February 16, 2010

Call to action on revenue and closing tax loopholes

Legislators have heard you and have introduced legislation on revenue and closing tax loopholes we hope will go a long way to avoid deep cuts to the safety net of programs that you provide.

UPDATE 2/13/10:   The House Finance Committee then voted out ESSB 6130 to temporarily suspend the Initiative 960 two-thirds vote requirement and allow majority votes by the Legislature on revenue bills. The vote was 6-3.

It now goes to the full House.

We should note that this is the vehicle the committee chose to consider for a number of reasons. 

So - ESSB 6130 replaces SB 6843 on our all to action sheets. We now need to generate support for ESSB 6130.

The committee also heard but did not take action on HB 3176 to close hundreds of millions of dollars in tax loopholes.

BACKGROUND (edited 2/15/10): 

ESSB 6130 amends Initiative 960 to allow a simple majority vote to enact revenue increases. Right now, a two-thirds vote of the Legislature is required to approve revenue increases.

ESSB 6130 would temporarily suspend that requirement to allow more flexibility in dealing with the deficit. Because the reality is, the current super-majority requirement encourages California-style deal-making instead of sound-policy making. That's not responsible governance.

HB 3176 closes some tax loopholes, updates the tax code and makes other fixes to keep the tax code current and fair. In all, HB 3176 would protect or reclaim $363 million in state funding for 2009-2011 and $954 million in 2011-2013.  

CALL TO ACTION:  Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and:
  • Urge your legislators to support ESSB 6130 to amend I-960 and allow majority rule on revenue issues. We must protect the long-term investments in education and preserve the basic safety net for thousands of working families.
  • And urge legislators to support HB 3176 to close tax loopholes to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.
The Legislative Hotline will be open until 8 p.m. Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday.

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