Lawmakers should not be paid for bad budget
The Democratic-controlled state Legislature has defied the voters of California with its sham budget passed last week — a budget so full of holes it wouldn’t even pass for Swiss cheese.
On Friday, the state Senate approved a 2012-13 fiscal year budget on a 23-16 vote without a single Republican vote of approval. The same thing occurred in the Assembly, again with no Republicans supporting the spending plan. A new law approved by voters no longer requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to pass a budget — no matter how poorly devised that budget may be.
However, the $92 billion budget is incomplete. It was passed by the lawmakers to meet the midnight deadline that night so they would continue to be paid. Had the Legislature failed to pass a budget — even a fake one — their pay would be withheld until the budget is passed.
Left to be done, however, is the heavy lifting and the Democrats are even bucking their own governor in not approving deeper spending cuts.
The state faces a $15.7 billion deficit and the budget does nothing to solve that and in fact, the situation will get even worse if voters don’t approve the November ballot measure to raise the sales tax and taxes on millionaires.
Brown has said he won’t sign an incomplete budget and so far he has held to his word. However, the state needs a budget by July 1 in order for payments to continue to schools and local governments.
It has been nearly a decade since the state Legislature has done its job in balancing spending with revenues. This year’s budget is another example of kicking the can down the road, or worse yet, betting on a horse that may never get to the finish line.
What is needed is for real cuts in spending and a balanced budget based on current revenues. Should the ballot measure pass in November that generates more revenue, then any of that revenue ought to go to paying down that deficit before another dime is committed to be spent.
We hope Gov. Brown holds his ground and that voters begin to realize the games being played in Sacramento at their expense.
Editorials in The Porterville Recorder are the opinion of the editorial board which consists of Publisher Paula Patton and Editor Rick Elkins. Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Recorder.