Tilting Left, Moving Right – Election Day Recap
So as the winds of change blow from right, the ship tilts to the left to steer a course toward the middle. In reading the tea leaves from Tuesday’s elections across the country tells us what? Local taxes are acceptable, pensions need attention and outright attacks on bargaining rights will not work.
In California there were 53 tax/bond measures on local ballots. 40 of the 53 passed with a resounding 75% or more. California City Finances provides a complete rundown of the preliminary results.
For local school districts, five of seven parcel tax measures were successful, though the communities were renewing current parcel taxes.
For those of you thinking that this local support will translate into support for a state-wide measure to raise taxes for education, I would urge caution. Voters have shown support and trust of local government and that support does not extend to state government.
Public Employee Pensions
Every day there seems to be a news story with proposals to reform public employee pensions. In the last seven days, Governor issued a 12 point plan to change pensions, the LAO issued a report on the Governor’s proposal and Republican legislators called for a special session on pension reform.
On Tuesday, voters in An Francisco and Modesto overwhelmingly supported advisory measures to change pension plans in their cities.
Clearly, public employee pension reform will dominate the political conversation leading up to the November, 2012 election.
In Ohio reversed the attempts to eliminate the ability of public employees engage in collective bargaining.
However, Palo Alto voters overwhelmingly repealed a similar arbitration law Tuesday, as did voters in San Luis Obispo earlier this year. San Jose voters agreed to sharply limit arbitration last year.
Once again, public employees unions will be subjected to changes to their current agreements in the coming year. The public wants changes but they draw the line when those changes go too far.