign websites


See also: 2010 ballot measure campaign websites

Additional reading


  1. Los Angeles Times, "Groups file measure to block state raids of local funds," October 20, 2009
  2. Los Angeles Times, "Measure to tighten local government protections heads to November ballot," June 22, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sacramento Bee, "Backers of local fund protection measure submit 1.1 million signatures," April 29, 2010
  4. Manteca Bulletin, "Move afoot to stop future state raids on local money," November 14, 2009
  5. San Francisco Streets Blog, "Transit Agency Representatives Push “Protect Local” Ballot Initiative," February 17, 2010
  6. Daily Democrat, "Voters should say 'no' to state's pilfering," November 29, 2009
  7. Proposition 22 ballot title issued on July 2 (dead link)
  8. Los Angeles, "Props to the printers -- with changes," August 13, 2010
  9. Los Angeles Times, "Lawsuit filed over Proposition 22," August 3, 2010
  10. Los Angeles, "Props to the printers -- with changes," August 13, 2010
  11. Streetsblog San Francisco, "Transit Agencies Upset by Governor Schwarzenegger’s Plan to Divert Funds," January 4, 2010
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 Official Voter's Guide arguments for and against
  13. "Yes on 22" campaign finance reports
  14. 14.0 14.1 San Diego Union Tribune, "Cities, counties worry about funds," June 20, 2010
  15. San Diego Union Tribune, "Ballot-box bungling," January 6, 2010
  16. Los Angeles Times, "Villaraigosa withholds support for local government ballot measure," June 28, 2010
  17. 17.0 17.1 California Progress Report, "Backing Ballot Measures On The Budget," July 20, 2010
  18. San Francisco Chronicle, "Allies take opposing stands on Proposition 22," July 27, 2010
  19. Bakersfield Californian, "Prop 22 will protect local tax revenue," September 4, 2010
  20. Gilroy Dispatch, "Keep our tax dollars local: Yes on Proposition 22," September 17, 2010
  21. Lompoc Record, "Facing pain with Prop 22," October 2, 2010
  22. Long Beach Press-Telegram, "Yes on Proposition 22," September 12, 2010
  23. Los Angeles Daily News, "A `yes' vote on Proposition 22 helps cities," September 10, 2010
  24. Palm Springs Desert Sun, "Vote Yes on Prop 22," September 12, 2010
  25. San Bernardino Sun, "Locals seeking fiscal protection," January 12, 2010
  26. San Gabriel Valley Tribune, "Yes on Proposition 22 for local control," October 3, 2010
  27. San Jose Mercury News, "Vote Yes on Prop 22," September 5, 2010
  28. San Diego North County Times, "Proposition 22 will protect local funds," September 15, 2010
  29. Contra Costa Times, "Too restrictive to California's general fund -- vote no on Proposition 22," September 8, 2010
  30. Fresno Bee, "Editorial: Vote 'no' on Proposition 22," September 26, 2010
  31. Los Angeles Times, "Vote no on Proposition 22 The ballot measure would bar the state from diverting certain types of local revenue. It's not the right solution.," September 27, 2010
  32. Oakland Tribune, "Vote No on Proposition 22," September 8, 2010
  33. Orange County Register, "Proposition 22 defends the indefensible," September 10, 2010
  34. Sacramento Bee, "No on Proposition 22 – cities overreach with money grab," September 18, 2010
  35. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pragmatism dictates rejecting Props. 22, 26," September 22, 2010
  36. San Francisco Chronicle, "The Chronicle recommends No on Proposition 22," September 29, 2010
  37. Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, "PD Editorial: No on 22," September 21, 2010
  38. Ventura County Star, "It's the wrong time for Proposition 22," September 6, 2010