A measure to ban the state from dipping into local government coffers to balance the budget has secured a spot on the November ballot.
The "Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act of 2010" would prohibit the state from borrowing or redirecting cash from local government property taxes, gasoline taxes, local transit and redevelopment funds and other locally-issued taxes to close the budget gap. Proponents turned in more than 1.2 million petition signatures to meet the 694,354 valid voter signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot.
"California voters have repeatedly supported statewide measures that dedicate the gas taxes we pay at the pump for transportation improvements," campaign co-chair Jim Earp, executive director of the California Alliance, said in a statement. "Despite this, year after year the Legislature exploits every loophole it can find to borrow or outright raid these critical funds. This measure will once and for all protect gas taxes from future raids and insure they are used to improve our roads, highways and transit systems - just like the voters intended."
Proposals to tap into local revenues to balance the budget have been challenged in the past, with local redevelopment agencies suing the state over plans to siphon funds from local government coffers.
Five measures, including the water bond approved by the Legislature, have been certified for the ballot so far. All initiatives slated for November must be certified by the Secretary of State by June 24.
This post was updated at 1:43 p.m. with a statement from the campaign.