Fearing a destructive feud in Sacramento between education supporters and backers of highway construction, the Orange County Transportation Commission voted 5 to 0 Monday to endorse rival statewide ballot measures sponsored by the two groups.
The first measure, co-authored by tax crusader Paul Gann and Assemblywoman Doris Allen (R-Cypress), would exempt transportation revenues, including gasoline sales taxes, from the state's so-called Gann spending limit. It would also funnel the sales tax on gasoline directly into transportation projects instead of the state's general fund.
The second, sponsored chiefly by state schools Supt. Bill Honig, would amend the way the Gann limit is calculated, so that expenditures could rise based on the consumer price index or per capita personal income, whichever is greater. It would also exempt gasoline taxes and motorist fees from the Gann spending limit.
Commission members have indicated a preference for the Gann-Allen initiative because they say it would provide more money for transportation. But an OCTC staff report cited the possibility that, if the Gann-Allen measure passes and the Honig proposal does not, education supporters would seek revenge and threaten existing transportation-funding programs in the Legislature.