Friday, October 24, 2014

Why I'm Voting No on Prop 2

I am a strong proponent for conservative spending plans.  Last year, when LASD saw our first budget surplus, I advocated setting aside some of that money to shore up our future pension liabilities.  When, then would I be voting No on Prop 2?

On the face of it, Prop 2 creates a rainy day fund to even out state expenditures in lean times.  Like much of what we see in politics, though, there's a catch.  Prop 2 also puts a cap in place, limiting the amount of reserves local school districts can carry.  In the case of LASD, that means we'll lose the ability to save for a rainy day ourselves.  We will depend entirely on Sacramento.  We won't be able to have a special reserve to cover our healthcare obligations to retirees, and we won't be able to save money for the next recession when it comes.

Gov. Brown's logic is that the State of California will carry the reserve, which will then remove the need for local Districts to carry one.  That would be great, if the State had a solid track record in this regard.  However, one only need look at how they've handled their Prop 98 obligation (wherein the voters required that at least 39% of state budgets go to education).  In the past several years, when times got tight, Sacramento said simply "we'll owe you that money".  Literally- we have an outstanding Prop 39 receivable from the State of California that we never expect to get paid.

I want to keep control here at the local level.  We know what is best for our community.  Let our local community formulate how we spend and save.  Keep control here.

{If this post sounds familiar, it should.  I wrote about this back in June.  At the time, we were hoping that the Legislature would correct this problem before Prop 2 made it onto the ballot.  unfortunately they did not.  As a result, I can't support the measure.}