The senator spoke on a broad range of subjects. For the first time in his career, he even used Power Point presentation in an effort to focus his often rambling style.
Among his comments:
- Predicted the budget impasse may soon end, citing an afternoon scheduled caucus conference call and an order to appear in Sacramento on Monday. The other driving factor may be that without a budget, Caltrans will soon have to start shutting down construction projects.
- The budget stumbling blocks include the governor’s demand for a hard spending cap, a restriction Democrats fear will hurt education and social programs. The governor also wants a bigger rainy day fund and a deal with SEIU that would require the the state’s clerks, janitors and other service workers to contribute more to their public employee pensions.
- Described his disappointment at the Legislature’s failure to seriously consider the budget reforms developed by California Forward and passed out of committees in both the Senate and the Assembly. In response, he has created a campaign committee that will work to place the reforms on the ballot in 2012. They include performance-based budgeting, a requirement that all legislation for new programs identify a source of funds and a multi-year budget.
- Announced his work on what he called “red teams,” collaborations between the state and the county to help businesses keep their doors open. “We know the best way to create jobs is to keep the ones you have,” he said.
- On the subject of dead governors, DeSaulnier admits to a certain amount of hostility when he looks at the portrait in the Capitol of the father of California’s nearly 100 year initiative process, Hiram Johnson.