The vote we must make

Passage of Proposition 30 is essential

It’s election season, so hyperbole is in overdrive: Pundits are barking at one another, campaign ads are smothering us in half-truths, and mega-millions are flowing into campaign coffers from all across the globe.

Despite all this, it’s possible to distill everything down to the single most important vote we Californians can make on Nov. 6: We must pass Proposition 30.

Remember when Gov. Jerry Brown was re-elected to the state’s top job a few years ago? He won overwhelmingly because voters believed he was our state’s best bet to enact a solution to California’s chronic problems and the continual budget shortfall that has robbed our schools of needed funds (we now rank 47th in per-pupil funding), slashed funding to higher education and threatened public safety.

Republican lawmakers blocked Brown right out of the gate. They denied him the opportunity to take a balanced “save California” plan straight to the voters. But on Nov. 6, Brown finally gets what he wanted back then. It’s called Proposition 30.

The measure calls for a temporary quarter-cent sales tax hike (from 7.25 percent to 7.50 percent) and personal-income-tax increase for Californians earning more than $250,000 (and couples earning more than $500,000). What will this buy? Among other things, passage of Prop. 30 will prevent an immediate $6 billion in further cuts to schools, provide billions in new school funds starting this year, and prevent more tuition hikes. Add to this the crucial fact that Prop. 30 will protect public safety by halting further cuts to cops and firefighters and save billions in future prison costs.

Nobody likes taxes, even those that come alongside massive cuts, as we’ve seen. But what’s the alternative, except a further erosion of our most basic services and hopes for a flourishing future for our state?

Vote yes on Proposition 30.