What Do Those Ballot Measures Really Do?

As part of the recently signed budget agreement, six measures were sent to a May 19 special election ballot.  Traditionally, the Attorney General drafts the labels that describe ballot measures and the brief description of measures that appear in the official voter information guide. This year, the Legislature decided to leave nothing to chance and drafted descriptions of the six ballot measures themselves. Opponents of two of the measures – Proposition 1A, which modifies the state’s budget reserve and limits spending, and Proposition 1E, which redirects a portion of the proceeds of the “millionaires’ tax” dedicated to mental health programs for two years – challenged the wording as misleading and for violating standards that require descriptions in the voter guide to be fair and impartial.

A compromise agreement will reword the description of Proposition 1E, clarifying that the measure diverts moneys from the Mental Health Services Fund to the General Fund.  A hearing on the challenge to the language describing Proposition 1A is happening now in Sacramento County Superior Court. KQED radio’s John Myers is Twittering the play-by-play.

— Jean Ross