Tag Archives: state budget

Libraries Not Jails

Cities such as Pomona, California are facing the cold reality that their public library will need to shutter their doors to balance their budget after draining their budgetary reserves for several years.

In Pomona it might be a critically fatal decision from the city council to close the doors down due to removing the benefits a library may provide for its community. A place where young people could get help for their homework, for people without computer access to get connected to the world, reading assistance to those who do not know how to read and other various services our libraries provide.

Unfortunately one of the first things Governor Brown did in 2011 when he became our governor again was to capitulate to the prison guards union to give them the best contract out of all the public service employees in our state. Perhaps if we were not in the business of jailing a sizable number of our population we would have the funds to pay for the public libraries. This is one reason why I am supporting three strikes reform.

Keeping our children off the streets is a positive aspect. Warehousing our youth in jails is an unproductive waste of money.

Keep on Calling State Legislators about Hayden’s Law

The reality of repealing the reforms

Like a zombie, this issue is not going to go away. The state budget is 8 billion more than anticipated at 16 billion and certain programs are going to be curtailed or abolished in the Governor’s May budget revision and the Hayden Law is on the chopping block. Please call your state legislators in California and encourage them not to abolish the Hayden Law on shelter animals which gives animals at least 6 business days to make sure lost pets at least can get claimed by their owners or give the animals a fair chance to find a home before the sad reality hits.

This issue was previously covered on my blog here. The Hayden Law has been suspended until we can afford to pay its mandates, but abolishing the Hayden Law is going to be worse because we would have to pass this legislation all over again and animals would lose protections permanently until we do so.

If you want to find out who your legislator is you should visit this link here.

If you want to know if you are lucky enough to have a member of the Assembly or State Senate budget committee representing you visit them.

I have some solutions to help ease the issue to make a compromise on this issue. We could lower the hold time from six business days to five business days. Second, we could add a nominal fee to the dog and cat licenses or kennel fees that cities, counties and contracted agencies charge to help pay for what the Hayden Law does. I was suggesting 25 cents extra each year for senior licenses and 50 cents extra each year for regular licenses and 2-5 bucks extra each year for kennel licenses.

Sixteen Billion Ways to Be Ambivalent

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

Chaffey College Needs More Distance Learning

One thing I noticed for the last two years is that we have no online classes during the Summer sessions. With the state budget crisis impacting the public schools from K-12 to the UC System we have to make do with the money we have and use it well.

With online classes we can pack a dozen more students in most sections compared to the sections that are held in traditional methods. I understand the faculty senate wants quality not quantity, but the more students we can get to graduate and leave Chaffey this would give more opportunities for the students looking to get in due to impacted classes.

I wanted to take History 18 online because it is a subject that I could do very well even without lectures and due to being a reentry student I have been doing very well in the last four classes I have taken. I wanted to take my classes either early in the morning or late at night so I could allow for my work schedule to have priority and I could have more hours at my part time job. However they had only History 17, so I had to make do this semester.

I have a co-worker who also attends Chaffey College, but due to not having a drivers license and having a full time job she can not take a summer session class easily. CIS 1 would have been doable online to help her get the credits to complete her degree program. Many students today have computers functional  to do CIS 1 at home. At worse it might cost a hundred bucks extra to buy a copy of Microsoft Office 2010, but at least you can save time.

If we want to save taxpayer money and get more students educated we need to reformulate how we offer classes at Chaffey. If Mt.San Antonio College and Riverside College can offer online classes in the summer, then Chaffey should consider it in the future.

Voters Were Defrauded on Prop 25

California voters got bamboozled thanks to a recent appeal of the decision of State Controller John Chang which withheld the pay of our state legislators for failing to submit a balanced budget on time due to the provisions of Proposition 25.

California voters may be frustrated that state budgets are never passed on time and our state budgets are always filled with bloat to be passed on to next year’s legislative session. Yes, state budgets no longer need a 2/3rds vote for passage. However the revenue gimmicks make our budgets not balanced and filled with kabuki tricks. If Democratic Party legislators want to be truly honest they should have asked voters to change the state constitution to make tax increases 50 percent plus one as well so they can legislate without Republican input.

Relying on the state legislature to determine if a budget is balanced is rather dishonest because they will say that their bloated budget filled with accounting tricks is balanced because they do not want to forsake their paychecks or want to compromise with the Republican minority to pass a truly balanced budget.

I highly recommend that voters sign the petitions asking for a part time legislature sponsored by Assemblywoman Grove because our state legislators do not deserve to be full time legislators because many of them only care about the power than the responsibilities of their job.

A Political Plague in California

There is something fishy in California and the plague rests on both political parties. Public services that Californians value that are being impacted due to the lack of funds. Governor Brown and the public employee unions want to make sure their causes are fully funded, but the problem we have is not enough taxpayers and not enough industry.

Even though it may be tempting to vote for Democrats due to their lack of using women, Latinos and gays as wedge issues. Democratic Party legislators are making it easy for the entrepreneur class to pack up shop and move to more accepting climes due to their advocacy of crippling restrictions that do not make it cost effective to operate in our state.

Imagine how much revenue we can have if we did not scare away the entrepreneurs that make our state work. With the economy of scale we would have more taxpayers and a more manageable tax rate for the people of California.

Perhaps Republicans need to stop going after the big wedge so we can get more people united to make California work for all of us.

An Appeal For Common Sense Public Pension Reform

To my state legislators,

I implore you to support legislation written by Governor Brown’s staff to strip pensions from felons whose crimes are job related. It is only right to support this portion of the public pension reform bill that will likely be in the budget committee.

If you embezzle money from a government agency, molest children or run a motorcycle gang dealing drugs while being a university professor then it should be justified to eliminate the benefits.

To be fair, the benefits should be removed ONLY when the individual is convicted in a court of law.

Deadliest Budget Cut Ahead for Pets

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.

Thank You Democratic Party of California

Note: law became effective hours after Amazon sent that email. I wonder if AB 153 got gut and amended.

If you are in the Amazon Associates program your association is in danger thanks to State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkley and all those legislators who voted Yes on AB 153 including my own Norma Torres.

Amazon has sent all California affiliates that our relationship is in danger thanks to those legislators who voted yes on AB 153 and if you want the association to continue, you are invited to call your local State Senator ASAP for them to vote NO on AB 153.

First, the bill will be sent to the Committee on Senate Governance and Finance on July 6th. However if you are lucky to be represented by any of these legislators, you are free to express your opinion for them to sink AB 153.

Second, the bill will likely be approved no matter what public outcry happens. So feel free to call your local State Senator too.

Here is the Amazon email:

For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of California residents. Unfortunately, a potential new law that may be signed by Governor Brown compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by California-based marketing affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action.

Continue reading Thank You Democratic Party of California

I Know Its Theater

I wish Mike Gatto accepted the food from the John and Ken Show in good nature and then said “This will be a minor inconvenience, but I will donate the food to a local food bank instead”.

John and Ken do tactics like this for ratings and also to demonstrate absurdity by being absurd. I did write to Mike Gatto’s personal email address and he did write to me surprisingly or used a form letter because I did mention my grandfather and his friend who takes care of his needs live in his 43rd Assembly district and I would encourage them to vote for the Republican.

However this is Mike’s statement. He believes that most of the John and Ken listeners got what he said out of context.

I am more upset at the idea of one branch of government withholding the pay of another to try to get what it wants. Could you imagine if the legislature (or anyone) tried to do that to a judge, if the judge didn’t rule like we wanted? That’s a little too Soviet Union for me, and would result in a system of chaos, even worse than it is now.
I’m pushing for reforms up here and trying to move the state forward — with or without pay. Some days, that attitude is a little hard to explain to the wife, that’s all!
I should make it very clear: this is about principal. We have passed two budgets this year, both which cut government by $10 billion dollars, and we have done so without raising taxes.
You might consider: what if a Controller chose to forbid legislative pay simply as a tool to force the Legislature to take a step it had not taken, such as to raise taxes?
I don’t think that’s a proper use of the law, and I think our Founding Fathers and taxpayers would have issues with that too.

Personally the Republican Party in the Assembly District 43 chose wrong with Sunder, I thought Sunder was a good choice in the beginning. However Sunder had connections to the National Organization for Marriage and that killed my enthusiasm for Sunder. I would of either held my nose and voted for Mike or left my ballot blank. If the Republicans nominate another anti-LGBT nominee, Gatto has nothing to fear. New maps show his district to be safely gerrymandered anyways and most of the people that made Pasadena and Glendale Republican fled in the last decade.