CFT members collect signatures to place vital measure on November ballot

Passing Proposition 30, officially known as the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012, turned years of cuts into a period of growth, CFT President Josh Pechthalt said at the CFT Convention. Not extending the law would be a huge setback for the state.

“It’s essentially the reincarnation of the Millionaire’s Tax,” Pechthalt explained, referring to a CFT-backed tax on the state’s highest earners that then merged with a measure sponsored by Gov. Jerry Brown. “We can’t go back to pre-Prop. 30 days.”

A short CFT-produced video shown at convention made that point, explaining how the state overall has benefitted from the tax and showing educators talking about the uncertainty and indignity of getting pink slips every March, constantly feeling their jobs are in jeopardy before the proposition passed.

Since 2012, Prop. 30 has generated more than $20 billion for California schools and colleges by raising income tax rates by 1 to 3 percent on individuals making over $250,000 and families making over $500,000, and by increasing sales tax a quarter of a cent. The sales tax will expire at the end of this year, and the tax on the wealthy will expire in 2018 unless extended. 

A key argument made against Prop. 30 was that millionaires would leave the state to avoid the tax and jobs would disappear. But in the video, Chris Hoene, executive director of the California Budget and Policy Center, says the state has added 1.4 million jobs since the measure passed, and that there are more millionaires than before, showing that raising taxes doesn’t kill jobs or cause the wealthy to flee. 

Believing that without an extension, public education will go back to layoffs, budget cuts and increasing class sizes, the CFT has partnered with the California Teachers Association, SEIU and other unions to pass the extension called “The Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016,” which would extend the small income tax increase on the wealthy for 12 years.

Signature gatherers have been circulating petitions to put a measure on November’s ballot and CFT members are urged help any way you can — by getting petitions signed, making presentations about the measure’s importance, and getting resolutions of support passed by your district governing board.

— By Emily Wilson, CFT Reporter

>Watch the video and learn more about what you can do to help extend Proposition 30.