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Most state residents (74%) believe traffic conditions will get even worse in the next 20 years. Californians’ trust in government to handle major problems is near an all-time low. Only 12 percent have great confidence that state government can plan for growth and the future. Most Californians believe that the important decisions about future growth should be made by voters at the ballot box, but only 35 percent of eligible California adults went to the polls in the last statewide election. How can we tackle these challenges? Are you planning to vote this November? Are you registered? Are you paying attention to what the candidates are saying and what policymakers are doing about the challenges California faces in building a livable future? Where do you stand on the state bond measures and citizens’ initiatives on the ballot? Population growth and other challenges are huge—and we all have a stake in the outcome. If we want to enhance—or simply preserve—our quality of life, Californians will need to plan for it. California’s future is in your hands, and the conversation is under way. Will you be part of it? Here are 10 critical questions to ask yourself—and the people who want your vote. What can government do to accommodate huge population growth? LEARN MORE see page 26, figure 1 As a state, we have not adequately prepared our education, transportation, and water facilities for the population that we have today, let alone the 11 million more we may add over the next two decades. Early in 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger announced an ambitious plan to shore up and expand California’s infrastructure. Following suit, the state legislature put the largest package of bonds in the state’s history on the November 2006 ballot. Despite this rare moment of bipartisan harmony, no one really believes this bond package will or could be enough to resolve all the growth-related challenges facing the state. It is just a down payment (and a borrowed one at that) on building a better future. Few would deny that more money and other resources will be needed to ensure a strong economy and a high quality of life. You should be asking the people who are currently in office and the candidates who want your vote in November how we go about accommodating so many Californians. p. 05 California’s Future LEARN MORE see page 26, figure 2 Will California have the educated workforce that the new economy will demand? With the continuing shift away from manufacturing and toward a service economy, the state will need more college-educated workers in the future. At the same time, demographic trends will make Latinos the largest group of workers. Latinos are making big gains in education, and they want their children to have a college education. But today, Latinos have less education than the population at large. To avoid a mismatch between workers’ education and workplace demands, high school graduation rates will need to increase and more students will need to go to college. Among other things, this means making serious improvements in K-12 education. This isn’t just about raising or maintaining standards; it’s about closing the resource gap between schools in low- and high-income neighborhoods to help student test scores in reading and math improve and the high school dropout rate decline. It’s also about ensuring that there is enough room in the state’s colleges for all who want to attend. All this will take a considerable amount of money and the political will to confront failing schools and policies. Above all, this means investing over the long term—not just in good years, like this one, when the state is flush with cash. California’s Future California’s Future p. 06 p. 07 p. 08 California’s Future How do we plan for the state’s future in an unequal society? LEARN MORE see page 27, figure 3 In California, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class may be shrinking away. We need to start thinking hard about what can be done to head off this drift toward an increasingly unequal society—or we will face an even more daunting future. To address these trends, our leaders and wouldbe leaders should be considering policy goals such as these: Investing more heavily in education in lower-income areas than elsewhere to ensure better outcomes for the least well-off students. Building more roads, schools, and parks in the inland regions of the state, where incomes and job growth are lagging behind the coast. Finding ways to keep young, middle-class residents from moving out of state to realize the American Dream of owning their own homes. Planning so that lower- income areas are not burdened with pollution-related health problems from living near freeways, seaports, agriculture and industry, power plants, and waste dumps. p. 09 California’s Future LEARN MORE see page 27, figure 4 How can we encourage economic development while preserving the environment? California is the eighth largest economy in the world and a major hub of economic growth for the United States and the Pacific Rim. We need tough-minded strategies to remain competitive with other states and countries. We also need to put incentives in place that encourage new, innovative businesses to start up and grow here. Just as important, we need to find ways to encourage development and create jobs—and still protect the environment. This is one of the most critical tensions in the state’s future. On the one hand, residents’ well-being depends on good job opportunities, and government depends on a healthy business climate to generate the revenues to pay for education, roads, and social programs for the poor. On the other hand, a bustling economy has helped create some of the worst air pollution in the nation and some of the most congested roadways. One of the biggest challenges is to keep pollution and congestion under control without implementing regulations that might inhibit economic development. Beyond regulation on businesses, Californians need to ask themselves how much they are willing to change their lifestyles to help protect the environment. For example, pollution might be reduced if more Californians opted for smaller dwellings closer to jobs, shopping, and public transportation rather than large, singlefamily homes and the long commutes they often entail. California’s Future California’s Future p. 10 p. 11 If we can’t build our way out of the infrastructure problem, what can we do to fix it? LEARN MORE see page 28, figure 5 Almost everyone agrees that we need to repair and expand current transportation, water, and education facilities. We also know that the resources for building are finite. We need to use what we have more efficiently—but this, like protecting the environment, means that some sacrifices will have to be made by current users, and lifestyles may have to change. For example, we could use water markets to allocate existing supply more effectively between agriculture and residential uses. We could install water meters in homes to discourage waste, at a fraction of the cost of building new dams and water storage. We could maximize the capacity of existing roads by encouraging the use of high-occupancy vehicle and carpool lanes and travel in off-peak hours, and by charging fees for solo drivers who commute during rush hours. We could use K-12 and college facilities year round and for more hours daily to avoid the time and expense of building new schools. We could encourage more public-private partnerships to provide funding for building toll roads, prisons, water facilities, and schools. To make such changes, government will have to challenge consumers, commuters, students, public employees, and businesses to reject the status quo and become more, and differently, involved in tackling the future. p. 13 California’s Future p. 14 California’s Future LEARN MORE see page 28, figure 6 Do we want bigger or smaller government in the future? California voters are divided, and deeply split along party lines, about what they want from state government. When asked in a May 2006 PPIC Statewide Survey, roughly half of likely voters said they prefer a larger government with higher taxes for more services, and slightly less than half said they prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes. Republicans and Democrats disagreed on where government’s role should be expanded—for instance, greater involvement in social and moral issues or in health and welfare issues. And California remains divided between “red and blue” counties—with Los Angeles and the Bay Area often politically at odds with other regions. Elected representatives are suffering from partisan gridlock on so many issues that it is often difficult to reach the two-thirds vote required on fiscal issues in the legislature. Some say the latest redistricting has polarized the legislature even more: There are few competitive districts left, and many legislative seats are decided in partisan primaries where independent and moderate voices are largely unheard. We cannot tackle the future without consensus about what we want and need from government—and how we’re going to pay for it. The quality of California’s future depends on getting beyond political polarization to find common ground and the political will to act. LEARN MORE see page 29, figure 7 Is our state government up to the task of future planning? Since 1990, the state’s legislature has been under term limits imposed by the voters. Members of the assembly must leave after three two-year terms; members of the senate are gone after two four-year terms. This means that roughly one-third of the legislature turns over every two years. Although voters remain committed to term limits, critics claim that the desire to rid state government of career politicians has created a system of legislative musical chairs. They also question whether legislators have the time or motivation to consider what will happen a decade or more ahead in California. Compounding this potential short-sightedness, the state has not created strong incentives for local governments to take a broader, longer-term view of issues such as housing and development. Local officials often make decisions about these issues based on the interests of their local constituencies. But the consequences of these decisions don’t stop at their community’s doorstep: Residents may live in one city or county but work in another and shop in yet another. The people in and running for state office should be thinking and talking about how the state could provide incentives for local governments to act with larger regional interests in mind. p. 15 California’s Future p. 16 California’s Future What can we do to make the state’s fiscal system more transparent and accountable? LEARN MORE see page 29, figure 8 Voters are constantly being asked to increase spending and support new taxes—when they often don’t know where the money is coming from or how it is being spent. In a May 2005 PPIC Statewide Survey, only 11 percent of Californians correctly identified both the largest revenue source (personal income tax) and the biggest spending category (K-12 public education) in the state budget. This lack of clarity largely results from the current state-local fiscal system, which was built in response to the Proposition 13 tax limits passed nearly 30 years ago. That system needs overhauling—if only to let residents see where their property tax dollars are going and what their local and state governments are doing to provide infrastructure and other services. At the state level, “earmarking” limits what government can do with public dollars. At the county level, governments are not only highly dependent on state funding, but most of their funding goes to services, such as public health, that the state mandates. These arrangements create a lack of transparency and accountability that leads people to ask, “What happened to the money you spent in the past?” Until average voters can “follow the money,” they won’t fully commit to investing in the future. The existing system encourages people to oppose new spending and fuels the conviction that money lost to waste, fraud, and inefficiency could be used to expand existing programs and start new projects. p. 17 California’s Future p. 18 California’s Future Can we rebuild trust and confidence in our government? LEARN MORE see page 30, figure 9 Since the eve of the 2003 governor’s recall, PPIC Statewide Surveys have found that Californians’ confidence in their state government “to do what is right” has been near an historical low point. Nothing that politicians do or say seems to help them regain that trust. More than ever, the people believe special interests dominate decisions in Sacramento. Confidence is further eroded by government’s inability to make progress on the state’s complex problems and by leaders’ apparent lack of vision about the state’s future. The huge costs of political campaigns, and their nastiness, contribute to a perception that state politicians are wealthy individuals buying office, are for sale to special interests, care more about getting elected than serving the state, or are oblivious to the issues that matter to residents. As trust and confidence erode, more voters stay away from the polls, further undermining the mandate of elected officials. This dire situation has elicited many suggestions for reform—for example, publicly financed campaigns, more restrictions on campaign fundraising, taking political redistricting out of the hands of legislatures, requiring candidates to run in open primaries, and using television as a vehicle for debates and town hall meetings rather than for 30-second paid commercials. However, not much has been done, and without trust and confidence, residents have little belief that we can plan for a better tomorrow. p. 19 California’s Future Has an exclusive electorate been given the reins of government? LEARN MORE see page 30, figure 10 Over the last several decades, the ballot box has been used to make more and more-important policy decisions, and the state’s voters are not very representative of the state’s increasingly diverse population. Worse yet for a democracy, most adults don’t vote, and a large percentage who don’t vote can’t—because they don’t register. Consequently, in November, about 4 million voters—15 percent of California’s adult population—will be the majority needed to decide everything from who will be governor to whether the state will assume $37 billion in infrastructure debt. The voters in state elections today are mostly white, older, homeowners with more education and higher incomes than most Californians. There is no guarantee that they will have the interests of all Californians at heart. Even if they do, the fact that a small group of voters is making the decisions about elected representatives and public policy raises questions about how “democratic” the system really is. Are the people in office and political candidates comfortable with this situation? Ask them about what can be done to encourage political participation and a more representative electorate, about the growing use of the ballot box to make policy, about means other than voting to increase public input—for example, citizens’ assemblies and town hall meetings. Whatever it takes, California’s sleeping majority needs to wake up and get to the polls if it wants to have any hand in shaping the state’s future. p. 21 California’s Future p. 22 California’s Future Do we have the will? California faces important choices if we want a future as full of opportunity as our past has been. Almost a century ago, the state’s leaders held the voters in such high esteem that they gave subsequent generations of Californians the responsibility not only to elect their state representatives but also to make new laws and change policies at the ballot box. Come November, voters will make big decisions on whose leadership they will follow and what the state needs to borrow and spend to get ready for the future. But it’s also time for citizens and officials to think “outside the box” about tomorrow’s needs in this growing and changing state. California has always been a bellwether for the nation and a symbol of hope for the world. Can we muster the will and find the way to carry on this tradition? Your future. Your choice. PPIC’s extensive research on California’s future can be found on our website at www.ca2025.org LEARN MORE RELATED PPIC PUBLICATIONS CA2025: It’s Your Choice CA2025: Taking on the Future Statewide Surveys on Californians and the Future At Issue: California’s Exclusive Electorate Just the Facts: • Californians and the Future • California’s Future Population • California’s Future Economy • Education Facilities • Financing Infrastructure • Transportation Systems • Water Supply and Quality • Flood Control • Housing in California p. 25 California’s Future p. 26 California’s Future percentage population in millions FIGURES FIGURE 1. POPULATION PROJECTIONS FOR CALIFORNIA 50 40 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 30 high estimate low estimate Source: CA2025: It’s Your Choice FIGURE 2. POPULATION DISTRIBUTION BY EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT, 2020 40 30 20 10 0 less than high high school school graduate graduate some college college graduate labor force demand population supply Source: CA2025: It’s Your Choice FIGURE 3. INEQUITIES IN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES 3% 5% 6% 29% 57% 7% 44% 49% How concerned are you that schools in lower-income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas? Very concerned Not too concerned Don’t know Somewhat concerned Not at all concerned Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (April 2006) Should schools in lower-income areas get more funding from the state to pay for teachers and classroom materials, even if it means less funding for other schools? Yes No Don’t know FIGURE 4. STATE GOVERNMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT 6% 8% 46% 40% 3% 11% 4% 10% 34% 15% 23% Overall, do you think that the state government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to protect the environment in California? More than enough Not enough Just enough Don’t know Sources: left, PPIC Statewide Survey (July 2006) right, PPIC Statewide Survey (August 2006) In planning for the expected population growth between now and 2025, what do you think should be the state’s most important priority? Improving jobs and the economy Providing roads, schools, and water systems Protecting the environment Creating a more equal society Stopping illegal immigration (volunteered) Something else Don’t know p. 27 California’s Future p. 28 California’s Future percentage percentage FIGURE 5. HIGHWAY INVESTMENT HAS SERIOUSLY LAGGED BEHIND USE AND POPULATION GROWTH 500 400 300 200 100 0 -100 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 2025 Vehicle miles traveled on state highways State highway lane miles Source: CA2025: Taking on the Future Population State capital outlay spending for highways per vehicle mile traveled (includes federal contribution) FIGURE 6. THE PREFERENCE GAP ON ROLE OF GOVERNMENT 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults Higher taxes and more services Lower taxes and fewer services Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (May 2006) Don’t know FIGURE 7. ATTITUDES TOWARD TERM LIMITS 4% 21% 15% 60% Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference? Good thing No difference Bad thing Don’t know Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (May 2006) FIGURE 8. PERCEPTIONS OF PUBLIC SPENDING 1% 9% 15% 32% 16% 27% 1% 9% 8% 29% 25% 28% I‘m going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue in the state budget. Personal income tax Corporate tax Other Sales tax Motor vehicle fees Don’t know Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (May 2005) I‘m going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the state budget. K-12 public education Youth and adult corrections Health and human services Higher education Other Don’t know p. 29 California’s Future FIGURE 9. PUBLIC TRUST IN GOVERNMENT 4% 2% 7% 24% 63% How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Sacramento to do what is right? Just about always Only some of the time Don’t know Most of the time None of the time (volunteered) Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (August 2006) FIGURE 10. VOTERS DO NOT REFLECT THE STATE’S RACIAL DIVERSITY 5% 3% 6% 14% 2% 3% 8% 24% 72% 63% Likely Voters White Black Other Latino Asian Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (May 2005–May 2006) Not Registered to Vote White Black Other Latino Asian California’s Future p. 30 p. 32 California’s Future Board of Directors Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Linda Griego President and Chief Executive Officer Griego Enterprises, Inc. Edward K. Hamilton Chairman Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. Gary K. Hart Founder Institute for Education Reform California State University, Sacramento Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities David W. Lyon President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center Advisory Council Stuart A. Gabriel Director and Lusk Chair Lusk Center for Real Estate University of Southern California Clifford W. Graves Elizabeth G. Hill Legislative Analyst State of California Hilary W. Hoynes Associate Professor Department of Economics University of California, Davis Andrés E. Jiménez Director California Policy Research Center University of California Office of the President Norman R. King Director, University Transportation Center California State University, San Bernardino Dean Misczynski Director California Research Bureau Rudolf Nothenberg Chief Administrative Officer (Retired) City and County of San Francisco Manuel Pastor Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies University of California, Santa Cruz Peter Schrag Contributing Editor The Sacramento Bee James P. Smith Senior Economist RAND Corporation ++++ The Public Policy Institute of California is a private operating foundation established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. The Institute is dedicated to improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Copyright © 2006 by Public Policy Institute of California. All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. The California 2025 project was supported with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Your future. Your choice. www.ca2025.org Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 800 + San Francisco, CA 94111 p 415 291 4400 + f 415 291 4401 + www.ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(104) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(76) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/californias-future-in-your-hands/r_1006mbr/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8571) ["ID"]=> int(8571) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:38:46" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3797) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(9) "R 1006MBR" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(9) "r_1006mbr" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(13) "R_1006MBR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "739623" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(24468) "California’s Future In Your Hands Public Policy Institute of California Mark Baldassare Thinking about California’s future, did you know... By 2025, the state will add a population about the size of Ohio. Only 14 percent of Californians believe such growth is good for them and their families. California is not likely to have enough college-educated workers to meet the future economy’s demands. A majority (58%) of Californians say the quality of education is a big problem. Transportation investment has seriously lagged behind use and population growth. Most state residents (74%) believe traffic conditions will get even worse in the next 20 years. Californians’ trust in government to handle major problems is near an all-time low. Only 12 percent have great confidence that state government can plan for growth and the future. Most Californians believe that the important decisions about future growth should be made by voters at the ballot box, but only 35 percent of eligible California adults went to the polls in the last statewide election. How can we tackle these challenges? Are you planning to vote this November? Are you registered? Are you paying attention to what the candidates are saying and what policymakers are doing about the challenges California faces in building a livable future? Where do you stand on the state bond measures and citizens’ initiatives on the ballot? Population growth and other challenges are huge—and we all have a stake in the outcome. If we want to enhance—or simply preserve—our quality of life, Californians will need to plan for it. California’s future is in your hands, and the conversation is under way. Will you be part of it? Here are 10 critical questions to ask yourself—and the people who want your vote. What can government do to accommodate huge population growth? LEARN MORE see page 26, figure 1 As a state, we have not adequately prepared our education, transportation, and water facilities for the population that we have today, let alone the 11 million more we may add over the next two decades. Early in 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger announced an ambitious plan to shore up and expand California’s infrastructure. Following suit, the state legislature put the largest package of bonds in the state’s history on the November 2006 ballot. Despite this rare moment of bipartisan harmony, no one really believes this bond package will or could be enough to resolve all the growth-related challenges facing the state. It is just a down payment (and a borrowed one at that) on building a better future. Few would deny that more money and other resources will be needed to ensure a strong economy and a high quality of life. You should be asking the people who are currently in office and the candidates who want your vote in November how we go about accommodating so many Californians. p. 05 California’s Future LEARN MORE see page 26, figure 2 Will California have the educated workforce that the new economy will demand? With the continuing shift away from manufacturing and toward a service economy, the state will need more college-educated workers in the future. At the same time, demographic trends will make Latinos the largest group of workers. Latinos are making big gains in education, and they want their children to have a college education. But today, Latinos have less education than the population at large. To avoid a mismatch between workers’ education and workplace demands, high school graduation rates will need to increase and more students will need to go to college. Among other things, this means making serious improvements in K-12 education. This isn’t just about raising or maintaining standards; it’s about closing the resource gap between schools in low- and high-income neighborhoods to help student test scores in reading and math improve and the high school dropout rate decline. It’s also about ensuring that there is enough room in the state’s colleges for all who want to attend. All this will take a considerable amount of money and the political will to confront failing schools and policies. Above all, this means investing over the long term—not just in good years, like this one, when the state is flush with cash. California’s Future California’s Future p. 06 p. 07 p. 08 California’s Future How do we plan for the state’s future in an unequal society? LEARN MORE see page 27, figure 3 In California, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class may be shrinking away. We need to start thinking hard about what can be done to head off this drift toward an increasingly unequal society—or we will face an even more daunting future. To address these trends, our leaders and wouldbe leaders should be considering policy goals such as these: Investing more heavily in education in lower-income areas than elsewhere to ensure better outcomes for the least well-off students. Building more roads, schools, and parks in the inland regions of the state, where incomes and job growth are lagging behind the coast. Finding ways to keep young, middle-class residents from moving out of state to realize the American Dream of owning their own homes. Planning so that lower- income areas are not burdened with pollution-related health problems from living near freeways, seaports, agriculture and industry, power plants, and waste dumps. p. 09 California’s Future LEARN MORE see page 27, figure 4 How can we encourage economic development while preserving the environment? California is the eighth largest economy in the world and a major hub of economic growth for the United States and the Pacific Rim. We need tough-minded strategies to remain competitive with other states and countries. We also need to put incentives in place that encourage new, innovative businesses to start up and grow here. Just as important, we need to find ways to encourage development and create jobs—and still protect the environment. This is one of the most critical tensions in the state’s future. On the one hand, residents’ well-being depends on good job opportunities, and government depends on a healthy business climate to generate the revenues to pay for education, roads, and social programs for the poor. On the other hand, a bustling economy has helped create some of the worst air pollution in the nation and some of the most congested roadways. One of the biggest challenges is to keep pollution and congestion under control without implementing regulations that might inhibit economic development. Beyond regulation on businesses, Californians need to ask themselves how much they are willing to change their lifestyles to help protect the environment. For example, pollution might be reduced if more Californians opted for smaller dwellings closer to jobs, shopping, and public transportation rather than large, singlefamily homes and the long commutes they often entail. California’s Future California’s Future p. 10 p. 11 If we can’t build our way out of the infrastructure problem, what can we do to fix it? LEARN MORE see page 28, figure 5 Almost everyone agrees that we need to repair and expand current transportation, water, and education facilities. We also know that the resources for building are finite. We need to use what we have more efficiently—but this, like protecting the environment, means that some sacrifices will have to be made by current users, and lifestyles may have to change. For example, we could use water markets to allocate existing supply more effectively between agriculture and residential uses. We could install water meters in homes to discourage waste, at a fraction of the cost of building new dams and water storage. We could maximize the capacity of existing roads by encouraging the use of high-occupancy vehicle and carpool lanes and travel in off-peak hours, and by charging fees for solo drivers who commute during rush hours. We could use K-12 and college facilities year round and for more hours daily to avoid the time and expense of building new schools. We could encourage more public-private partnerships to provide funding for building toll roads, prisons, water facilities, and schools. To make such changes, government will have to challenge consumers, commuters, students, public employees, and businesses to reject the status quo and become more, and differently, involved in tackling the future. p. 13 California’s Future p. 14 California’s Future LEARN MORE see page 28, figure 6 Do we want bigger or smaller government in the future? California voters are divided, and deeply split along party lines, about what they want from state government. When asked in a May 2006 PPIC Statewide Survey, roughly half of likely voters said they prefer a larger government with higher taxes for more services, and slightly less than half said they prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes. Republicans and Democrats disagreed on where government’s role should be expanded—for instance, greater involvement in social and moral issues or in health and welfare issues. And California remains divided between “red and blue” counties—with Los Angeles and the Bay Area often politically at odds with other regions. Elected representatives are suffering from partisan gridlock on so many issues that it is often difficult to reach the two-thirds vote required on fiscal issues in the legislature. Some say the latest redistricting has polarized the legislature even more: There are few competitive districts left, and many legislative seats are decided in partisan primaries where independent and moderate voices are largely unheard. We cannot tackle the future without consensus about what we want and need from government—and how we’re going to pay for it. The quality of California’s future depends on getting beyond political polarization to find common ground and the political will to act. LEARN MORE see page 29, figure 7 Is our state government up to the task of future planning? Since 1990, the state’s legislature has been under term limits imposed by the voters. Members of the assembly must leave after three two-year terms; members of the senate are gone after two four-year terms. This means that roughly one-third of the legislature turns over every two years. Although voters remain committed to term limits, critics claim that the desire to rid state government of career politicians has created a system of legislative musical chairs. They also question whether legislators have the time or motivation to consider what will happen a decade or more ahead in California. Compounding this potential short-sightedness, the state has not created strong incentives for local governments to take a broader, longer-term view of issues such as housing and development. Local officials often make decisions about these issues based on the interests of their local constituencies. But the consequences of these decisions don’t stop at their community’s doorstep: Residents may live in one city or county but work in another and shop in yet another. The people in and running for state office should be thinking and talking about how the state could provide incentives for local governments to act with larger regional interests in mind. p. 15 California’s Future p. 16 California’s Future What can we do to make the state’s fiscal system more transparent and accountable? LEARN MORE see page 29, figure 8 Voters are constantly being asked to increase spending and support new taxes—when they often don’t know where the money is coming from or how it is being spent. In a May 2005 PPIC Statewide Survey, only 11 percent of Californians correctly identified both the largest revenue source (personal income tax) and the biggest spending category (K-12 public education) in the state budget. This lack of clarity largely results from the current state-local fiscal system, which was built in response to the Proposition 13 tax limits passed nearly 30 years ago. That system needs overhauling—if only to let residents see where their property tax dollars are going and what their local and state governments are doing to provide infrastructure and other services. At the state level, “earmarking” limits what government can do with public dollars. At the county level, governments are not only highly dependent on state funding, but most of their funding goes to services, such as public health, that the state mandates. These arrangements create a lack of transparency and accountability that leads people to ask, “What happened to the money you spent in the past?” Until average voters can “follow the money,” they won’t fully commit to investing in the future. The existing system encourages people to oppose new spending and fuels the conviction that money lost to waste, fraud, and inefficiency could be used to expand existing programs and start new projects. p. 17 California’s Future p. 18 California’s Future Can we rebuild trust and confidence in our government? LEARN MORE see page 30, figure 9 Since the eve of the 2003 governor’s recall, PPIC Statewide Surveys have found that Californians’ confidence in their state government “to do what is right” has been near an historical low point. Nothing that politicians do or say seems to help them regain that trust. More than ever, the people believe special interests dominate decisions in Sacramento. Confidence is further eroded by government’s inability to make progress on the state’s complex problems and by leaders’ apparent lack of vision about the state’s future. The huge costs of political campaigns, and their nastiness, contribute to a perception that state politicians are wealthy individuals buying office, are for sale to special interests, care more about getting elected than serving the state, or are oblivious to the issues that matter to residents. As trust and confidence erode, more voters stay away from the polls, further undermining the mandate of elected officials. This dire situation has elicited many suggestions for reform—for example, publicly financed campaigns, more restrictions on campaign fundraising, taking political redistricting out of the hands of legislatures, requiring candidates to run in open primaries, and using television as a vehicle for debates and town hall meetings rather than for 30-second paid commercials. However, not much has been done, and without trust and confidence, residents have little belief that we can plan for a better tomorrow. p. 19 California’s Future Has an exclusive electorate been given the reins of government? LEARN MORE see page 30, figure 10 Over the last several decades, the ballot box has been used to make more and more-important policy decisions, and the state’s voters are not very representative of the state’s increasingly diverse population. Worse yet for a democracy, most adults don’t vote, and a large percentage who don’t vote can’t—because they don’t register. Consequently, in November, about 4 million voters—15 percent of California’s adult population—will be the majority needed to decide everything from who will be governor to whether the state will assume $37 billion in infrastructure debt. The voters in state elections today are mostly white, older, homeowners with more education and higher incomes than most Californians. There is no guarantee that they will have the interests of all Californians at heart. Even if they do, the fact that a small group of voters is making the decisions about elected representatives and public policy raises questions about how “democratic” the system really is. Are the people in office and political candidates comfortable with this situation? Ask them about what can be done to encourage political participation and a more representative electorate, about the growing use of the ballot box to make policy, about means other than voting to increase public input—for example, citizens’ assemblies and town hall meetings. Whatever it takes, California’s sleeping majority needs to wake up and get to the polls if it wants to have any hand in shaping the state’s future. p. 21 California’s Future p. 22 California’s Future Do we have the will? California faces important choices if we want a future as full of opportunity as our past has been. Almost a century ago, the state’s leaders held the voters in such high esteem that they gave subsequent generations of Californians the responsibility not only to elect their state representatives but also to make new laws and change policies at the ballot box. Come November, voters will make big decisions on whose leadership they will follow and what the state needs to borrow and spend to get ready for the future. But it’s also time for citizens and officials to think “outside the box” about tomorrow’s needs in this growing and changing state. California has always been a bellwether for the nation and a symbol of hope for the world. Can we muster the will and find the way to carry on this tradition? Your future. Your choice. PPIC’s extensive research on California’s future can be found on our website at www.ca2025.org LEARN MORE RELATED PPIC PUBLICATIONS CA2025: It’s Your Choice CA2025: Taking on the Future Statewide Surveys on Californians and the Future At Issue: California’s Exclusive Electorate Just the Facts: • Californians and the Future • California’s Future Population • California’s Future Economy • Education Facilities • Financing Infrastructure • Transportation Systems • Water Supply and Quality • Flood Control • Housing in California p. 25 California’s Future p. 26 California’s Future percentage population in millions FIGURES FIGURE 1. POPULATION PROJECTIONS FOR CALIFORNIA 50 40 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 30 high estimate low estimate Source: CA2025: It’s Your Choice FIGURE 2. POPULATION DISTRIBUTION BY EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT, 2020 40 30 20 10 0 less than high high school school graduate graduate some college college graduate labor force demand population supply Source: CA2025: It’s Your Choice FIGURE 3. INEQUITIES IN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES 3% 5% 6% 29% 57% 7% 44% 49% How concerned are you that schools in lower-income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas? Very concerned Not too concerned Don’t know Somewhat concerned Not at all concerned Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (April 2006) Should schools in lower-income areas get more funding from the state to pay for teachers and classroom materials, even if it means less funding for other schools? Yes No Don’t know FIGURE 4. STATE GOVERNMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT 6% 8% 46% 40% 3% 11% 4% 10% 34% 15% 23% Overall, do you think that the state government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to protect the environment in California? More than enough Not enough Just enough Don’t know Sources: left, PPIC Statewide Survey (July 2006) right, PPIC Statewide Survey (August 2006) In planning for the expected population growth between now and 2025, what do you think should be the state’s most important priority? Improving jobs and the economy Providing roads, schools, and water systems Protecting the environment Creating a more equal society Stopping illegal immigration (volunteered) Something else Don’t know p. 27 California’s Future p. 28 California’s Future percentage percentage FIGURE 5. HIGHWAY INVESTMENT HAS SERIOUSLY LAGGED BEHIND USE AND POPULATION GROWTH 500 400 300 200 100 0 -100 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 2025 Vehicle miles traveled on state highways State highway lane miles Source: CA2025: Taking on the Future Population State capital outlay spending for highways per vehicle mile traveled (includes federal contribution) FIGURE 6. THE PREFERENCE GAP ON ROLE OF GOVERNMENT 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults Higher taxes and more services Lower taxes and fewer services Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (May 2006) Don’t know FIGURE 7. ATTITUDES TOWARD TERM LIMITS 4% 21% 15% 60% Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference? Good thing No difference Bad thing Don’t know Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (May 2006) FIGURE 8. PERCEPTIONS OF PUBLIC SPENDING 1% 9% 15% 32% 16% 27% 1% 9% 8% 29% 25% 28% I‘m going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue in the state budget. Personal income tax Corporate tax Other Sales tax Motor vehicle fees Don’t know Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (May 2005) I‘m going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the state budget. K-12 public education Youth and adult corrections Health and human services Higher education Other Don’t know p. 29 California’s Future FIGURE 9. PUBLIC TRUST IN GOVERNMENT 4% 2% 7% 24% 63% How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Sacramento to do what is right? Just about always Only some of the time Don’t know Most of the time None of the time (volunteered) Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (August 2006) FIGURE 10. VOTERS DO NOT REFLECT THE STATE’S RACIAL DIVERSITY 5% 3% 6% 14% 2% 3% 8% 24% 72% 63% Likely Voters White Black Other Latino Asian Source: PPIC Statewide Survey (May 2005–May 2006) Not Registered to Vote White Black Other Latino Asian California’s Future p. 30 p. 32 California’s Future Board of Directors Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Linda Griego President and Chief Executive Officer Griego Enterprises, Inc. Edward K. Hamilton Chairman Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. Gary K. Hart Founder Institute for Education Reform California State University, Sacramento Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities David W. Lyon President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center Advisory Council Stuart A. Gabriel Director and Lusk Chair Lusk Center for Real Estate University of Southern California Clifford W. Graves Elizabeth G. Hill Legislative Analyst State of California Hilary W. Hoynes Associate Professor Department of Economics University of California, Davis Andrés E. Jiménez Director California Policy Research Center University of California Office of the President Norman R. King Director, University Transportation Center California State University, San Bernardino Dean Misczynski Director California Research Bureau Rudolf Nothenberg Chief Administrative Officer (Retired) City and County of San Francisco Manuel Pastor Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies University of California, Santa Cruz Peter Schrag Contributing Editor The Sacramento Bee James P. Smith Senior Economist RAND Corporation ++++ The Public Policy Institute of California is a private operating foundation established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. The Institute is dedicated to improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Copyright © 2006 by Public Policy Institute of California. All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. The California 2025 project was supported with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Your future. 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