This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Section 8 of Article II of the California Constitution.
This initiative measure adds a section to the California Constitution; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in to indicate that they are new.
THE SCHOOLS AND LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY PROTECTION ACT OF 2012
SECTION 1. Title.
This measure shall be known and may be cited as "The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012."
SEC. 2. Findings.
(a) Over the past four years alone, California has had to cut more than $56 billion from education, police and fire protection, healthcare, and other critical state and local services. These funding cuts have forced teacher layoffs, increased school class sizes, increased college fees, reduced police protection, increased fire response times, exacerbated dangerous overcrowding in prisons, and substantially reduced oversight of parolees.
(b) These cuts in critical services have hurt California's seniors, middle-class working families, children, college students, and small businesses the most. We cannot afford more cuts to education and the other services we need.
(c) After years of cuts and difficult choices, it is necessary to turn the state around. Raising new tax revenue is an investment in our future that will put California back on track for growth and success.
(d) The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 will make California's tax system more fair. With working families struggling while the wealthiest among us enjoy record income growth, it is only right to ask the wealthy to pay their fair share.
(e) The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 raises the income tax on those at the highest end of the income scale -- those who can most afford it. It also temporarily restores some sales taxes in effect last year, while keeping the overall sales tax rate lower than it was in early 2011.
(f) The new taxes in this measure are temporary. Under the California Constitution the 1/4-cent sales tax increase expires in four years, and the income tax increases for the wealthiest taxpayers end in seven years.
(g) The new tax revenue is guaranteed in the California Constitution to go directly to local school districts and community colleges. Cities and counties are guaranteed ongoing funding for public safety programs such as local police and child protective services. State money is freed up to help balance the budget and prevent even more devastating cuts to services for seniors, working families, and small businesses. Everyone benefits.
(h) To ensure these funds go where the voters intend, they are put in special accounts that the Legislature cannot touch. None of these new revenues can be spent on state bureaucracy or administrative costs.
(i) These funds will be subject to an independent audit every year to ensure they are spent only for schools and public safety. Elected officials will be subject to prosecution and criminal penalties if they misuse the funds.
SEC. 3. Purpose and Intent.
(a) The chief purpose of this measure is to protect schools and local public safety by asking the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes. This measure takes funds away from state control and places them in special accounts that are exclusively dedicated to schools and local public safety in the state Constitution.
(b) This measure builds on a broader state budget plan that has made billions of dollars in permanent cuts to state spending.
(c) The measure guarantees solid, reliable funding for schools, community colleges, and public safety while helping balance the budget and preventing further devastating cuts to services for seniors, middle-class working families, children, and small businesses.
(d) This measure gives constitutional protection to the shift of local public safety programs from state to local control and the shift of state revenues to local government to pay for those programs. It guarantees that schools are not harmed by providing even more funding than schools would have received without the shift.
(e) This measure guarantees that the new revenues it raises will be sent directly to school districts for classroom expenses, not administrative costs. This school funding cannot be suspended or withheld no matter what happens with the state budget.
(f) All revenues from this measure are subject to local audit every year, and audit by the independent Controller to ensure that they will be used only for schools and local public safety.
SEC. 4. Section 36 is added to Article XIII of the California Constitution, to read:
SEC. 5. Effective Date.
Subdivision (b) of Section 36 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, as added by this measure, shall be operative as of July 1, 2011. Paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 36 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, as added by this measure, shall be operative as of January 1, 2012. All other provisions of this measure shall become operative the day after the election in which it is approved by a majority of the voters voting on the measure provided.
SEC. 6. Conflicting Measures.
In the event that this measure and another measure that imposes an incremental increase in the tax rates for personal income shall appear on the same statewide ballot, the provisions of the other measure or measures shall be deemed to be in conflict with this measure. In the event that this measure receives a greater number of affirmative votes than a measure deemed to be in conflict with it, the provisions of this measure shall prevail in their entirety, and the other measure or measures shall be null and void.
SEC. 7. This measure provides funding for school districts and community college districts in an amount that equals or exceeds that which would have been provided if the revenues deposited pursuant to Sections 6051.15 and 6201.15 of the Revenue and Taxation Code pursuant to Chapter 43 of the Statutes of 2011 had been considered "General Fund revenues" or "General Fund proceeds of taxes" for purposes of Section 8 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.