Lots of tough words are flying back and forth across the aisle as the Legislature has sent a Democratic party-line budget to Gov. Jerry Brown.
From state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro:
“Today Democrats have passed a balanced budget and respected the state constitutional deadline and voters’ wishes. While this was the responsible thing to do, it is heartbreaking. Republicans were unwilling to give voters the option to avoid cuts and slashing funding for courts and education.”
“This deadline, and our commitment to meet it, has been known to all, including Republicans, since Proposition 25 passed last November. Republicans’ steadfast resistance to putting another option before voters – to ask whether to continue taxes at their current level instead of letting them expire – is undemocratic.
“The truth is we have no other option to pass a budget that is balanced. Without more revenue, the only option left is to make awful cuts. And these come after we already made $11 billion of tough cuts in March.
“There is no doubt we can do better – we must do better – for California and its future. I call on Republicans to consider the consequences of what is happening here today, and ask all Californians to contact Republican legislators and demand another option.”
“The bill now goes to the governor, who will continue to seek Republican support for an alternative to this harsh, all-cuts budget. All Californians should contact the governor and Republican legislators today to demand a more equitable solution.”
From state Senators Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto; Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres; Bill Emmerson, R-Hemet; and Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, the four Republicans seen as pivotal to a budget deal:
“Today’s actions prove that the bridge tax isn’t a stumbling block – it’s political theater. The real stumbling block for the Majority Party are the unions and trial lawyers demanding they block the reform proposals we have been pushing for months.
“Instead of a political drill, today we could have had a real bipartisan budget – one that allows voters to weigh in on Governor Brown’s tax proposal as well as a hard spending cap, significant reforms to our broken pension system, and improvements to California’s business climate to spur the economy and get people back to work.”
From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:
“Today, through their inexplicable refusal to engage in a responsible and balanced budget solution, Republican legislators have forced an additional $300M in devastating cuts to our public universities.
“For six months, Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders have tried to work with Republican legislators to reach common-sense, common-ground solutions to California’s budget problems that would have minimized already enormous cuts to the University of California and California State University systems, the cornerstone of California’s economic engine.
“But, even after Democrats passed $12.5B of budget cuts in March, including $1B from higher education, Republican lawmakers have been incapable and unwilling to meet anywhere near the middle.
“These cuts are penny wise and pound foolish and threaten to further damage a stretched-to-the-limit public university system that was once the envy of the world. In volatile economic times, we should be investing in our universities to ensure we are producing the highly-skilled, educated workforce California needs to compete in the global economy.
“If Republicans want to walk the walk on job creation and attract and retain businesses in California, they should immediately return to the table and negotiate a good-faith solution that reverses these additional cuts to the State’s universities.”
From Board of Equalization member George Runner:
“Make no mistake, this Democrat budget isn’t about solving California’s fiscal problems—it’s only goal is to ensure lawmakers keep their paychecks flowing.
“When voters last fall granted Democrats their wish of majority-vote budgets, they demanded lawmakers forfeit their pay if those budgets are not approved on-time. But it was never the voters’ intention for lawmakers to approve a sham budget simply to keep their paychecks coming.
“What’s worse is that to protect their own pay, Democrats are poised to sacrifice the paychecks of thousands of California small businesses known as affiliates. Up to 25,000 of these Internet entrepreneurs will lose their affiliate status if Democrats approve a so-called ‘Amazon tax.’ According to the Board of Equalization’s analysis, ‘termination of affiliate programs would have an adverse impact on state employment’ and ‘lead to lower revenues.’
“The dumbest idea of all is the Democrats’ plan to sell state buildings for one-time revenue. If lawmakers want real one-time dollars, they should consider my proposals to raise billions in revenue by (1) granting an interest and penalty holiday to spur collection of delinquent tax payments and (2) selling-off aging debts owed the state.”
More, after the jump…