Republican state budget reform proposal


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Midnight on June 15th is the official date for a budget agreement in our state legislature. Obviously that date has now passed. As posted previously over 150 concerned citizens participated in a “Taxed to the Max” rally at the Capitol on June 11th after which we hand delivered 28,000 petitions promoting NO NEW TAXES to the appropriate legislators offices.

 So what happens now you may ask?

“The real need to have a budget in place is the beginning of the new fiscal year, July 1. In fact, the last time a budget was passed by June 15 was in 1986—20 years ago.”

The following was just received from Republican Senator Tom Harman

6/18/2008

Republican Budget Reforms Will Limit Spending, Protect Taxpayers

Plan Establishes Spending Limit, New Rainy Day Fund to End Chronic Deficits

Senate and Assembly Republicans today unveiled a fiscally-responsible budget reform plan that establishes a spending limit and a rainy day fund. Republicans said these reforms are vital to getting state spending under control and preventing severe deficits from hurting Californians in the future.

“California has faced chronic budget problems for one simple reason – an out-of-control budget system that requires lawmakers to spend more than we take in each year,” said Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill, of Modesto. “It’s time to end the budget madness once and for all. Our spending limit will help get California back on track by prohibiting reckless overspending and creating a new rainy day fund, while protecting hard-working Californians from higher taxes.”

The budget reform proposed by Republicans establishes a spending limit that restricts how much the Legislature can increase state spending each year to the combined percentage change in the state’s population growth and inflation, which currently averages about 5 percent. It also creates a new rainy day reserve fund to be used when the state is facing a fiscal emergency or natural disaster.

Under this plan, as the economy rebounds and revenues increase, the Legislature will be forced to prioritize spending to stay within the spending limit. Any additional revenues above and beyond the spending limit will go into the rainy day fund and be used to pay off state debt. Once the reserve reaches the maximum amount or the debt is repaid, any remaining dollars will fund temporary reductions in the state sales tax.

Republicans said that California would continue to face budget uncertainty if lawmakers didn’t take action now to fix a broken system that forces the Legislature to overspend when times are lean and allows politicians to overspend instead of save when times are good. A recent poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California showed 68 percent of Californians supported enacting a spending limit like the measure proposed by Republicans.

Republican lawmakers said that passing budget reform was essential to making progress in ending the state’s long-term budget problems once and for all. Enacting a spending limit will also allow California to pay down budgetary debt, maintain a stable level of funding for state programs, protect the budget from revenue volatility during tough economic times and save more money for times of emergency.

“All across California, families are struggling to pay increasing prices for food and record prices for fuel, while their mortgage payments go up and their home values go down,” said Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines, of Fresno. “Republicans are ready to get the job done and solve our state’s fiscal problems not just this year, but for future years in the best interest of all Californians.”

Senate and Assembly Republicans also reaffirmed their opposition to tax increases, which they say will only hinder economic growth and cost Californians their jobs.

Today’s budget reform proposal is the latest in a series of reform proposals legislative Republicans have put forward that would reduce spending and jumpstart our economy. The reform measures would have also put more dollars in the classroom during this tough budget year and let government stretch limited budget dollars to their fullest.

Juice readers. When do you think the big 5 will agree on the new budget?

Will it contain new taxes, increased fees, Bond Measures or a combination of all three?

 


About Larry Gilbert