Is the proposed state budget the best we can expect from our lame Legislators?

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Is the proposed California budget the best we can expect from the lame legislators in Sacramento?

An editorial in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle opines that while the proposed budget stinks, it is the best that our lame legislators, and our Governor, can come up with.  Here are a few excerpts from that editorial:

There are hundreds of reasons to hate this package. But there is one overpowering, compelling reason that legislators should approve it: It is the best possible deal that we can imagine out of a dismal reality – economic and political – that has left California government at the brink of insolvency.

All along, we have maintained that “shared sacrifice” would need to be the underpinning of any responsible solution to the $42 billion shortfall through the next fiscal year. This deal represents shared sacrifice – and political courage on the part of each participant in the “Big 5” negotiations between the governor and four legislative leaders.

In some cases, the sacrifices were acutely personal.

For Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, this deal required backtracking on one of his keystone promises of the 2003 recall campaign: the reduction in vehicle-license fees. Those annual fees will nearly double to 1.15 percent of a vehicle’s value.

For Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, the deal would allow the tapping of one of signature accomplishments: a special fund that was set aside for mental-health services.

For Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, a Baldwin Vista Democrat, the bill would cut back funding on some of the social services she has championed.

For Republican leaders Mike Villines of the Assembly and Dave Cogdill of the Senate, the deal would shatter a no-new-taxes pledge at a time when conservative activists and talk-radio hosts are turning up the heat.

In return, Democrats got tax increases to help save programs, and Republicans got labor-law concessions and agreement on long-term budget reform. Each will be able to say that he or she made excruciatingly tough choices that kept a state with the nation’s worst bond rating from spiraling deeper into an abyss where it couldn’t pay its bills, couldn’t keep its workers, couldn’t sustain basic services and couldn’t summon the wherewithal to get public-works projects rolling as an antidote to recession.

The one thing we loathe worse than this package of unpleasant actions … is the alternative.


About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.