Last Wednesday, special district and city officials convened in Sacramento to lobby legislators on the impact a suspension of Proposition 1A (2004) would have on local government.

Attendees heard from State Controller John Chiang during the morning budget briefing. Controller Chiang described the state’s cash flow shortfalls that would begin at the end of July if the Legislature does not address the state’s cash flow needs immediately. Specifically, by July 29, California will not have the cash needed to meet all of its payment obligations. On July 29, the state will be in the red by $317.1 million. Two days later the cash deficit will increase to a negative $1.02 billion. Read the letter the controller sent to the governor and legislative leadership that outlines the state’s cash flow problems, here. The controller also reiterated his opposition to the Prop 1A borrowing proposal.

An afternoon session consisted of attendees hearing from key legislators in a committee room in the State Capitol reserved specifically for Budget Action Day participants. In his remarks, Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) stressed that his caucus was opposed to any borrowing, including borrowing under Prop 1A.

Special district and city officials also had the chance to record a video message regarding the Prop 1A borrowing proposal that would be posted on the League of California Cities’ Web site called Save Your City. With over 50 uniformed fire fighters from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, fire fighters recorded a special message to legislators, saying “don’t steal our money!” In coordinated efforts with CSDA, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District fire fighters were recognized on the Senate and Assembly Floors, and were able to chat briefly with the governor while he was at another event to relay concerns about the Prop 1A borrowing proposal.

Budget Action Day was an effective lobby day and legislators were reminded by local officials of the consequences of shifting property tax money from local government to the state.

But our efforts do not stop there. Continue contacting your legislators, either in person, by phone or with a formal letter. Districts can also adopt a resolution of severe fiscal hardship to show the state that local government is also dealing with major fiscal hardships under these weak economic times. Shifting more revenues out of local government coffers will only push local entities off the cliff.

Find sample letters and resolutions on our website. Go to and click on the Protect Special Districts’ Services banner on the right side of the webpage.