Prop 30 gets 53 percent yes votes – enough to win

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 that will raise taxes to stave huge cuts to public education passed with 53 percent of the vote and 100 percent of California’s vote reported.

The Secretary of State website which is tracking its progress across California, reported at 6:19 a.m. that 53 percent voted yes (4,941,423) and 46 percent voted no (4,218,204). At this time, 100 percent of precincts have reported results.

Proposition 30 will directly affect the Gilroy Unified School District and the surrounding community.

The Gilroy Unified School district is “living on the edge” these days, according Superintendent Debbie Flores, who says the district has shaved $27 million from its budget in the last five years.

As GUSD braces for a possible total $8 million cut in state funding, everything hinges on the November general election. Voters will ultimately decide with their votes on Proposition 30 whether GUSD carries on with its budget plan for this year, which includes 10 unpaid furlough days and a 5 percent pay cut for teachers and management staff.

“I believe that a (school) district’s challenges are a community’s challenge,” said Melanie Corona, a GUSD parent and coordinator for the Downtown Business Association.

Alarmed by funding cuts rolling toward GUSD, Corona organized an informational community forum Tuesday night at Gilroy High School. A meager-sized but passionate group of about 15 teachers, parents, school officials and City Council candidates spoke frankly about Prop 30, known as the “Schools & Local Public Safety Protection Act.” The forum did not bring any outspoken opponents of Prop 30.

Proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Prop 30 would generate an estimated $6 billion annually over the next few years. It will temporarily increase the personal income tax on the state’s taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 by up to 3 percent for seven years, and increase the sales tax by 0.25 percent for four years.


California Gov. Jerry Brown darted across the state Monday in a last-minute bid to shore up support for Proposition 30, his proposal to raise taxes and head off billions of dollars in cuts to public education.

The five-city swing, stretching from San Diego to San Francisco, underscored the precarious position of the governor’s tax measure in the final hours of the campaign _ and its importance to his governorship. Recent polls showed support for the proposal slipping below 50 percent, often the death knell for tax initiatives.

Early in the morning, standing before more than 100 students and teachers outside a San Diego high school, Brown struck a populist tone, emphasizing that people making more than $250,000 would pay most of the new levies.

“Do we want our schools to cut $6 billion more,” Brown asked, “or do we ask those who have enjoyed the greatest benefits to give a little more to California in our time of need?”

Brown, who campaigned for office on a promise to repair California’s finances, has redoubled his efforts in recent weeks to pass Proposition 30.

He spent the weekend in Los Angeles, rallying union workers at a canvassing drive, making calls with volunteers at a phone bank and taking the pulpit at four churches. Between events, the governor has encouraged his more than 1 million Twitter followers to vote and highlighted support from labor leaders, lawmakers _ even Oakland native and ’90s rapper MC Hammer.

Other high-profile initiatives, however, are competing for Californians’ attention.

Millionaire civil rights lawyer Molly Munger has spent more than $47 million to promote a different tax measure, Proposition 38. It would increase income taxes on most Californians to raise an estimated $10 billion a year for schools and to pay down state debt.

Business and labor groups have bombarded voters with mail and television ads about Proposition 32, which would curb the political influence of unions in state politics. Polls show the measure languishing.

Proponents, including Republican donors, anti-tax activists and business executives, say Proposition 32 is an even-handed effort, eliminating the ability of corporations and unions to deduct political contributions from workers’ paychecks. Labor leaders counter that payroll deductions are their main fundraising tool; businesses typically tap executive checkbooks and company treasuries.

Backers of a proposal to place special labels on genetically engineered food made a last-ditch effort to stem declining support. They poured millions of dollars into new ads for Proposition 37 after a monthlong barrage of critical spots from the opposition.

Biotechnology firms led by Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical Co. argue that the measure is unnecessary and would raise food prices. Supporters say Californians deserve to know what’s in their food.

Other proposals on the ballot include far-reaching criminal justice measures. Proposition 34 would abolish the death penalty. Proposition 36 would ease the state’s tough “three strikes” sentencing law. Both campaigns are running TV ads.

State voters will also cast ballots in a U.S. Senate race, in which Democrat Dianne Feinstein is seeking re-election, and dozens of competitive congressional and legislative races that could give Democrats a supermajority in the state Senate and swell the party’s numbers in Washington.

New political maps drawn by an independent commission rather than elected officials have created more competitive races than the state has seen in more than a decade. Outside groups have spent more than $53 million to influence congressional races and more than $20 million has been expended in contests for the Legislature.

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