SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – State Proposition 22 would stop California from taking tax revenues that are intended for local governments.

During tough budget times, the state has commandeered funds earmarked for local governments, forcing cuts in local services from libraries to policing.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Prop 22 would stop that practice, which is why San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer, who is also the president of the California Police Chiefs Association, is out stumping for the measure.

“The fact that the state cannot balance its budget and has not brought in a budget either on time or within a balanced, fiscally responsible budget should not be something that will directly impact and really punish local services,” she said.

Manheimer said the state is stealing tax revenues.

But opponents of the measure such as the California Teachers Association say it is not that simple.

CTA Board Member and Pittsburg teacher Eric Hines said without the ability to redirect local funding, there would be massive cuts in public education.

“That means larger class sizes, more overcrowded schools, fewer teachers and cuts in music, art and vocational training,” Hines said.

Although the CTA, the California Nurses Association and California Professional Firefighters oppose Proposition 22, local governments are touting it as a change that is needed for cities to maintain vital services for their residents.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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