Policy, Advocacy & Communication
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Nobel Prize winner James Heckman on the importance of early care and education
At a time of shrinking public and private resources, advocating for policies and programs that promote the health and well-being of children during their most critical years of development is a major part of what we do. Current research shows that the early years (ages 0-5) are the most important for children's development, with over 90% of brain growth occurring during this period.
State Proposition Results
Nearly two-thirds of the 17 statewide ballot measures passed. First 5 Alameda County endorsed Proposition 55 and Proposition 56, which were both approved by voters. Below is an overview of the key statewide ballot measures pertaining to children ages 0-5 and their result:
Proposition 55: Tax Extension for Education & Healthcare
Overview: Extends income taxes on CA’s highest income earners for 12 years
What this means: The passage of this measure ensures that the K-12 and health care services do not experience deep cuts. The measure is projected to bring in $4 - $9 billion annually. However, revenue generation is largely depend on economic activity and volatile to stock market performance. The three primary revenue recipients include:
- Education: Over half of the funding will be dedicated to K-12 education and to a lesser degree the Community College system (approximately $5 billion)
- Health Care: Medi-Cal, which now serves 13 million people or 1 in 3 Californians (approximately $0 - $2 billion); and
- Reserves: Remaining funding will go to a Rainy Day fund (approximately $60 million to $1.5 billion).
While the funding will not directly affect First 5, the continued supports to K-12 education and health care will impact many First 5 families. Additionally, the 12-year tax extension will provide more stability for these systems and families.
Proposition 56: $2 Tobacco Tax & Tax on E-Cigarettes
Overview: Increasing tobacco taxes by $2 per pack and applies tobacco taxes to e-cigarettes. Note, the $2 per pack increase will take effect April 1, 2017.
What this means: Prop 56 will both directly and indirectly affect First 5. First, the measure provides a “backfill” for the existing Tobacco Taxes, including Prop 10. The backfill is intended to maintain existing programs, which are projected to decline due to the higher taxes. However, the backfill simply holds the decline at a steady rate, meaning Prop 10 revenues will continue to lose funding.
Second, Prop 10 will directly benefit from the new excise tax placed on e-cigarettes. For the first time, California will start taxing e-cigarettes as tobacco products. First 5 will receive the equivalency of our current 50 cents per pack on e-cigarettes. This equivalency will be determined by the Board of Equalization. The Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) predicts this will generate $10 - $40 million annually.
Lastly, Prop 56 will add up to $1 billion to Medi-Cal and $30 million for the state dental program, which will help serve First 5 families.
Proposition 64: Marijuana Legalization
Overview: Legalize, regulate and tax recreational marijuana
What this means: While revenues from Prop 64 will not benefit children ages 0-5, the measure allows local communities to further tax and regulate marijuana.
Proposition 51: School Bond
Overview: Statewide bond for K-12 and community college facilities
What this means: Prop 51 issues a $9 billion school bond - $7 billion for K-12 and $2 billion for community colleges. The proposition prioritizes buildings over 25 years old and districts facing space constraints for both current and future needs. As it relates to early childhood education, Transitional Kindergarten is likely the only eligible funding receipt should a district meet the priorities set out in the initiative and prioritize early education.
State & Federal Candidate Races
Assembly Democrats have obtained a 2/3 supermajority in the Assembly. Senate Democrats need to win one more seat to obtain a 2/3 supermajority, which currently hinges on the outcome of Senate District 29 race of current Assemblymember Ling-Ling Chang (R) and Josh Newman (D). Four races have yet to be called. A 2/3 supermajority vote is needed to raise taxes, pass emergency legislation, overturn a Governor veto, place a measure on the ballot, and amend the state constitution.
|AD 16||Catharine Baker (R)||Parts of Contra Costa County and Alameda|
|SD 9||Nancy Skinner (D)||Parts of Alameda and Contra Costa|