It seems like there might be a deal to get Senator Maldonado’s vote. Preliminary reports indicate some changes in the tax mix (such as taking out the gas tax), and constitutional amendments on the ballot on matters such as an open primary.
We’ll know more as the day progresses, but let’s be clear. For health and human services, there is no victory here. There are significant $15 billion in cuts on top of $19 billion cuts in previous years. Yes, there are some revenues, but they are temporary. Other corporate tax giveaways are permanent, further squeezing the general fund. And there’s a spending cap that could handcuff California for a generation, not just preventing the state from restoring these cuts, but even forcing additional cuts in the future.
If this deal passes, health advocates have a lot of work to do, immediately, especially with explaining to the public at large the full impacts of the cuts made, and the future impacts of that cap on health, education, and other vital services.