READER’S EDITORIAL: THE GOVERNOR MUST LEAD

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“Senate Democrats are proposing a fair and practical budget that includes an intelligent tax reform proposal and more local control of services… Our Republican colleagues seem to view even more cuts to schools, public safety and women and children’s services as a virtuous end in itself. They are not – cuts hurt Californians and the economy.”

By Senator Christine Kehoe
 

August 18, 2010 (San Diego) -- The Governor’s latest tactics for negotiating the budget are unnecessary when he has better ways to help forge an agreement. The first round of furloughs were poorly planned and executed; it is doubtful they saved the taxpayers much money.

 

Employees who bring in revenue or who are paid with federal funds were furloughed, further reducing state income. Employment Development Department workers were furloughed just when our unemployment rate was at its highest. That caused delays in issuing checks and untold hardship for thousands of San Diegans, and it reduced spending in San Diego during the worst of the recession.

There are more productive ways to deal with employees. For example, after 6½ years of stalemate, the governor successfully negotiated contracts with six state labor unions that included pension reforms. To me, that’s a perfect example of how to reach an agreement using reasonable, good-faith efforts. It’s an example of the action the Governor has so frequently promised and so seldom delivered.
 

Senate Democrats are proposing a fair and practical budget that includes an intelligent tax reform proposal and more local control of services. We are prepared to once again make painful cuts out of necessity. Our Republican colleagues seem to view even more cuts to schools, public safety and women and children’s services as a virtuous end in itself. They are not – cuts hurt Californians and the economy. We have already reduced the state budget by nearly $43 billion in just the past two years.
 

I want to vote on a budget as soon as possible. It is unacceptable to say we should wait for the next Governor. This Governor is in a position to lead rather than bully, if he so chooses.
 

Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee in the State Capitol. The opinions reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. If you wish to submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.