In the tussle over budget rules, a state appellate court dismissed a challenge from school groups that said California leaders had illegally manipulated the state constitution when they wrote the 2011-12 budget.
The San Francisco-based 1st District Court of Appeal said Tuesday that even if it ruled in favor of the school groups, "there unquestionably is no effective relief that can be granted" because voters overrode potential legal problems by passing Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 last fall.
Besides increasing income taxes on top earners and boosting the statewide sales tax, the initiative retroactively changed the state constitution so the state could divert just over one percentage point of sales tax to local governments without giving a share to schools.
The court's opinion is unpublished, which means that it cannot be relied upon in future cases.
Kevin Yamamura, Bee Capitol Bureau
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