California State Senator Joe Simitian has submitted a bill, Senate Constitutional Amendment 6, that would amend Proposition 13 to permit local school districts and community colleges to approve local property taxes with a 55 percent vote of the public, rather than the two-thirds supermajority currently required. A similar measure, Proposition 39, was adopted in 2000 which lowered the voting threshold on bonds for schools from 2/3 to 55% support.
Sen. Simitian has been working on trying to get the amendment through the Legislature and placed on a ballot for approval by the voters since 2003. It takes a 2/3 vote of the legislature to place constitutional amendments on the ballot. Not a single Republican state senator has ever supported SCA 6. Hence, it has not advanced.
This is another example of the tyranny of the minority in California crafted into the state constitution. It should come as no surprise that if only 34% of the members of either house of the Legislature possess the power to defeat expenditure or tax proposals the result is a dysfunctional government.
If SCA 6 was the law in 2006, Measure A, the parcel tax for San Leandro schools, would have passed. And our schools would have $2.3 million dollars more annually - which could keep the class size reduction program.