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Action Guide
March 7, 2000

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA

OPPOSES

Proposition 28 — Repeal of Proposition 10 Tobacco Surtax
Initiative Statute

DESCRIPTION

Proposition 28 repeals the additional $0.50 per pack tax on cigarettes and equivalent increase in the state tax on tobacco products enacted by Proposition 10 in the 1998 general election. It prohibits additional state surtaxes on tobacco products unless enacted by the state legislature. It provides that all monies previously collected under Proposition 10 be spent, after which the California Children and Families First Trust Fund will terminate. This eliminates the funding for the early childhood development and smoking prevention programs established by Proposition 10.

BACKGROUND

Proposition 10 increased the state excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products by $0.50 per pack, beginning January 1999. Revenues generated by this tax are placed in a trust fund, the California Children and Families First Trust Fund. These revenues are primarily used to fund child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to 5 years of age. A state Children and Families First Commission and commissions appointed in each county plan and implement the programs. The initiative also called for community-based programs to educate the public on the dangers caused by smoking and other tobacco use by pregnant women to themselves and to infants and young children, and the dangers of secondhand smoke to children.

IMPORTANT POINTS

Here are facts to counter some of the claims that Proposition 28 makes about Proposition 10:

Claim: "enormous bureaucracy" in Proposition 10

Fact: Both state and county commissions are comprised of many knowledgeable citizens who either specialize in early child health and education fields or have demonstrated advocacy positions in their community for the 0-5 population.

Claim: "no accountability" . . . "does not identify existing and successful programs"

Fact: Strategic plans for each county, which are mandated by the initiative, address issues of accountability; many are using results-based accountability models. Yearly audits and public forums are also mandated.

Claim: "not one penny will go to public schools"

Fact: The 0-5 population does not go to public schools. Only a small percentage of very low-income children attend state-supported preschools.

Claim: "none of the funds are specifically dedicated to tobacco-related education, prevention or research"

Fact: Proposition 10 states "services shall include education . . . in avoidance of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol during pregnancy." "Educate the public . . . on the dangers caused by smoking and other tobacco use by pregnant women to themselves and to infants and young children, and the dangers of second-hand smoke to all children." ". . . fund anti-smoking . . . programs."


SUPPORTERS
Signing the ballot argument for:
OPPONENTS
Signing the ballot argument against:
Ned Roscoe, President
Cigarettes Cheaper! Stores

 

Paul Murata, M.D., President
American Cancer Society, California Division

William D. Novelli, President
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Kay McVay, R.N., President
California Nurses Association

The rebuttal to the supporter's argument was signed by Jacqueline Antee, State President, American Association of Retired Persons; Rosalyn Bienenstock, R.R.T., M.P.H., Chair, American Lung Association of California; and Mary Bergan, President, California Federation of Teachers.

Other opponents mentioned in the ballot arguments include the American Heart Association of California, California Medical Association, California School Boards Association, Child Care Resource and Referral Network, Para Los Ninos Child Development Center, and Wu Yee Children's Services.


RESOURCES

No on Prop 28 Campaign, 310-247-7422, Info@NoOnProp28.org, www.NoOnProp28.org


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