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Legislating Under Duress

by: Brian Leubitz

Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:23:06 AM PST


(I'll be on the Bay Area's Green 960 tonight with Angie Coiro to talk about the budget mess. I should be on around 7:15. You can stream live here. - promoted by Brian Leubitz)

After a few failed attempts at a vote on the most recent majority vote package, the Governor is threatening a veto if he doesn't get some "stimulus." By way of explaining what the Governor's words really mean, please just replace the word "stimulus" with "screw California's workers."  After all, it's not like Schwarzenegger thinks we can give some sort of tax break or anything, no he's talking about cutting overtime to employees, allowing shorter breaks, and generally taking a machete to worker's rights in this state.  So, you know, we'll be "stimulated."

Both houses of the Legislature attempted to get a vote done last night, but that was pushed back to this morning:

Both houses of the Legislature were to convene this evening to vote on a new Democratic budget plan that raises taxes without two-thirds votes but the sessions were delayed as legislative leaders negotiated for a signature from Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger reportedly was demanding concessions from Democrats on regulatory and labor laws that business groups have been demanding - changes that the Democrats' allies in labor and environmental groups strongly oppose. (SacBee 12/17/08

This really is a strange situation, the Governor knows that he has a bit of leverage on this with the Legislative Republicans out of the picture, so he's back to his right-wingish self. Attacking labor and quietly expanding the Chamber of Commerce's stranglehold over the Horseshoe, he really is getting a knack for this. And yet, the situation is such that negotiation on these terms is mandatory, despite the fact that Arnold's ridiculous "Car Tax" BS caused all of this.  Shock Doctrine anyone?

Meanwhile, Tony Strickland, showing his true stripes, has got the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's, and other assorted rightwingers all ready for a lawsuit against the proposed deal. If you happen to be in the Capitol, check out their presser this morning at 10 in Room 4203. If this gets a signature, we will surely see a lawsuit about 3 seconds afterwards. And no amount of Arnold cozying up to Jon Coupal on Prop 11 will avoid that.

UPDATE: Shane Goldmacher is reporting that Speaker Bass thinks the Governor will sign the bill as revised.  The bill includes some, but not all, of the Governor's "stimulus" ideas.

Brian Leubitz :: Legislating Under Duress
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Speaking of Tony Strickland (0.00 / 0)
Guess who he hired as his press secretary? None other than Jenifer Kerns, who most recently served as press person for the Yes on Prop 8 Campaign:
http://www.mydd.com/story/2008...

Real moderate there, huh?

I think?


Here's my Christmas wish (0.00 / 0)
I wish that progressives in the Legislature would turn their considerable talents to the entire security infrastructure and start to weed out the costly waste that exists there.  For example, the parole system, the huge overhead at CDCR, the new and expensive background checks for nearly everything.  They have access to much more examples than I do.  They need to have some backbone and start to build a list of the excessive stuff.

Then they go to the Republicans and say, "We got a list.  You got a list. Lets make a deal."

I know that education is a big target, but I have seen nothing about cutting back on the security infrastruture.


Well, when you fail to educate your youth (0.00 / 0)
you have to have somewhere to warehouse the result...

[ Parent ]
Wait, what? (0.00 / 0)
You mean consistently lowering education standards won't attract high-tech and high-paying businesses to California?

I was promised a pony!


[ Parent ]
From the mouth of bureaucrats (0.00 / 0)
There are certain axioms with bureaucrats.  See if you can catch the common theme.

The Governor goes to the CDCR and says, "You MUST cut $500 million from your budget.  Its up to you to tell me the best way to do it."  CDCR comes back and says, "Let's just stop parole supervision (with a couple of exceptions)."

The CDCR bureaucrats know that its a program that will 1) save $500 million  (I'm making this number up--I don't really know how much it would save) and 2)will enrage the public so much that the politicians won't agree to it.  Would the bureaucrats ever suggest cutting some of the top-heavy bureaucracy?  Would they every talk about some of the overtime excesses?  Would they talk about pension calculations that apply to overtime?  Of course not.  Those kinds of cuts are politically acceptable and would be implemented.  Cutting parole?  Not so much.

Are CDCR bureaucrats the only ones who do this?  Of course not.  It is the nature of bureaucracy to suggest the very worst when it comes to budget cuts.  

I believe that an honest assessment of CDCR from an outside agency would find tons of waste and duplication.  We can get by with much less and be just as safe.

I also believe that such an assessment of education would also yield results.  

I know that some think that there is not one ounce of fat in state government--that we just need to start being honest about what things cost.  I just don't believe it.


[ Parent ]
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