Proposition 2 Presents California Voters With Another Major Budget Decision

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Gov. Jerry Brown, left, and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon campaign in Fountain Valley for Proposition 2. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times)

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Throughout much of California’s history, some of the most consequential budget decisions have been made not in the Capitol, but at the ballot box.

Proposition 13 limited local tax revenue and transformed the state’s financial landscape. Proposition 98 reserved about 40% of the budget for public schools and community colleges. Just two years ago, the linchpin of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan for eliminating the deficit was a ballot initiative, Proposition 30, that temporarily raised income and sales taxes.

On Tuesday, voters will once again make a major budget decision.

Proposition 2, a bipartisan constitutional amendment approved by the Legislature and backed by Brown, would strengthen the state’s rainy-day fund and require regular payments to pare down the state’s debt.

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