Court Sides with First 5

At last, some good news!

AB 99, passed by California lawmakers to redirect $1 billion in First 5 funding, was deemed “invalid” in a ruling by Fresno Superior Court Judge Debra Kazanjian last week. Judge Kazanjian ruled that AB 99 was an illegal attempt by lawmakers to amend Proposition 10 without voter approval. First 5 Contra Costa stood to lose about $23 million.

I’d like to say that I knew all along that First 5 would prevail, but honestly, none of us could have anticipated such a decisive statement as the one Judge Kazanjian handed down in her decision. Continue reading

Superior Court Hears Arguments on Legality of AB 99

The Fresno Superior Court heard oral arguments last week on the legality of AB 99, which circumvents voters and allows the state to take $1 billion of voter-approved Proposition10 tobacco tax revenues from local health and early education programs for young children. AB 99 was passed as part of the state budget solution last fiscal year, although the eventual budget approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown no longer included the use of First 5 funds. Continue reading