California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act Qualifies for November Ballot

Initiative Maintains Taxes on Wealthiest to Prevent Cuts to Education, Vital Services

SACRAMENTO- June 30, 2016 - The ballot initiative to maintain the taxes on the wealthiest Californians to prevent billions in cuts to education and other vital services has officially qualified for the November 2016 ballot.  The California Secretary of State announced today that the initiative could move forward as enough valid signatures were submitted and verified to place the California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act on this fall’s ballot.

“We’re excited that we’ve officially qualified for the ballot and want to thank the over 275,000 volunteer signatures that were collected by our supporters to put us over the top. Everyone worked for months to help us meet our goal and it’s gratifying to see this level of grassroots support – a true reflection of the desire to help our children and schools,” said Jennifer Wonnacott, campaign spokesperson. 

The broad and diverse coalition of teachers, doctors, school employees, parents, working families, community organizations and business groups supporting the effort submitted close to a million signatures last month to place the measure on the ballot. Supporters include the California State PTA, California School Boards Association, California Children’s Hospital Association, California Black Chamber of Commerce, and Children’s Defense Fund – California.

The California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016 will temporarily extend for 12 years current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians – singles earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 a year. The measure will direct funds specifically to K-12 public education and community colleges, while also allocating funds to health care for low-income children and their families. The measure contains strict accountability requirements.

Budget forecasts show that unless we extend the taxes on the wealthy which would continue to bring in an average of $8 billion in annual revenues, our public schools will lose nearly $4 billion and our state budget will face a deficit of more than $4 billion in the first full year alone.

A recent Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) survey found that 64% of voters support extending the income tax rates on the wealthiest individuals and couples to spare education and other vital services from a repeat round of devastating budget cuts. 

A large and growing coalition is supporting the initiative, including the Association of California School Administrators, California Federation of Teachers, California Hospital Association, the California Medical Association, California School Employees Association, California Teachers Association, Service Employees International Union California State Council, SEIU 1000, and numerous others. 

For more information, visit www.protectingcalifornia.com. Contact Jennifer Wonnacott at 916.996.3672 or email Jennifer@wonnacottstrategies.com

Paid for by Californians for Protecting Public Education, Health Care and Budget Stability, Sponsored by Teachers, Health Care Providers, Doctors and Labor Organizations. Major funding by California Hospitals Committee on Issues, (CHCI) Sponsored by California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (CAHHS) and California Teachers Association/Issues PAC (committee).