Big 5 meetings resume and a deal is expected in days, with a possible vote later this week. There are only a few outstanding issues left to resolve including final cuts to prisons and other areas, as well as the size of the reserve and how to take local government funds.

Last week, leaders agreed on a general framework for solving the $26.3 billion budget deficit, which includes a payment schedule to pay back $9.5 billion to schools for the cuts to education included in last year’s budget cuts. The plan also relies on heavy spending cuts to most sectors of state government and relies on $4 billion in additional revenue from local government.

Although the final numbers on cuts to local government remains unclear, these numbers have been referenced at this point:

  1. Suspend Proposition 1A and borrow $1.9 billion from cities, counties and special districts;
  2. Shift $1.7 billion from redevelopment agencies; and,
  3. Shift for two years $986 million of city and county local gasoline tax revenues ($986 million this fiscal year and the same amount in fiscal year 2010-11).

The fight to protect special district services is far from over. A Prop 1A suspension requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and many legislators have expressed their concerns with borrowing from local governments because many are already in dire fiscal straits. Other legislators are opposed to “kicking the can down the alley” and putting the state in further debt. With a budget agreement just days away, special districts still have time to call legislative representatives in Sacramento and tell them not to suspend Proposition 1A and not to put their own constituents’ services at risk.

Call your legislators today to bolster their opposition to a Prop 1A suspension and to reiterate that it’s okay to vote against legislative leaders and to vote to support their own constituents. Now is the time to make a difference—tell your legislators to oppose putting California in further debt and taking away from local government services!

Need to find contact information for your legislators? Visit the Legislature’s Web site and enter your zip code or address in the bottom right side of the webpage.

Talking points, sample letters to legislators and resolutions of fiscal hardship can be found on CSDA’s Protect Special Districts’ Services web section.