ASUC Senate unanimously endorses Prop. 30

The ASUC Senate entered California’s political fray Wednesday night when it unanimously endorsed Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed sales and income tax increase that aims to stave off further funding cuts to higher education.

Despite its unanimous approval by all senators present at the meeting, a previous version the bill — SB 11 — drew complaints for intending to encourage students to vote in favor of the proposition. A revised version passed by the senate Wednesday dictates that the ASUC will educate the student body about Prop. 30 rather than encourage it to vote for it.

Prop. 30 proposes temporary tax increases for Californians that are estimated to raise up to $8 billion in additional annual state revenue. According to an analysis of Prop. 30 by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, if the measure is rejected, $6 billion would be cut from the state budget, largely targeting schools and community colleges, the UC and the CSU.

It is estimated that the university would lose $250 million this year and that UC Berkeley would incur a $50 million budget cut, meaning students would likely face a midyear tuition increase of up to 20 percent.

Because of the unanimous nature of the bill’s passage, some students expressed a concern that the diversity of student opinion was not fairly represented by the senators.

Shawn Lewis, executive director of the Berkeley College Republicans, criticized senators for voting unanimously on an issue that he said many students may disagree on.

“I see this as a failure by the senators to reach out and hear other viewpoints,” Lewis said. “They had said they would try to include other views, but I haven’t seen that. I’m not surprised.”

Senator Klein Lieu, who authored the bill, rejected the idea that senators had misrepresented the campus community and said the senate speaks on behalf of all students. He emphasized the importance of the ASUC’s endorsement and the impact the election will have on the future of the university.

“I truly believe with all my heart that the legacy of one of the most daring hallmarks of our state is currently under attack,” he said in an email.

ASUC External Affairs Vice President Shahryar Abbasi stressed the nonpartisan nature of the endorsement of Prop. 30.

“The majority of the people who understand these issues understand that if Prop. 30 fails, it will make things very, very difficult,” he said. “I want to stress that everyone worked on the bill across party lines.”

Multiple students groups were present in support of SB 11 at the senate meeting Wednesday, including the Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center group REACH and the Cal Berkeley Democrats. No opposition parties were present.

The UC Board of Regents officially endorsed Prop. 30 in July.

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  • It’s a shame, our politicians lies are are misleading our future leaders! The money from this bill will not support classrooms. The bill has been BACKED by SPECIAL INTERESTS money. Special Interests have orchestrated
    California politics for too long and it is time to bring their show to a close.

    Check out this video, you have the right to be informed!

  • I_h8_disqus

    Klein Lieu doesn’t speak for me!

  • leneaschwartz

    If this measure passes no new money will go to schools. The money raised will be spent on debt and already negotiated pension increases. I absolutely do not want schools to be cut and I really wish that the money from this tax went to education. However, should we be more afraid of having education cut or agreeing to these irresponsible choices and threats therefore showing the government that it is ok to make bad decisions and then threaten us to agree?

  • Let’s look at the insanity of this budget in the first place. Why are we immediately going after school funding anyway? There are plenty of other programs to slash and redundant work within this welfare government. The schools are automatically dinged first so tthe liberall legislature can come back to the voters with ease and claim that if you like kids give them more money. If you dont then clearly you hate kids right? Reality here – no money is guarunteed to go into schools even if this does pass. And even worse they can sttill cut school funding even if they do get their income tax inccrease and their rediculous ssales tax increase.

  • jmccroskey777

    Bloomberg News: “Most Californians would be surprised to learn that 100 percent of education’s share
    of the [Prop 30} tax increase proposed by Governor Jerry Brown will go to pensions instead of classrooms.”

    Jerry Brown resorts to threats on education and lies about where the money will actually go, to gain support. Californians need to know the money will end up in the general fund, which Sacramento severely mismanages. It will place a burden on Californians, barely struggling to survive, with no real return on their investment.

  • rosiedale

    I understand that people really want to help schools. The problem is, our politicians understand this too. Year after year we see the same thing: Sacramento runs out of money. Sacramento threatens to cut schools if voters don’t give them more money. Voters approve more money to save schools. Sacramento wastes the money and schools don’t improve. Rinse and repeat. Bottom line: the money NEVER makes it into the classroom! We need to break the cycle and let Sacramento know we won’t be their ATM anymore!

    • jmccroskey777

      Definitely time to break the cycle. We are not credit cards at the disposal of Sacramento.

  • QUESTION: Are California’s taxes too low compared to the other 49 United States?
    CHART: California State Income Tax Rates and Proposition 30 Increases Compared to the MAXIMUM Tax Rate in 49 Other States

    CHART: California State Sales Tax Rate and Proposition 30 Increases Compared to the State Sales Tax Rate in 49 Other States

    CHART: California Gasoline Taxes Compared to Gasoline Taxes in 49 Other States

    QUESTION: Do California’s high taxes affect the tax-generating private-sector economy?
    CHART: California ranks ‘F’, primarily for “Tax Code” on United States Small Business Friendliness survey

    CHART: California has the has the nation’s 3rd worst business tax climate

    CHART: California was ranked #46 for small business survival

    CHART: California was ranked DEAD LAST for seven consecutive years as the worst state for business by a nation-wide survey of CEOs

    CHART: California was ranked DEAD LAST for eleven consecutive years as least favorable business climate by Development Counsellors International

    QUESTION: With high taxes and a poor business climate, how does California’s unemployment rate compare to the other 49 states?
    CHART: California Unemployment Rate Compared to 49 Other States

    Governor Brown’s Proposition 30 is the WRONG solution for the problems affecting California. It does NOTHING to address California’s STRUCTURAL deficit. VOTE NO on PROPOSITION 30.

    • Guest

      California is the 9th largest economy in the world.

      So obviously the taxes are working.

      • Calipenguin

        The taxes succeeded in bumping us from being the 8th largest economy in the world.

      • cal student

        California isn’t running out of money, the corporations (not small businesses) are just pocketing all of the money they make. So yes the taxes work, the problem is the allocation of the money.

        • Stan De San Diego

          Your ignorance of basic economics is quite apparent. Businesses don’t invest when they see no possibility of returns. It’s the short-sighted mentality of people like you who are driving jobs out of state.

        • I_h8_disqus

          If California wasn’t running out of money, then why are we voting on proposition 30? If you want to increase the taxes on corporations, that is your right, but their right is to locate where they want. So they are leaving the state, because you think you can tax them however much you like. You should remember that they are not pocketing all the money they make. They are mostly getting by and they are also the ones who are paying your parents’ salaries, that are then paying for your education. You are a dog biting the one who feeds you.

      • I_h8_disqus

        Wrong. Because of the taxes we are only the 9th largest economy in the world. We should and could be much higher. Also, our education system is one of the poorest in the industrialized world, and our unemployment rate is one of the highest. You might think we are producing well, but you should look at how we used to produce. We used to be much stronger.

  • I don’t hold it against these kids at all, but I respectfully disagree. If I was still a college kid too busy to even eat regularly, maybe I would support Prop 30. But after a deeper look into the facts, my opinion would undoubtedly change.

    No one quite knows exactly where the money from Prop 30 is
    going. The governor can’t give us a straight answer about it. The first place I
    would look though is the list of donors to the campaign.

    oh look, it’s a bunch of Public unions. I wonder why they would endorse a
    measure to raise taxes on the rest of us? Here’s a guess: To pay off their

    • jmccroskey777

      The lies keep pouring out of Jerry Brown and Sacramento. They see voters as mice that they can “Pied Piper” into following them down any path they choose. We need to break this perception, and show them that we think for ourselves.

  • Calipenguin

    I wonder if the ASUC senators ever read the text of the proposition? Future Boalt Hall hopefuls ought to read it. It turns out none of the new tax revenue will go to CSU or UC. The only school systems guaranteed some money is K-12 and community colleges. Even for the school systems getting the money, NONE of the money is guaranteed for educating kids. The money is simply handed over to school districts and no further questions are asked. However, the teacher’s union knows that by contract law all school districts must backfill billions of dollars in pension obligations for retired teachers before a single cent is spent on kids. Thus prop 30 is a devious scheme for the California Democrats to fund the pensions of its biggest union donors by pointing a gun at schools and public universities. Once the teacher’s union gets its retirement funds, the Democrat politicians promise not to cut CSU and UC funding. In other words, the ASUC senate is acting like a kidnapping negotiator on BEHALF of the kidnappers, telling the victims, the UC students, to call up their friends and family to pay the kidnappers by robbing a third party, the evil “rich” Californians who love this state too much to escape to low tax states. The ASUC senators at least should have had the honesty to admit that none of the ransom being paid will go to the victims since the kidnappers intend to take all the money.

    • jmccroskey777

      We need to stand up against the constant lies pouring from Sacramento.

    • leneaschwartz

      None of the money from Brown’s initiative will be seen in the classrooms. It will all be spent on the lovely pensions he just negotiated and paying back debt. The only reason they can even pretend to say that it is for education is because if it doesn’t pass they have to get the money from somewhere and they decided that education doesn’t need it. It makes me so angry that they have decided to put the importance of education on the back burner.. So the question is, do we stand up and tell the government that they can’t make decisions like this when they don’t have the money to do so and then threaten us to agree or do we go along with it to save education?

    • rosiedale

      Isn’t this how it always is? Sacramento runs out of money, threatens to cut education if voters don’t give them more, voters do to help schools, and Sacramento wastes the money. NOTHING ever makes it into the classroom!

  • Perhaps before voting, one should consider where the money raised in this tax increase will go?

    As stated by Bloomberg “Most Californians would be
    surprised to learn that 100 percent of education’s share of the [Proposition
    30]tax increase proposed by Governor Jerry Brown will go to
    pensions instead of classrooms.”

    Those are the facts. Why pretend otherwise?

    • jmccroskey777

      It is pretty evident: no money for classrooms. I am so tired of all the lies from Jerry Brown and Sacramento. They need to be honest with us.

    • Obvious reasons. He can’t just come out and tell everyone that he wants us to pay for a pension liability!

      • I_h8_disqus

        Can’t tell people the truth and get them thinking about the teacher’s unions and the deals our pathetic government has made with them.

    • I_h8_disqus

      This is the stuff that people should know. Give them truth. Tell the teacher’s unions that your representatives made a mistake, and you have to go back to your teachers and collect more for their pensions instead of passing the buck to the tax payers.

      • rosiedale

        The teachers union is a MAJOR problem in California politics! They are the largest political donor in the state! And the terrible thing is, the teachers don’t have a choice; the union uses automatic payroll deductions to fund their shenanigans. We need to get special interest money OUT of Sacramento!

        • I_h8_disqus

          I can only imagine that politics in California and the nation would improve so much if we had real finance reform for politicians and political campaigns. I was told yesterday that the two presidential candidates are going to spend billions in this campaign. That is just sad.

  • adsadjh

    People who don’t pay taxes endorse raising taxes. Shocking.

    • Poopy

      It would be pretty difficult not to pay the sales tax.

      • Calipenguin

        Online retailers are doing well, although Amazon will soon be charging taxes for Californians.

      • Guest Again

        Newsflash: the majority of taxes collected are not sales tax.

        • leneaschwartz

          However, raising sales taxes effect everyone and California already has the highest sales tax in the country. You can see for yourself here:
 . At some point the citizens in this state aren’t going to be able to afford any more taxes..

          • Stan De San Diego

            True, but the OP was referring to state income taxes, which many of those endorsing tax increases apparently do not pay.

          • leneaschwartz

            I know. I was replying to the person who wrote “Newsflash: the majority of taxes collected are not sales tax.” It is always easy for an outsider to voice their opinions when they won’t be effected by it..

    • sounds about right

  • Cal Student

    Okay, the ASUC hate here has reached irrational. If all 20 ASUC senators believe this is a good idea, voting will obviously be unanimous. Let’s say 25% of the student body opposed Proposition 30. Would you expect 5 of these senators to suddenly shift positions and match this demographic condition? Of course not, because that would be ridiculous and makes no sense whatsoever. Being unanimous does NOT reflect groupthink; the forum was definitely open for objection, but individuals would rather criticize on the Internet than appear at meetings, voice their dissent, and be held personally accountable for their views. Don’t like what ASUC did here? Then elect DIFFERENT SENATORS. Get involved. But don’t call something groupthink because your individual gripe wasn’t represented by a Senator.

    • Cal Student

      It’s also just great that Shawn Lewis tells people he “hasn’t seen other viewpoints” when he wasn’t at the meeting where people come to express their viewpoints.

      • Vote NO on Prop 30

        Lol, you must be one of the ASUC senators whining that your poor vote is getting criticized. Who else would bother to show up to an ASUC meeting?

        • Cal Student

          There were at least 40 attendants (besides the Senators) at the last ASUC meeting.

    • Vote NO on Prop 30

      Lol, I don’t even know where the ASUC holds their meetings and frankly I don’t give a fuck. I get that they like to play politician and have not interest in playing along with them.

      The problem is that they do nothing but issue statements unrepresentative of the Cal community. And then we have people like Senator Klein Lieu who say, “the senate speaks on behalf of all students” in passing this bill. What an arrogant statement! How dare he try to speak on behalf of me and other students who oppose Proposition 30?

      • test

        You should make up your mind. Either you care about the ASUC, or you don’t (or you only care enough to complain on this comment board?)

        • Stan De San Diego

          You have a way of avoiding the issue at hand.

        • I_h8_disqus

          You have something against the comment board? I think it is the most powerful way that individuals can make themselves heard without their own media source.

    • I_h8_disqus

      Many of us have better things to do that to spend hours at ASUC meetings. We elected the senators so we don’t have to hang out at meetings. They are supposed to be our representatives. They should take some time to talk with us and to learn about the issues, since that is the responsibility they accepted.

  • Stan De San Diego

    “Prop. 30 proposes temporary tax increases for Californians that are
    estimated to raise up to $8 billion in additional annual state revenue.”

    Of course, that assumes that such tax increases are “temporary” (they rarely are) and that there’s no change in behavior by those subject to the new taxes. Proponents of such punitive tax measures are always shocked to find out that revenues never meet expectations, as if people/corporations taking it in the shorts won’t find some alternate approach to minimize their tax liability. Just another reason why jobs and taxpayers are fleeing this state in droves.

    • Cal Student

      The tax increases will be for seven years. That’s written in the proposition.

      • Test

        The proposition text has a well-known liberal bias

      • rosiedale

        Nothing says they can’t extend it. But really, aren’t Californians taxed enough? Our income tax is the second highest in the country, and yet our schools are in the bottom 5. Will moving to the highest income tax really help our schools, when all the tax increases in the past have failed to do so?

      • I_h8_disqus

        If you look at history, you notice that most tax increases in California are temporary, and then get replaced by the next temporary tax. However, after seven years the damage has been done. People and businesses make decisions to move quicker than in 7 years.

  • How many more tax increases can California’s economy absorb? It’s easy to look at big companies and think of them as big pots of money controlled by greedy people. But when you grow up and enter the workforce, you realize just how fragile that cash flow really is. Even very small, marginal changes to cash flow can nullify returns on investments in hiring, training, and expansion. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a job waiting here in California when you graduate?

    • Calipenguin

      Cal students who have no higher ambitions than to be baristas or poets can probably vote for this tax increase in good conscience. Students who want to work in real estate should probably also vote for this bill since many wealthy Californians will be moving out of state. However, those wishing to find a career in California should understand that taxes have a way of driving nimble companies away.

    • I_h8_disqus

      The answer to your first question is “zero”. We have a net loss of the number of businesses in California already, and outside of some fields like engineering, the unemployment rate is higher than just about anyplace in the nation. If you are not an engineer, you are more likely to be better off leaving California and taking your future tax payments with you.

  • Current Cal student

    Senator Klein Lieu, who authored the bill, rejected the idea that
    senators had misrepresented the campus community and said the senate
    speaks on behalf of all students.

    I strongly oppose Proposition 30. Senator Klein Lieu, your senate does not speak on behalf of me. The groupthink of the dishonest ASUC members is astounding.

  • Do people realize that no new money will enter the classrooms? That the Governor and his allies are using fear tactics and using our children as bait to ensure that we support a tax increase? Californians are paying some of the highest taxes in the country. How can we allow ourselves to further loose more jobs because the politicos in Sacramento can not get their house in order. Do they expect us to fall for the same tricks again?