California Budget Rapture is Near

Bachardy's portrait of California Governor Jer...
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A fist fight between opposing views on the State budget broke out at the California Legislature just before the Democrat-sponsored State Budget was approved anyway and sent to Democrat Governor Jerry Brown.  But Brown vetoed the budget sent him by fellow democrats saying it was full of gimmicks and did not solve the problem.

He told them to talk the Republicans into allowing voters to decide whether to extend the current temporary sales and income tax increases as a bridge and to find more cuts in budget categories or else.

This is Jerry Brown at his finest!

He knows every legislative and political trick in the books and he obviously surprised the Democrats by not rolling over for their latest attempt to kick the can down the road.

Why were they doing it?

Voters approved a ballot Initiative last election that stops legislative paychecks if they fail to approve a balanced budget on time.  So the Legislature approved a budget they called balanced in time—the first time in decades—to meet that paycheck deadline betting that fellow Democrat Jerry Brown would let them get away with this smoke and mirrors trick.


The Governor knew he would have to live with a flawed budget and thus would get all the blame for making draconian cuts needed to make up for the gimmicks the Legislature approved.  So in vetoing the budget he told them to try again.

So angry was Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg that he announced he was halting Senate consideration of Governor Brown’s appointments and there would be no further confirmations for an indefinite period of time.


Pressure on the Legislature to approve a realistic state budget is compounded by bad economic news.  California employers shed 29,200 jobs from payrolls in May after several months of job growth had boosted California’s estimated revenue for the year. California’s unemployment rate still fell to 11.7% from 11.8% in April, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

California was not alone in this bad economic news as only 54,000 jobs were added in May and the national unemployment rate grew to 9.1%. First quarter job growth averaged 220,000 jobs a month. Add falling home prices and lower retail sales and consumer confidence numbers and you see why Governor Brown was tired of waiting for the Legislature to do its job.


Jim Boren, an editorial writer for the Fresno Bee, summed up the nasty mood pervading the State with this editorial:

“Here’s more evidence that we need a part-time Legislature in California: It took lawmakers almost six months to come up with a phony budget, which Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed within hours of its passage. Part-timers couldn’t have done any worse, and likely would have solved the problem.

The Sacramento political establishment scoffs at the thought of a part-time Legislature for many reasons. If lawmakers are part time, their staffs would be part time. The public relations professionals and lobbyists, who operate full time, would have less work.

A full-time but dysfunctional California Legislature works for everyone except the taxpayer. We have a system in Sacramento that has morphed into a moneytree for the political class.”

And so it goes.


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