Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Don't let the Governor slash essential services

Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger laid out his cuts and gimmicks to slash critical state services by 10% and introduce a constitutional amendment granting him broad authority to unilaterally cut essential programs (a similar proposal – Proposition 76 - was resoundingly defeated by voters in 2005).

For too long, the discussion around the budget has been dominated by a small minority of legislators who want to see government services cut to the bone. This is because California requires a two-thirds vote requirement to pass a budget. It is a tyranny of the minority.

California’s two-thirds vote requirement concentrates power in the hands of a minority of legislators who choose to take an ideological stance. As a result, the State has been forced to cut and borrow our way out of budget deficits.

The Legislature has enacted a budget every year without any general tax increases. The Governor made the state’s revenue problems worse by eliminating the Vehicle License Fee and allowing a reduction in the yacht tax. He has balanced the budget by slashing programs and excessive borrowing through bonds.

What we do in this budget will effect every one's life. Californians must begin the discussion by focusing on what it takes to provide what we need to have the opportunities to live healthy lives with opportunities to realize our dreams and use our talents -- such as good schools in our communities, drivable roads, buses, trains, clean air, drinkable water, a park to visit with our children and a safety net when times are bad. The Governor conversely has proposed cutting education and closing parks... who will want to live here?

I will continue my unwavering commitment to fully fund education, provide universal health care and protect our environment.

Join me! Speak up! Don't let the Governor unilaterally slash essential services that protect our communities, fund education and provide health care!

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