Prop. 22: Tax revenue for transportation

LOS ANGELES Proposition 22 would prohibit the state from taking tax revenue intended for transportation projects, or for local government projects or services.

It's estimated that last year the state borrowed $5 billion in city, county, transit, re-development and special-district funds to help balance the budget.

But now /*League of California Cities*/ is fighting back with Proposition 22, which supporters say will keep the state from raiding local coffers.

"If the state doesn't stop doing what they're doing, it's going to affect our response times because I may have to shut down a fire station," said Santa Fe Springs Fire Chief Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says most safety agencies in the state will be voting yes on Prop. 22.

"It protects public safety funds, it protects transportation funds and road funds, because if the state keeps taking money we can't repair roads. It impacts our ability for public transportation and there will be reductions in public safety," said Rodriguez.

Last year fire departments like the one in Santa Fe Springs had to cut 15 percent of their personnel due to the state's budget problems. Supporters of Proposition 22 say the measure will protect departments in the future. But opponents say that's not necessarily the case.

"The proponents say it's going to protect local public safety. It doesn't put one more firefighter, it doesn't protect one more drop at all," said /*California Professional Firefighters*/ President Lou Paulson.

Paulson says Prop. 22 is just another form of ballot box budgeting.

"It's going to segregate part of the state budget and make it more difficult for the legislature in the state of California to reach a balanced budget," said Paulson.

Paulson says as a result, money set aside for fire protection districts and social services, which all depend on funding from the state, would be used to balance the budget.

The /*California Teachers Association*/ is also not endorsing the measure because they say education would immediately lose $1 billion in funding if 22 passes.

"If you got less money in the pot, there's less money in the pot to go towards education, so they're going to be cutting out more of the state budget," said Paulson.

It will now be up to the voters to decide if the state will be balancing next year's budget with or without the provision set in Prop. 22.

Election Day is November 2.

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