Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The state budget impasse drags on...
|Six weeks past the constitutional deadline for a state budget, everyone has “drawn lines in the sand” in Sacramento. Republicans won’t raise taxes, Democrats won’t go for a real spending cap and the governor promises to veto any legislation that crosses his desk unrelated to the state budget until the budget is negotiated and done.
These stand-offs are affecting everyone: state workers and contractors are facing pay cuts and layoffs, and right here in Orange County an important piece of legislation is stalled by the governor’s veto pledge, even though he supports the bill. AB 3034 would increase financial oversight and make funding more flexible for the high-speed rail network proposed by November’s Proposition 1. This legislation ensures that a planned high-speed rail line has a stop in Anaheim, solid financial controls, private funding, as well as access to state bond funding. Unfortunately, the deadline to place these amendments on the November ballot has passed.
Deadlines tend to be “fluid” this time of year in Sacramento, but the threat to this project's benefits to Orange County is very real. The business community is hoping that these public pronouncements by Sacramento’s leaders are part of the ritual “kabuki budget dance” and that, as has been reported, real progress is being made behind closed doors. Too much is at stake.
Budget balancing is hard. Can you do it? Check out next10.org and tell me your priorities.