PCOC - Spring 2010 - (Page 23)

statecapitolReport What Is Past Is Prologue By Dominic DiMare Legislative Advocate for PCOC We thought about taking one of the three previous articles that we have written for this publication and resubmitting it for this edition to see if anyone noticed (aside from the editors). It seems like every article we write has the same theme: the condition of the budget is bad; legislators and the governor don’t know how to fix the budget; and voters are angry. What we would give for some new material. Our title is taken from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and much to our dismay (and as you will see to yours) serves as a bleak omen for us and for you, the reader. California law requires a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature to raise taxes and to pass a budget. Each dire budget and the draconian cuts that accompany them increase the despair of public sector labor unions and advocates for the poor. The condition of the budget is bad. According to the governor’s Department of Finance, which recently released the governor’s proposed budget for the 201011 fiscal year, California is facing an $18.8 billion deficit. The governor and the Legislature need to fi nd a way to fi ll this deficit during their next round of daunting budget deliberations. Revenues for 2009 are being reported at $1.5 billion below the original estimates. Of course, this is due in large to the poor performance of the economy. Revenues generated from personal income taxes, which are roughly 40 percent of the overall revenues collected by the state, were down. Also, sales tax and other miscellaneous revenues were down. Not surprisingly, the tax revenues generated from the sale of alcohol were up during 2009 … a trend that is likely to continue. Legislators and the governor don’t know how to fi x the imbalanced budget. As we have reported before, all of the PCOC / SPRING 2010 low-hanging fruit, as well as most of the middle-hanging fruit, has been picked. What’s left are the really draconian choices. The Legislature has very tough decisions ahead – where to borrow (local governments), where to cut (more social services) and where to raise taxes (not in this economy). The governor provided the State of the State address on Jan. 6, 2010. He indicated during his address that there would be severe cuts, and he wasn’t kidding. The proposed budget was released two days later and showed entire programs being eliminated. Programs like CalWORKS, In Home Support Services (IHSS) and Healthy Families were completely wiped out. You can imagine this did not sit well with the Democrats in the Legislature. The Democrats would rather see increased taxes than the abolishment of fi nancial assistance for the poor and indigent. It’s going to be an ugly fight this year; you can bet on it.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Spring 2010

PCOC - Spring 2010
President’s Message
Martyn’s Corner
Tackling a Multi-Unit Housing Bed Bug Problem
State Capitol Report
Capitol Scope
Firm Profile
Ten Ways to Cut Fuel Costs
Africanized Honeybee Certification Renewal
Seven Keys to an Effective and Profi table Web site
Index to Advertisers

PCOC - Spring 2010