New budget – election day trap

Katy Grimes: News came late yesterday that the “big five” finally reached agreement on the state’s budget. Yeah right. They reached a “handshake agreement.” Now there’s something you can bank on.

What an embarrassment. And someone is going to lose his job over this one.

As part of the agreement, the leaders will place another “rainy day” fund  measure on the 2012 ballot, claiming that it’s a “softer” version of the last one that the voters rejected.

No word yet on the deal reached with the SEIU, despite the governor’s tough talk. However, according to Aaron McLear, the governor’s spokesman,  he will not sign a budget that increases taxes and does not include pension reform.

For reassurance, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg offered, “The administration is working very hard and very well with SEIU – and will be with all the other collective bargaining units. We’re very hopeful that they’ll reach agreements with at least the vast majority of collective bargaining units,” reported in today’s Sacramento Bee.

Despite promises of no new taxes, Republicans seem poised to fail 12th grade semantics. The 2008 agreement to suspend the net operating loss deduction for businesses in the state, was reversed, with Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta, insisting, “it’s not a tax increase.”

And the governor is still squawking about selling the 11 state-owned properties for more than $1 billion, and then leasing them back on a long term basis. Even a fifth grader would understand that long term leases will end up costing the state exponentially more than just selling the buildings outright, or continuing to make the payments on them.

There are no surprises with this smelly deal, and no surprises with the timing. Far too many social service agencies were about to close up shop in a couple of weeks as their lines of credit (on which they have been subsisting) run dry.

Democrats are poised to push Prop 25, which would change the legislative vote requirement necessary to pass the state budget and spending bills related to the budget, from two-thirds to a simple majority. Instead of making tough and unpopular decisions, as all leaders must do, this group of legislators continue to allow the special interest money to dictate budget and spending decisions, and then ask voters to make it easier for them!

This is what happens to a state that continues to elect leaders that have never signed the front side of a check. It’s time to clean house and rid the state of the mamby-pamby lawmakers, and bring in some with cojones.

OCT. 2, 2010

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  1. David
    David 2 October, 2010, 10:59

    Why is it okay that a simple majority of voters can pass tax and budget laws, but it requires two-thirds of both houses for legislators to do this?

    The situation in Sacramento is that as few as 14 legislators can block adoption of a budget, even if the 106 other members of the legislature are in favor of it. (14 is one-third of the senate, and it only takes one-third of one house to block.) That’s utterly ridiculous.

    Yes on 25!

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  2. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 3 October, 2010, 05:34

    David,
    If our elected representatives *actually* represented the will of the voters, then it would be no problem. That has not been the case in recent years.

    Reply this comment
  3. Tylerle13
    Tylerle13 4 October, 2010, 12:17

    If we didnt have to get to 2/3, then how the hell would the Governor know who to appoint to the useless Government positions that become available (i.e. Abel Maldanado as lt. Gov)? How would he know which propositions to place on the ballot(Abel’s prop 14)?

    A 2/3 majority would be no problem if they were actually trying to run a well functioning government who acted in the best interest of the voters, instead of using these budget negotiations as an opportunity to grab some Pork for their friends & leverage their vote into future political favors & appointments.

    Even with a 2/3 requirement, California has still managed to become one of the highest taxed & least business friendly states in the country. Its scary to think what this state would look like if they only needed 1/2. Just look at the make-up of the clown house right now, they even called Fran Pavley back in to start yelling at people. She is unfit to serve in every single way except for the fact that Steinberg can still get her to press the right button when he needs her to. If they are willing to shield someone from being fired for over a year and let them continue regulating the citizens of this state, just because they dont want to risk losing her vote, just goes to show you that they are not capable of acting in the best interest of the state.

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