Voters back $15B bond |

Voters back $15B bond

Nevada County voters lined up with fellow Californians Tuesday when it came to four statewide propositions on budget-related issues.

Voters in Nevada County and across California sent Proposition 56 down in flames. The plan would have allowed state legislators to pass state budgets and future budgetary tax bills with 55-percent votes instead of the current two-thirds vote requirement.

The governor’s Proposition 57, a $15 billion bond measure, appeared to pass locally and statewide, as did its counterpart, Proposition 58. The two were aimed at solving California’s fiscal crisis through a large loan initiative.

Local voters felt state should not finance school improvements, turning down Proposition 55. The proposal would raise $12.3 billion through bonds to build or improve facilities for schools and colleges.

The fate of Proposition 55 statewide was unclear as votes continued to be counted late Tuesday.

Outside the Lake of the Pines clubhouse, Richard Bowen said he voted against all of the state propositions.

“No, no, no and no,” Bowen said. “It’s all money out of the taxpayer’s pocket, whether they know it or not.”

At the nearby Sierra Pines Methodist Church, Lorie Hull said she also voted against the state propositions.

“I’m not hot on taxes,” said Hull, a Libertarian. “They weren’t well written. I voted for the Sierra College one (Measure E), though. It was well written.”

At the same polling place, Ben Stratton said he voted against 55 and 56 because they were “too costly.”

His wife, Winnie Stratton, said she voted against 56 because, “You cannot give the legislature carte blanche to raise taxes.”

Alta Sierra voter Warren Fechner, did not support propositions 57 and 58.

“Those guys screwed it up in Sacramento, and there’s no reason to give them anymore,” he said.

At the Nevada County Superintendent Of Schools Office, young couple Teresa and Ryan Thomas voted with their young children in tow and said yes to all four propositions and Measure E.

“The schools need more money for repairs. They’re in worse conditions than when I went to school,” Mrs. Thomas said.

She voted for the budget propositions “because we need to overhaul the state.”

Her husband did, too. “We need to get the budget taken care of so we don’t run into the same problems we have the past few years,” Mr. Thomas said.

At Grass Valley’s Brighton Street Fire Station, Keri Kemble cast her vote with her infant daughter in a stroller. She voted yes on 55.

“I’m a former teacher, so I support anything for the schools.” She also voted yes on 57 and 58, “to work on getting our state out of the deficit.”

Rebecca Smith of Scotts Flat said she voted against all the propositions on the ballot, particularly Proposition 57. She said paying back the interest on the proposed $15 billion bond is essentially a tax paid for by state residents.

“I think it would raise our taxes,” Smith said. “I didn’t want to do that.”

Staff Writers David Mirhadi and Jamie Bate contributed to this story.

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