California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg on 2006 Election Results
Sacramento, Calif. – Allan Zaremberg, President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement today.
‘As was said throughout the recent campaign, Proposition 82 was never about the merits of pre-school. The question before the voters was whether Proposition 82 was the right solution. Californians agreed with more than 40 major newspaper editorials and voted against raising taxes and spending billions of dollars to create a government-run pre-school program that would have increased participation by only 4-5%.
‘Even worse, raising taxes by billions of dollars to fund a new government program with such a marginal benefit also would have harmed California”s existing programs, such as K-12 education, health care, public safety and more.
A study by former Legislative Analyst William Hamm found that the tax increase in Prop. 82 would have eroded General Fund revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars a year. That’s because, according to Dr. Hamm, rather than just absorb the proposed 18% tax increase, the targeted taxpayers were likely to have changed their investment behavior to reduce their tax burden. Significantly increasing taxes on high-earners and small businesses to fund a specific program of questionable benefit can drive income out of our state and end up decreasing revenues to California’s treasury revenues needed to pay for existing programs.
‘Prop. 82 was the wrong solution also because it subsidized wealthy parents with public dollars and didn’t focus limited funds on those who need help the most at a time when our state has limited resources and so many pressing needs, such as fixing K-12 education.
‘Governor Schwarzenegger has taken steps to address both. The Governor’s budget calls for targeting new pre-school funding at 4-year-olds from low-income families residing in school districts in the lowest three deciles of the Academic Performance Index. And his increase in education spending brings the total per pupil spending from all sources to more than $11,000 for each California K-12 student.
‘Clearly, there are affordable, successful alternatives to Prop. 82’s multi-billion dollar, bureaucratic plan rejected by the voters. For example, in Bakersfield, the business community has partnered with the public education community to provide a successful, cost-effective summer program that utilizes existing facilities and certified personnel and could become a model for California.
‘In legislative races, the California Chamber of Commerce generally only endorses when there is a clear difference between candidates in their positions on jobs and economic growth and where the Chamber’s endorsement can help the pro-jobs candidate to victory.
‘This election cycle, the California Chamber of Commerce successfully led a broad business community effort to help pro-jobs candidates win their party’s nomination. Despite very low voter turnout, which often allows more extremist views to dominate, the Chamber was successful in assisting the following candidates through the primary and I congratulate them:
AD 17 (Tracy) Cathleen Galgiani
AD 28 (Salinas) Anna Caballero
AD 55 (Long Beach) Laura Richardson
AD 58 (Montebello ) Chuck Calderon
SD 20 ( San Fernando Valley) Alex Padilla
SD 30 (Montebello) Ron Calderon
SD 34 (Santa Ana) Lou Correa
‘Finally, the California Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank all Californians who voted for participating in our state’s electoral process.’