Assemblyman Nestande, I would like to explain why the Democratic Party needs to eliminate the 2/3rds requirement for budget bills. The Republican party has kept the state budget hostage for the past few years keeping state programs and its employees in limbo because we can never get a timely budget done.
Our state is in uncertain times right now where a troubled economy makes the solution much more complicated. Cutting spending should be off the table because the targets of spending cuts have already had draconian cuts in spending already. California has a over eight percent unemployment rate and destroying the safety net is just plain cruel. While Republicans add non-budgetary issues as eliminating the work break and overtime regulations in order for them to pass a Democratic party budget.
Yes, tax increases are perceived to be counterproductive. However we need to start evaluating the budget and figure out how to make our money stretch while still providing the public services our citizens rely upon. Problem is Democrats only want to feed their clients who contribute to their campaigns the labor unions and rather feed their constituents like wild hogs. Republicans should only agree to any reforms only if we can restructure state employee pay and benefits and they should sacrifice as much as all of us have right now. To be pragmatic, tax increases should only be used to close off the budget deficit and then have a spending limit to make sure we do not spend too much when we have plenty then have nothing during our tough times like today.
Our problem is how to prioritize what should be part of a state budget. We should have affordable higher education because that is traditionally an investment to a higher skilled workforce. We should make sure our children have the best public school education from the kindergarten to high school level because that is an investment for lower crime rate and a reduced need for prisons. Bring forth a new California Performance Review for 2009 to be used to help form a 2010 state budget. Our state budget is structurally damaged and it needs change now.