California lawmakers pass budget on time

June 16, 2011

California lawmakers raced up to the deadline Wednesday to send a budget proposal to Gov. Jerry Brown that contains further cuts to education, additional fees and many of the “gimmicks” that he repeatedly pledged to avoid in order to close an estimated $9.6 billion deficit. [CaliforniaWatch]

For the first time since 1986, legislators produced a budget by the June 15 deadline.

Proposition 25, passed last year, provides lawmakers the ability to pass a budget with a simple majority rather than a two-thirds vote. In addition, under Proposition 59, lawmakers would have forfeited their salary and per diem pay starting on June 16 if they had failed to meet the deadline.

Lawmakers in both houses scoffed at the notion that the threat of losing pay prompted them to move the budget thorough on time.

The Senate voted 23-15 in favor of the main budget bill and the Assembly voted 51-23, both simple majority votes.

Brown, who is continuing to negotiate with Republican lawmakers to get his  tax extensions on the November ballot, now has 12 days to either sign or veto the budget package.

“If these taxes will not be put on the ballot, and if we’re going to retrench and retreat, then we are stirring up not a disaster this year, but we are furthering a decline that at some point becomes irreversible,” Brown said. “This battle this week is battle one, but there will be several more before we’re finished.”

Cuts enacted by lawmakers Wednesday include $150 million each to the UC and CSU systems, an additional $150 million to state courts, $1.7 billion in money that would come out of the state’s redevelopment agencies and nearly $3 billion in deferrals that would push repayments to K-12 education back another year.

The current budget looks to raise money through a $12 increase to the state’s vehicle registration fee, online sales tax revenue, the sale of two dozen state buildings and increased homeowner fees.

Republicans contend the budget package was a “missed opportunity,” and one that destroys job creation and continues the trend of spending more money than we bring in. Some suggested that Democrats acted simply to protect their own interests and avoid losing pay, California Watch said.

“We’ve been kicking the can down the road for the better part of 50 years. That’s why we’ve gotten into this mess where we are today,” said Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Stanislaus.

Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro issued a statement following the Senate vote.

“Democrats have demonstrated that they are truly out of touch with the people of California,” he said. “Instead of making the necessary and popular reforms to California’s bureaucracy, the Democrats have chosen to pass a legally suspicious budget to save their own paychecks. It’s now up to Jerry Brown to finally keep one of his promises, do the right thing, and say no to the Democrats’ gimmicks-based budget solution.”

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-San Fernando Valley, meanwhile, said Wednesday’s budget passage would become a “new precedent” for meeting the deadline in the future, and he stressed the difference between this year and last, when lawmakers passed the budget a record 100 days late, according to California Watch.

“The era of late budgets is over. Political paralysis will not delay the passage of this budget,” Blumenfield said, adding that while the deadline was over, the work of lawmakers on both sides was not. “We have new budgetary authority from the voters, and we used it today. To the few legislators who support a plan, our doors are open to talk.”


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23 Comments

  1. SLORider says:

    FACT is: Democrats and Republicans have been irresponsible for decades. Every time the money runs out the Dems ask for more taxes—then the Republicans concede to the “responsible reaction” crowd by agreeing to half what the Dems asked for.

    This is IRRESPONSIBLE.

    Meeting halfway every time the goal-post is moved, time after time, is not reasonable compromise–it’s allowing yourself to be led by the nose.

    STOP believing “the sky is falling”. Armageddon is predicted every election day unless we just raise taxes a bit more. Armageddon will only consist of the tantrum of Sacramento’s children being forced to clean their room and eat their vegetables. No more Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies.

    Republicans will be demonized, for sure, as will Democrats. Stupid Arnold and Maldonado deserve it. But not for standing firm—for caving. In Sacramento, caving is called “reasonable”. But that’s why the People have been blessed with final oversight of the process, should we choose to care. The People don’t have to cave to Sacramento, the threats, or partisan castigations.

    We the People voted in 2009 to keep the tax hikes to only two years instead of four. That was OUR VOTE, not the Republicans. Don’t you remember? Don’t you recall that it was the Republicans that caved into voting in 2-years of taxes, but only if the public was allowed to vote on whether we wanted 4-years? That was sell-out Maldonado’s doing, in exchange for the open primary disaster we now face (another topic entirely).

    So, the Republicans caved in 2009 into meeting half-way. The PEOPLE voted NO on the rest of the taxes. And here we are… the tax hikes are ending in 15 days.

    So, is it really unreasonable, irresponsible…. childish even? To tell Sacramento that we voted NO in 2009 and they better respect that? It appears so.

    Consider this the next time you hear a partisan attack:

    Homily ad Hominem: Appealing to a person’s feelings or prejudices, rather than his intellect, with a trite phrase designed to reinforce a subjective rather than objective view of a situation.

    (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
  2. hotdog says:

    Lots of whining here and across the nation. Fact is the republicans will not accept a responsible reaction to our money woes-reduce costs and raise revenues. It is very simple yet the hard nosed and childish ranting of the far right deafens any rational debate. Too bad, we will all lose in this environment of vitriol and tantrums.

    (-6) 10 Total Votes - 2 up - 8 down
    • srichison says:

      Two years ago they agreed to raise revenues. No one on the other side seemed to be willing to truly reduce costs. That’s what the stalemate is about this time. The republicans are saying reduce costs first, THEN we will put the tax increases to the voters. The left looks a lot like the citizens of Greece who are rioting to avoid austerity measures which will keep their country from default. Austerity in California is required. Yes, there is SOME more that can be confiscated by raising taxes. This time, though, the austerity needs to come first.

      (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
      • r0y says:

        Please don’t feed logic to the trolls of the left. No matter how easily something is spelled out, it always comes down to “eeeeevil repulican neo con nazi’s” (or whatever the cutesy comfort name is this year).

        And if you get TOO specific, well, someone might just have to scream out how st00pid sarah palin is! Yeah, that’s it! so st00pidz! LoL, she said party like it’s 1773 to the Tea Partiers… wow.

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  3. SLORider says:

    VETOED!!! Who do Democracts blame now?

    GUARANTEED NEXT MOVE: Dems will conspire with the unions to construct an “Armageddon” budget that threatens drastic cuts to all the usual favorites (teachers, firefighters, police, parks). Dems will purport the Armageddon budget as the only solution left if Republicans don’t vote for massive tax increases. Unions will spent big bucks to be the victims of the Republicans and will spread fear that California will close down and burn without more taxes. Brown will pretend to be the innocent onlooker blaming the Republicans and spinning lies that the public actually supports massive taxes and the Republicans are against the wishes of the entire universe.

    Grab a bag of popcorn because award winning public theater is at hand!

    (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
  4. standup says:

    Just keep feeding the correctional officer’s union you idiot Jerry Brown. Your nothing but a bought out sob in my opinion along with the rest of the stupid liberals in this state. Go jump off the plank.

    (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
    • hotdog says:

      wow, such anger. ‘your’ is possessive, you mean ‘you are’ or ‘you’re’. Are you part of the angry lower classes or just sloppy when writing?

      (-6) 10 Total Votes - 2 up - 8 down
      • SLORider says:

        I’m no English major, but I do have a ‘Shift’ key that gets pushed every time I start a sentence. So, of the two choices you offer above, which do you fit into? Only three posts up you make angry rants about the “far right”. How is your expression of speech any different than ‘standup’?

        Maybe we could stay on topic instead of doing the old “grammar/spelling-attack-to-prove-your-opponent-is-wrong-because-their-intelligence-is-clearly-sub-par” thing?

        (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
        • r0y says:

          Well, as they say, when logic and facts fail: name-call!

          (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
    • r0y says:

      Wow, you sound angry enough to be a liberal!

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  5. whatisup says:

    What liars – from the story: Lawmakers in both houses scoffed at the notion that the threat of losing pay prompted them to move the budget through on time.

    For the first time in twenty five years the CA budget is on time, but this had nothing to do with us passing prop 59, which dictates lawmakers would have forfeited their salary and per diem pay starting on June 16 (today) if they had failed to meet the deadline (permanently lose pay with no retroactive pay once budget is passed).

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • easymoney says:

      “Lawmakers in both houses scoffed at the notion that the threat of losing pay prompted them to move the budget through on time.”
      Could be, but interesting that this is the paramount item they have to do on time each year…
      And actually it’s back to the drawing board because moonbeam vetoed the proposed budget.
      http://www.ksby.com/full-coverage/california-budget-battle-2011/

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
    • Disgusted says:

      And they get their pay anyways, even though their thrown together budget was an unacceptable piece of work. Prop. 25 missed the bet on that one. Politics at its worst.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
      • whatisup says:

        Looks like a new prop. is needed that requires a balanced budget that the Gov. approves by June 15. If they miss, the legislature and Gov. lose their salaries and per diem pay until an approved budget is in place. The citizens of CA will eventually prevail.

        (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
      • srichison says:

        Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. We’ll see what the Controller’s analysis of the budget is. He well could decide that it didn’t meet the requirements set in the constitution (proposition) – not likely, but certainly possible. In that case, they lose their pay, anyway.

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • SLORider says:

      Not Prop 59 (2004) — you mean Prop 25 (2010). Prop 59 provided enhancements to transparency and the Public Records and Brown Acts.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  6. bobfromsanluis says:

    “Cuts enacted by lawmakers Wednesday include $150 million each to the UC and CSU systems, …” wow, how many UC and CSU Presidents and Regents would have to lose all of their salary in order to cut $150 million dollars a year? But you can bet that none of the Regents or university Presidents will see a single penny cut from their salaries, instead the cuts will most likely come out of cutting professors salaries, deferred maintenance and of course, increased fees for students. As for the increase in DMV fees, remember that Arnie campaigned on slashing the proposed increase in DMV fees, so this increase is simply those same fees having been deferred for the last several years; notice how crappy a lot of our freeways have become in those years? Internet sales tax laws have already passed in some six or eight states, so California will not be the first, and the more states that pass similar laws means that the internet vendors don’t really have a “tax haven” state to operate in to avoid having to collect sales taxes. The one point raised in the reporting here that really concerns me though is the “increase in homeowner fees”; in reading the link provided to California Watch and reading the entire article, it states that the increase in homeowner fees are to used to provide for fire response coverage, among other things, I am just curious what those “other things” could be. As for the Republicans voting in lockstep against the budget; is anyone really surprised? The “no new tax pledge” is absurd theatrics not based in any sort of realty other than complying with the Grover Norquist pledge that apparently all Republicans nationwide have to sign on to in order to be elected and keep their political position. The reality is that those in the top two to ten percent could afford an increase in the amount of taxes they pay without batting an eye, but any discussion about raising taxes is completely off the table which is really a shame.

    (-5) 13 Total Votes - 4 up - 9 down
    • r0y says:

      Wow. I’ll bet you that if 49 states passed internet sales tax laws, that 50th state would have a massive BOOM. Just let one state try to collect revenue from another’s citizens. Charging for state or sales tax across state lines is one thing, collecting them is a whole different world.

      I do agree with your sarcastic point on the CSU/UC regents and presidents… However, it seems ironic you immediately followed it with a general “tax the rich” mantra. What do you think happens to “the rich” when you tax them? You answered it with your UC/CSU comment: higher fees for users, and lower-totem-pole folks getting cut. Will it be any different if “the rich” are taxed more and more? Or will said “rich” likely move (like NY and NJ experienced in the last few years)? Will said “rich” turn around and increase prices of things they own (rentals, services, etc.)? Maybe some combination, who knows.

      I would just like more people to be more cautious when authorizing new or increased taxes from the government. I would much rather bear witness to honest, fair, across-the-board CUTS before taxes are increased. Is that a lot to ask for? Show me the details of the cuts, and I’ll vote for the tax increase. Never before the cuts.

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  7. whatdouno says:

    How can they possibly put more fees on homeowners? With the majority of people in mortgages that are underwater while they struggle to hang on this may be the final straw to break the camel’s back. We need more foreclosures like a dam needs a crack in it. Does the State want to run the rest of the business owners out of California and drive everyone to renting?

    (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
  8. choprzrul says:

    “The current budget looks to raise money through a $12 increase to the state’s vehicle registration fee, online sales tax revenue…”

    News Flash: Start forcing companies to collect sales tax from online transactions and you will see a mass exodus from California of their associates. Those companies, their subsidiaries, partners, and associates will either locate outside of the state or will stop being used.

    The net result is California jobs will be lost. That means more people on the public teet sucking up unemployment and entitlement benefits. Sure, sales tax revenue might have a small gain from their actions, but those gains will be far less than the net effect of job loss.

    Who is going to pay the bills once Sacramento has ran off all of the businesses in the state? Who is going to provide employment?

    (12) 20 Total Votes - 16 up - 4 down
    • racket says:

      Don’t be an idiot with your rhetorical questions.

      The state will provide all the employment, and the state employees will pay the taxes that fund the employees.

      We don’t need no steenkin’ industry in California.

      We don’t need no steenkin’ businesses in California.

      All we need are more good payin’ government jobs.

      And that’s what the forward-thinking dems in Sacto are working toward.

      (0) 14 Total Votes - 7 up - 7 down

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