California state budget? We shall see.

California legislators—yours and mine—passed a state budget this morning that will close the budget gap without, get this, raising taxes or cutting services much. How do they do this? Through a series of accounting tricks. Such as this one: counting revenue expected in the next fiscal year as coming this year. Another? They’ll be boosting tax withholdings for workers—even though the money will be refunded later in the year. In sum, it’s no long-term solution, just a game of smoke and mirrors. “They basically punted the ball down the field,” Mike Herald of the Western Center on Law and Poverty told the Contra Costa Times, “and delayed all the pain and anxiety until next year rather than deal with it now.” And, in any case, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has threatened to veto the plan…so I wouldn’t say we’re quite there yet. As the details emerge over the next couple of days and weeks we’ll be able to get a clearer sense of how it will impact Alameda.


  • JA Boyer

    While your description of the tax collection practice is right on, there were service cuts to elderly and disabled services, childrens health care, medical and other safety net services.

    Additionally, the budget as adopted includes 7.7% cuts to redevelopment tax increment funds. So the legislature avoided taking general fund money which pays for police, fire, recreation, etc. and instead is taking away economic development monies.

    Will the Governor sign and if he doesn’t, will the legislature override his veto?

  • http://www.mikemcmahon.info Mike McMahon

    In addition, there needs to be voter approval of the lottery securization next year. Oh boy another election.

  • http://www.next10.org/challenge Soph575

    Get your voice heard! With the legislature and governor struggling with the budget now is the most important time to express your opinions on the budget. Try the California Budget Challenge. The nonpartisan Challenge allows you to craft your own version of the state budget. You can experience all the trade-offs involved as you decide what to spend and what to tax as well as what to do on a variety of other issues facing the state. You can then alert your legislators and the governor of the policy choices you made. Get involved! Try it for yourself: http://www.next10.org/challenge