Today the California Legislature considered two budget proposals, one from the Republicans and one from the Democrats. The conversation revolved more around ideology than substance, with very little actually being said about the proposals themselves.
Republicans claimed to represent the priorities of most Californians with their budget proposal, which would cut many health and human services, and eliminate CalWORKs, Child Care, and severely cut IHSS. They blamed the state’s budget shortfall on Democrats’ failure to take action in February and continued to beat the”raising taxes” and “job killer” drums. They propose $12.4 billion in expenditure reductions.
Democrats contend that the real “job killer” is a budget that eliminates both public and private sector jobs with the cuts proposed by Republicans. Senator Denise Ducheny, Chair of the Budget Conference Committee, argued that the Republican plan would eliminate one of the most successful Welfare-to-Work programs in the country in order to pay for a $4 billion tax cut to corporations. Some legislators relayed touching personal stories of constituents that have already suffered or would suffer as a result of budget cuts, while Senator Gil Cedillo expressed utter disbelief that the Republicans could even propose such a budget. “REALLY?” he asked repeatedly, before pointing out that Ronald Reagan raised taxes to help build California to it’s current greatness. “What would Ronald Reagan do?” he asked.
Additional notable quotables:
Senator Mark Leno on the Republican proposal: “This budget takes us backwards, it is a ‘starve the beast of government budget’ that dismantles all we’ve built over the last decades.”
Senator Gloria Romero on the need to preserve health and human services: “We all want to live within our means – we can live within our means without actually mean.”
Both budget proposals failed to pass both houses.
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