California Special Election: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
 Tuesday, May 19, 2009 Official Voter Information Guide Official Voter Information Guide
PROPOSITION
1F
ELECTED OFFICIALS' SALARIES.
PREVENTS PAY INCREASES DURING BUDGET DEFICIT YEARS.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION 1F
ARGUMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 1F


YES ON 1F: NO PAY INCREASES FOR LEGISLATORS DURING TIMES OF STATE BUDGET DEFICITS.

Proposition 1F is straightforward and makes sense: During times when our state budget is running a deficit, legislators and the Governor should not receive pay increases.

A vote for Proposition 1F is a vote to prohibit legislators, the Governor and other state politicians from getting pay raises whenever our state is running a budget deficit.

BY STOPPING LEGISLATIVE PAY RAISES DURING STATE BUDGET DEFICITS, WE CAN SAVE OUR STATE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WHEN THEY'RE NEEDED MOST AND BRING ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE LEGISLATURE.

In times of deficit, critical services like schools, public safety and healthcare get cut. But legislators and the Governor still get pay raises.

Since 2005, legislators have had their pay increased three separate times. In four years their pay has increased nearly $17,000. Every year legislators have received a pay raise the state has been in a deficit.

California's legislators are the highest paid in the nation, some earning more than $130,000 a year in salary plus tens of thousands more annually in perks and benefits. From taxpayer-funded cars and gas, to tax-free money for living expenses, legislators are living high off the hog while the state's deficit continues to grow.

YES ON 1F: PART OF A RESPONSIBLE PACKAGE OF REFORMS TO FIX A DYSFUNCTIONAL LEGISLATURE AND BRING ACCOUNTABILITY TO A BROKEN SYSTEM.

We're all frustrated by California's broken budget system. We're all tired of legislators who are immune to the problems they create. Year after year, politicians deliver late budgets that harm our schools, healthcare system, police and fire services and more. The perpetual budget problems also hurt taxpayers as we see our taxes raised or services cut because of the Legislature's failure to budget responsibly.

VOTE YES ON 1F: NO PAY RAISES FOR THE POLITICIANS WHEN OUR STATE IS IN A DEFICIT.

STATE SENATOR ABEL MALDONADO

LEWIS K. UHLER, President
National Tax Limitation Committee

JOEL FOX, President
Small Business Action Committee


REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION 1F


"Oh boy! Here's a brick we can throw at the Legislature! That will make us feel better!"

Voters, please come to your senses. Proposition 1F will have absolutely no practical effect. Withholding pay raises from legislators will not suddenly propel them into agreement over how to balance the state budget. The problems run far deeper than that.

What Proposition 1F will do is give you the illusion of having made a difference. You'll walk away from your polling place thinking, "There, I've really stuck it to those louts in Sacramento." But come the next budget cycle, it will be exactly the same. Hard-line legislators in both parties will obstinately refuse to make the necessary concessions, resulting in yet another long, painful stalemate. Yes, you will have withheld their pay raises. So what?

The real reform was passed last November, when Californians wisely adopted the redistricting reforms in Proposition 11. Starting in 2012, many legislative districts will be less polarized, so more legislators will be answerable to constituents of both parties. This will result in more civility, cooperation and compromise, and budgets that work for all Californians.

But Proposition 1F won't help. It's on your ballot just to make you think you're doing something. Don't be fooled now and disappointed later. Vote no.

PETE STAHL, Author
Pete Rates the Propositions

Proposition 1F won't work. Worse, it's petty, vindictive and childish.

Proposition 1F naively hopes to prevent budget deficits by withholding raises for legislators and elected state officers if the state budget does not balance.

This is just plain silly. Everyone wants our state government to be fiscally healthy. But this measure will never do the trick. For Proposition 1F to work, our legislators would have to be so selfish and immature that the possibility of a modest salary increase could induce them to betray their core values.

Of course they're not that selfish. Regardless of party, members of the Legislature are deeply caring, diligent, patriotic people who truly love the communities they represent and serve. Our state's structural deficit, if anything, has been caused by their overeagerness to serve too many constituencies, rather than the kind of selfish greed that would make Proposition 1F effective.

Freezing salaries will not loosen politicians' commitment to their ideologies. You cannot get conservative legislators to support tax increases just by threatening to cancel their raises. Similarly, liberal legislators will never agree to cuts in social programs just to increase their pay.

It's ludicrous to think that the mere threat of a salary freeze will somehow cause our polarized elected officials to rush into each others' arms and magically overcome their political differences. Proposition 1F will never do what it promises.

You may be thinking, "Okay, maybe Proposition 1F won't do any good. But it will make me feel better, and it can't do any harm!"

Not so. Proposition 1F freezes the salaries of not just the Legislature and Governor, who are responsible for passing and signing the budget, but also innocent bystanders such as the Insurance Commissioner and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. This collateral damage will hurt some fine public servants and help no one.

And how good will you feel about freezing legislators' salaries when you know that their votes wouldn't change whether their salaries were frozen, reduced, or entirely eliminated? After all, they're clearly not in this for the money.

The current salary for nearly all legislators is $116,208. In most of California, this is solidly middle-class compensation. Many small business owners, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and managers make far more. You may earn more or you may earn less, but you've got to admit that our elected leaders aren't getting rich on their salaries.

Now consider that we ask these officials to run an enterprise with annual revenues exceeding $100 billion. That's roughly the income level of large corporations such as AT&T, Ford, and Hewlett-Packard, whose executives are paid millions of dollars. When you think about it in those terms, paying salaries such as $169,743 for a Treasurer and $133,639 for a Speaker of the Assembly is a terrific bargain.

Let's not make that discrepancy even worse just for an empty, childish, feel-good moment. Vote no on Proposition 1F.

PETE STAHL, Author
Pete Rates the Propositions


REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 1F


YES ON 1F: NO PAY INCREASES FOR LEGISLATORS DURING TIMES OF STATE BUDGET DEFICITS.

Proposition 1F is straightforward and fair: When our state budget is running a deficit, legislators and the Governor should not receive pay increases.

When the economy suffers, most working Californians don't get pay increases. Neither should the Legislature.

Since 2005, legislators have had their pay increased three separate times. In four years their pay has increased nearly $17,000. Legislators get pay raises even when we're facing huge deficits. That's not right!

California's legislators are the highest paid in the nation, some earning more than $130,000 a year in salary plus tens of thousands more annually in perks and benefits.

PROP. 1F MAKES SENSE AND IS FAIR.

In times of state budget deficits—when taxes are often raised and schools, police and fire, healthcare and other services all get cut—legislators should not get pay raises.

YES ON 1F: PART OF A RESPONSIBLE PACKAGE OF REFORMS TO FIX A DYSFUNCTIONAL LEGISLATURE AND BRING ACCOUNTABILITY TO A BROKEN SYSTEM.

We're all frustrated by California's broken budget system. We're all tired of legislators who are immune to the problems they create. Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E & 1F are a package of reforms to clean up budget dysfunction in Sacramento.

VOTE YES ON 1F: NO PAY RAISES FOR THE POLITICIANS WHEN OUR STATE IS IN A DEFICIT.

www.reformforchange.com

STATE SENATOR ABEL MALDONADO

JAMES N. EARP, Executive Director
California Alliance for Jobs

JOEL FOX, President
Small Business Action Committee



Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

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