It seems California is now in a sixteen billion dollar budget deficit instead of an expected nine billion dollar deficit and Governor Brown wants to make sure cuts are not going to be as austere so he wants voters to pass the tax increase that Republicans will refuse to approve since they have the 2/3rds veto for tax increases.
Proposition 25 was expected to be the solution to get our legislators to pass budgets that do not have kabuki tricks that have such rosy projections where the amount of legislators to pass a budget bill was going to be lowered to 50 percent plus one, but legislators still passed budgets with accounting tricks because they did not want to sacrifice their paychecks when Democrats and political consultants used the threat of not passing a budget on time with legislators not being paid.
Democrats pass a budget in 2011, State Controller John Chiang refuses to pay the legislators because the budget violates another proposition passed by the voters in 2004, Proposition 58 “The California Balanced Budget Act”. The budget legislators passed in 2011 did not balance revenues and expenditures and state legislators ended up suing the State Controller to get their money that was withheld and a judge sadly sided with the legislators to state that the legislators not the State Controller are the arbiters if a budget is balanced because Chiang overstepped his powers.
So we have a budget that gave us ten billion dollars in the red and now it is sixteen billion. Problem is we have a government dominated by the public employee unions where heads would literally be scalped if they went against the wishes of the labor unions. Voters got bamboozled thanks to a judge who gave what the Democratic Party wanted, no checks and balances to make sure legislators passed a balanced budget. Then the Democrats added Trojan horses where they could add tax increases and other revenue enhancers without the voters being able to use the referendum to overrule them such as bills that tie into the budgets.
I know the Democrats want to raise taxes to pay for the public services we value, but how much taxes is enough to feed the emaciated sow of the SEIU, CTA and CCPOA? We threaten voters by stating that the shelter animals will be culled if we don’t pay the taxes, we threaten voters by stating that state parks will be padlocked, but it might have to take some tough leadership to make things right.
I have not been comfortable voting for Republicans because I am afraid that they will want to enforce their social issues instead of focusing on the pocketbook issues such as Senator Huff’s attempts to undo LGBT youth civil rights legislation. However it might take one or two elections where we will send the legislators such as Norma Torres who represents my district out of Sacramento and if candidates such as Kenny Coble end up focusing on theocracy instead of economy I will be happy to throw him out of office.
Maybe it might take the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers association to make a proposition that repeals Prop 25 because we absolutely got scammed and since we did not prepare a proper budget, the Democrats helped to cause this misery that we will end up enduring. My idea for a compromise is a 60% vote for budgets and tax increases and a rule that we stop using baseline budgeting and make zero-based budgeting the rule of law in Sacramento. I would also add a clause that pays the legislators minimum wage instead of no pay. Lastly I would remove the Trojan horse provisions that prevents voters from overturning egregious provisions with referendum passed by the legislature as well.
Continue reading Sixteen Billion Ways to Be Ambivalent
California has a massive budget crisis and since our state is in a state of gridlock where Democrats refuse to concede cuts to their pet causes and Republicans failing to fund the expansive state budget, our Governor is trying to find so many small items to cut to help to provide substantive fiscal relief. The issue that has gotten thousands of animal welfare advocates mobilized is the movement to repeal the Hayden Law for shelter animals that was passed in 1998 and signed by Governor Wilson. Hayden’s legislation was intended to help reunite pets with their owners in the instance they may have become lost and also to encourage animal shelters to focus on working on adoptions instead of putting animals down.
In an effort to trim costs, the governor’s budgetary staff has stricken out particular parts of the law in their trailer bill that will likely be part of the next state budget. First, animal shelters will not be mandated to provide necessary and prompt care when an animal needs medical assistance so if an animal is in needed for treatment it will either suffer in pain or be the first one to be put down. Second, animals that are not traditionally dog or cat will not be guaranteed the new 72 hour hold period, if the shelter is in danger of running out of space they will likely be put down. Third, regulations that require accountability in our animal shelters will be repealed so we will not find out the status of any animal medically treated or impounded. Four, there will not be a six business day holding period if your animal runs out of your home. If you are on vacation and your pet is impounded on a weekend expect your animal to not see Monday. The new rule will be 72 hours from the date of impoundment including days animal control may be closed to the public.
The Hayden Law is still needed, and repealing the Hayden Law is very drastic when we can suspend relevant clauses until our state is in better fiscal health. Even so, shelters in various parts of our state have violated the Hayden Law for shelter animals and without the law expect it to happen across the state. We should be able to provide dignity and respect for the companion animals that many of us value. We should keep the law on the books to further the cause of adoption and reduce the instance of putting animals down. We need to clamp down on animal shelters that deny volunteers, refuse the acceptance of blankets to help keep animals comfortable in concrete or outdoor kennels and refuse to cooperate with rescue organizations that want to save animals from being put down due to crowded kennels.
Budget analysis’s claim that these changes will save 46 million dollars, but there are much bigger fish to fry for the state of California to have meaningful budget reform such as dealing with the looming public employee pension crisis or curtailing the spiraling costs of high speed rail. However the thousands of shelter animals do not have a lobby as viable as the SEIU or the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Organization. That is why people like you and me who live in our state are encouraged to lobby their state legislators and our governor to reject this misguided proposal. First, look up your state legislator and find out if they are a member of the state budget committee for the assembly or senate. If they are then it’s strongly encouraged to lobby them because they are able to kill the proposal before it gets to a full vote. Even if your legislator is not on the budget committee, if the misguided proposal passes, we need them to defeat it at the full floor vote.
Crossposted from Orange Juice blog.
I believe we do need the Brown tax measure to make sure we do not face total budget austerity, but if the taxes do not help the overall picture there should be some escape hatches.
If California state unemployment can not get lower than 9 percent by June 30th 2013, then the tax increases would be null and void.
If state revenues are declining, even though we have tax increases then we should null the tax increases.
Brown’s tax measure needs Republicans to get on the ballot, but maybe he should just get his labor union friends to put on the ballot the old fashioned way so no Republican could be blamed for the tax increases.
I do support the Republican position on state budget negotiations for one single reason, much crazier and nuttier Republicans will replace the Republican state legislators who will get marched out of Sacramento for violating the base of the party and John and Ken. If you like the new crop of legislators elected in Montana you will like California’s new Republicans in 2012.
If any Republican wants to work with Governor Brown, add some escape clauses to the tax increases and we can put something good in a bad situation.
I am taking the time to write a reply to the California Senate Republican leader to offer a response to the response.
There is a reason why Republicans are not representing the majority in Sacramento, they are just too mean to the marginalized populations in our state. From Proposition 8 to 187, the Republican Party had to use the big wedge to help gain popular support.
Although California has its problems, we should not resort to using the boogey man of the day to become the party of the majority. From Proposition 14 in 1964 to Proposition 8 in 2008, we are telling Californians that the Republican Party is not their party.
Even though Democratic Party legislators think that money grows on trees and we can pay high end retirement benefits to the public employees, people still vote for Democrats because they do not attack their communities.
Even though there may be lesbian business owners, or socially conservative black people who share traits with the Republican Party they end up still supporting the Democratic Party.
Since we have the passage of Proposition 25, budgets must be passed with majority vote. And if Senator Dutton and friends do not have a party platform or a welcome mat to the communities that the Republican Party marginalized in the past it will be hard to win those votes back.
Yes, Senator Dutton I would love to see the two million plus Californians back to work, but the party needs to be more inviting so it could attain the majority support to get business back to our state.