CSAC Bulletin Article

HHS Committee Supports Props 55, 56
Executive Committee Review Next

July 21, 2016

The CSAC Health and Human Services Policy Committee gave a nod to the new tobacco tax and extension of one of the Proposition 30 taxes for education and health care on Monday, unanimously voting to forward a recommendation of support on Propositions 55 and 56 to the CSAC Executive Committee.

The Committee was primarily focused on both measures due to their potential to provide revenue for the state Medi-Cal program, fund education, and improve public health. Proposition 55 would extend only the personal income tax on high-income filers portion of Proposition 30 until 2030. This funding would continue to fund K-12 education and community colleges, and up to $2 billion could be directed toward emergency and hospital Medi-Cal services, including for county public hospitals.

Proposition 56 would add $2 per pack for cigarettes, and also tax vapor or e-cigarette tobacco products. Because such a steep tax increase is likely to reduce consumption – one of the goals of the measure – any revenue raised would first be used to backfill any potential losses for state and local First 5 (Proposition 10) programs. Remaining revenue would be used to fund some Medi-Cal costs, tobacco use prevention, research and law enforcement.

The CSAC Executive Committee will hear from proponents and opponents of each measure during their meeting on August 4. Should the EC accept the policy committee’s recommendation of support, the decision will next move to the CSAC Board of Directors for consideration at their September 1 meeting.

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