Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Apr 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

How to Fix a Broken State

budget_100bucksAssemblyman Monning discusses state affairs at Town Hall meeting
With local unemployment hovering around 15 percent and social and educational services being cut left and right, Assemblyman Bill Monning stood in front of a crowded Town Hall meeting Thursday, April 30 and delivered the news that the hard times are not over. “The wave that has hit California that we call the Recession is rooted in the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression,” he said, “and we are still trying to find our way out of that.”

Monning went on to attribute many of the problems that California faces to the difficulties in raising revenue and passing the budget, both of which require a two-third vote in the assembly and senate (California is the only state with a two-third requirement for both passing budgets and raising revenue). This means that when the state found itself with an unforeseen deficit of 35 percent last year, (that’s $60 billion less than expected in 18 months) spending couldn’t be adjusted or revenue raised—and before you knew it California was handing out IOU’s to its employees.

Changing the two-third clause in the state constitution is possible, says Monning, but remains unlikely due to the two-third vote it requires to pass in both the assembly and the senate--essentially asking the minority to forfeit its present leverage. The two other means of reform--a citizen initiative or California constitutional convention--face the challenge of raising sufficient resources to collect signatures and combat the anti-tax crusade such measures would inevitably meet.

All is not gloom and doom, though. The passage of healthcare reform will provide coverage to around 4.5 million Californians, with children receiving the greatest coverage the fastest. While that still leaves many without coverage, Monning (who sits as the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health) made it clear that the healthcare bill does not prevent states from developing and implementing their own healthcare systems, providing the potential to extend and manage coverage within California--although considering our financial woes, such a system may remain a few years off.

bill_MonningQuestions following Monning’s address covered topics from the economy and budget cuts to local services, to immigration reform and offshore drilling. Frustration was apparent in many who spoke (one woman said she would need a few hours to have all of her questions answered) but seemed centered on the condition of California, not the job that Monning is doing in response to it.

A rather timely concern was expressed about the use of Methyl Iodide, a highly toxic pesticide used before large-scale farming operations. Monning reiterated his stance against the use of the pesticide and the potential health and safety threats it posses to farm workers. However, the following day (Friday, April 30) the California Department of Pesticide Regulation proposed registration of the pesticide for use in California. In a press release, Monning expressed disappointment with the proposal and a “hope that DPR will reconsider its decision.”

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Dark Magic

40 years on the movie beat in Santa Cruz
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

If you could live in Santa Cruz in any era besides now, which would you choose?

Probably the ’70s, because Santa Cruz is such a fly-your-freak-flag place. That was when free love and hippiness was in vogue. Shane Reber, Santa Cruz, Caretaker

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise