LOS ANGELES (AP/CBS) — Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax hike initiative to fund education, was passed Tuesday night.
It passed 53.6 percent to 46.4 percent, according to official numbers from the California Secretary of State.
The measure will increase sales tax for Californians by a quarter-cent for four years, and the income tax would rise for individuals who earn more than $250,000.
Prop 30 will help balance the state budget and avoid about $6 billion in cuts, mostly to public schools.
The governor, who had campaigned hard for the proposition for the past year, thanked supporters at a Sacramento hotel Tuesday night.
“I know a lot of people had some doubts, had some questions, about ‘Can you really go to the people and ask them to vote for a tax?’” Brown said.
But Brown said people from diverse groups came together to support it.
“A core reason that brought people together in support of Proposition 30 was a belief in our schools and our university and the capacity of the state government to make an investment that benefits all of us,” he said.
The spending cuts are already built into this year’s state budget, and Democrats warned of dire results if the taxes were not approved, including some school districts that could shorten the school year by as many as three weeks.
“The good news is the state has been reaching into the pocket of school districts to take money out because it couldn’t pay its bills,” said Brown. “We are now living within our means because of the cuts and Prop 30. That money will pay down debt, and with the economic recovery, will create more and more money into the classroom.”
“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of youth in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), I am tremendously grateful to the voters of California for making the difficult decision to support Proposition 30,” LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said. “It is apparent that the voters are aware of the devastating cuts schools districts have taken the past 5 years.”
A competing measure, Prop. 38, was defeated by voters. Revenue from Prop 38 would have funded K-12 and repaid state debt, among other things.
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