Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Opponents say Prop 30 ad blitz is misleading voters

The No on Prop 30 campaign launched its first TV ad Thursday — attacking Governor Jerry Brown's Prop 30 ads, which launched a day earlier, as "smoke and mirrors."

“We are shocked and dismayed by the Governor’s willingness to mislead voters,” said Joel Fox, President of the Small Business Action Committee, in a statement.  “Prop 30 doesn’t provide any new funding for education and is really nothing more than a shell game that gives Sacramento politicians more money to spend on other programs."

Most of the attention is on a statement in the Prop 30 ads that its income and sales tax increases will only go to fund schools, and that politicians can’t touch the money.

Edgar Cabral, one of the Legislative Analyst’s education experts, says Prop 30 does funnel new tax revenue into a special fund that can only be spent on K-14 education.

It’s probably fair to say politicians can’t touch it, but Cabral also explained the money in that fund will count toward the state’s minimum education funding levels, guaranteed under Prop 98.

So, Prop 30 will free up billons in general fund revenues that would have otherwise gone to fund education, and politicians will decide how to spend that money on many other things state government pays for, such as social services and public safety.

The bottom line: Prop 30’s money goes to education. It will prevent $6 billion in education cuts scheduled to take effect next year. It will bring in billions more in revenues for California. But it won't necessarily result in increased spending on education.