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Monday, April 21, 2014

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League of California Cities: Support for Prop. 22 Shows Californians Depend on Locally-Provided Services and Oppose State Raids of Local Funds

Support for Prop. 22 Shows Californians Depend on Locally-Provided Services and Oppose State Raids of Local Funds

Advocates of Proposition 22 commended voters for their support of Prop. 22, the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act of 2010. At 9:50 p.m. the measure was ahead in the polls when the Associated Press declared Prop. 22 would pass.

Prop. 22 stops state politicians from raiding local government and gas tax funds that are supposed to be used at the local level for vital local services like emergency 9-1-1 response, police, fire, libraries, parks, transportation improvements and more.

Jim Ridenour, League of California Cities President and Modesto Mayor said: "This is a great victory for the people of California and for the League. It sends a very clear message that funding for local services should remain under local control."

"Voters' support for Prop. 22 means the state lawmakers will no longer be able to dip into local funds to solve state budget problems," said Chris McKenzie, Executive Director, League of California Cities and Co-Chair of the Yes on 22 Campaign . "Voters have repeatedly and decisively voted to stop state raids at multiple elections. Hopefully the state politicians will respect the will of the voters who put them in office."

California voters overwhelmingly passed measures in previous elections to restrict state raids of local government funds, as well as to dedicate gasoline taxes to transportation and public transit improvements and services. Despite this, State politicians exploited loopholes in the law and used legally questionable tactics to borrow and raid approximately $5 billion in local government, transit and redevelopment funds in the 2009/10 budget cycle and billions more in past years.

"Despite two ballot initiatives that protected local tax dollars and gas tax dollars, and despite a unanimous decision by the California Court of Appeal in favor of protecting transit funding, which was effectively affirmed by the California Supreme Court, legislators still found loopholes to exploit the law and voters' will. No more," said Josh Shaw, Executive Director, California Transit Association and the other Co-Chair of the Yes on 22 Campaign . "With Prop. 22, the loopholes allowing Sacramento to steal our gas tax funding are closed once and for all."

Doug Fry, Belmont/San Carlos Fire Chief and League of California Cities Fire Department President , said: "Prop. 22 will protect funding for public safety, the most important locally-delivered service. Ongoing state raids of local government funds has made it harder for fire and paramedics officials, and police and Sheriff's deputies to do our jobs. Up and down the state, cities have drastically cut back on public safety expenses. The vote in favor of Prop. 22 was a loud and clear message to Sacramento lawmakers for them to do their jobs and keep their hands off our funding."

Prop. 22 is supported by a coalition of hundreds of groups including the California Fire Chiefs Association; Peace Officers Research Association of California, representing 60,000 public safety members; California Police Chiefs Association; Automobile Club of Southern California; California Library Association; California Transit Association; League of California Cities; California Alliance for Jobs; California Chamber of Commerce and more than 300 cities and towns.

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