Note: We posted this story yesterday although blogger now shows it as today for reasons unknown.
An initiative has been filed that would raise tobacco taxes to fund student aid at UC and CSU. The usual caveats apply. It takes $1-$2 million to pay signature gathering firms to get such a petition on the ballot (as opposed to $200 to file it). A tobacco tax initiative brings out big money opposition from tobacco companies. Recall the tobacco tax that failed last June. So a sponsor – if serious – would have to have deep pockets to carry out an effective campaign to enact the initiative if it got on the ballot.
All yours truly can say about this one is that it is professionally drafted – many initiatives that are filed are not – by a law firm that specializes in election matters and has represented various unions, the Democratic Party, and even UC. At least, that is what it says on the firm’s website: http://www.rjp.com/index.cfm/clients/.
The initiative itself is at:http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/initiatives/pdfs/i1066_12-0018_%28tax_to_fund_higher_education%29.pdf
At some point, we will find out if there is serious money behind this initiative. In the meantime: