What is Prop. 10?

In November 1998, voters passed Proposition 10 a statewide ballot initiative called, “The Children and Families Act.” It added a 50 cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes. The monies collected are to be used to fund education, health and child care programs that promote early childhood development, from prenatal through age 5. The intent is for all California children to be healthy, to live in a healthy and supportive family environment and to enter school ready to learn.

What is the goal of Prop. 10?

Prop. 10 funds are intended to promote, support and improve early childhood development through coordinating resources and programs that emphasize family support, parent education, child care and development, and health care. Prop. 10 is unique because it represents a historic effort to gather input from the public. Prop. 10 directs each county to create a strategic plan based on extensive input from communities, including families, service providers and advocacy groups. The plan outlines how counties will use these funds to develop comprehensive, integrated systems of support and services for all children, 0 to 5 years of age.

How are the allocations for each county determined?

Funds are allocated to County Commissions based upon county birth rate data. For example, the Butte County birth rate represents slightly less than one half of one percent of the state’s total births, so First 5 Butte County receives just under one half of one percent of the total revenue collected for distribution to county commissions.

Why the emphasis on early childhood?

Research shows the emotional, physical and intellectual environment a child is exposed to has a profound impact on how his or her brain develops. The experience that a child has with parents and caregivers will influence how a child functions when he or she reaches school and later in life.

What is the relationship between county boards of supervisors and the County Commissions?

Each county board of supervisors enacted an ordinance to establish the appointment, selection and removal of commissioners, and to establish a trust fund to receive and make disbursements. The County Commissioners are appointed by the County Board of Supervisors for each county, and a County Supervisor is required to serve on each county commission at all times.

What is the role of the County Commission?

County Commissions must develop strategic plans consistent with State Commission guidelines on funding local child development programs and services. They are also mandated to hold public hearings, and submit county plans and audits to the State Commission. However, each County Commission makes the final decisions on how its allocated funds are utilized.

How does First 5 Butte County involve parents and other interested people in the decisions on how to use this money?

First 5 Butte County utilizes various methods for engaging the community, such as public meetings, interviews and surveys. In addition, Commissioners attend parent meetings to interact directly with parents. This is an unprecedented effort in public participation, inviting a significant level of public input.

Can someone from First 5 Butte County give a presentation about your work?

Yes, First 5 Butte County is eager to educate the public about the services that we fund. Please contact us to inquire about having our agency present at your event or to your group.

If smoking rates go down and therefore less tax is collected, how does this impact local First 5 Commissions?

There is no provision for funding to come from other sources. If fewer taxes are collected, then the amount of funds to each county will be reduced proportionately.

We do, in fact, hope that smoking rates decrease as a result of the tax. It is the goal of Prop. 10 to improve early childhood education and decrease smoking rates, especially among pregnant women and the parents of young children. The intent of Prop. 10 is to create sustainable programs for children that can continue even as Prop. 10 funding decreases.

Tobacco sales have fallen significantly since Prop. 10 took effect. How will that affect Prop. 10 programs?

When the initial projections were made for the initiative, there was an expected decrease in tobacco consumption because of the price increase. Every county commission is required by law to approve a long term financial plan that indicates how its services will be sustained through a combination of new revenues and a draw-down of its fund balance.