Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Oct 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Budget Crisis

bill_MonningWhat is the difference between the Democrat’s budget proposal that failed passage last week and Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal?


The irony about the Democratic budget that failed passage last week is that 45 percent of the proposals we voted on were the exact same proposals as those in the governor’s May revise.  Of the remaining portion of the budget proposed last week, at least 93 percent contained a portion of the governor’s budget proposals.  ( It may be ironic, but I doubt readers will applaud how aligned with the governor the Dems are. Best not to draw attention to the similarities, since most people seem to loathe the governor’s proposal right now.

How about instead: The governor’s proposal to bridge the $24 billion deficit does so with $16 billion worth of cuts which slice deeply into the social safety net.

The budget I supported saved programs assisting the state’s most vulnerable and needy citizens, protected local governments, state parks, and CalGrants.  The governor’s budget would have eliminated CalWORKs, Healthy Families, and Adult Day Care, would have borrowed $2 billion, or 8 percent of  of local government revenues, closed 220 state parks, and phased out CalGrants.  The Democrats budget raises $2 billion dollars by taxing cigarettes, oil extraction and establishing a $15 vehicle fee to fund the parks.

 

Over the past few weeks, the Budget Conference Committee held hearings that were attended by thousands of Californians.  Teachers, counselors, nurses, and education support professionals, who had already received layoff notices, testified as to the harm that would befall our students if the governor’s proposed budget reductions were made.  Californians receiving In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) testified that the governor’s virtual elimination of the program would have forced them, along with approximately 394,000 other IHSS recipients, into more expensive state-funded nursing homes.  College students stated that if the governor’s plan to phase out CalGrants was implemented they would most likely have no other option than to drop out of school.

The governor’s plan was not balanced and did not ask every Californian to sacrifice in order to help the greater good.  While the Democratic budget plan still had to make funding reductions to vital state programs, it asks that everyone share the pain.  In my opinion, the Democratic budget proposal made painful but responsible choices.

The Budget Conference Committee recently recommended a proposal to keep the state parks open.  What does the proposal entail and how will it benefit California’s state parks?

I strongly disagree with the governor’s proposal to close 220 California state parks because their safe operation is essential to sustaining local economies and to the very preservation of life.  California’s state parks are economic engines that generate over $4.2 billion in jobs and revenues to local communities.  Park staff also provide life-saving interventions and last year engaged in 133 aquatic rescues and 47 major medical incidents in Santa Cruz County alone.  Elimination of these services will most certainly result in the loss of human life.

The proposal by the Budget Conference Committee would keep the state parks open with a $15 per vehicle registration fee, and generate $420 million annually. This idea was first proposed last year by former Assemblymember John Laird and would pay for all the expenses associated with operating the parks statewide and permit any vehicle with a valid California license plate to enter a state park. It is working well in other states, and could work here, too.

This option represents a reasonable alternative to the closure of parks and I encourage those who would like to keep the state parks open to contact the governor to let him know they support this targeted fee increase.

Recently, Assembly Bill 761 (AB 761), by Assemblymember Charles Calderon, was heard on the Assembly Floor.  Can you describe the intent of this bill and explain why you voted against it?

AB 761 seeks to enact vacancy decontrol in California mobile-home parks.  Currently, local governments have the ability to institute rent control policies for mobilehome parks and if AB 761 becomes law it will allow owners of mobilehome parks to increase the rental rate of any unit by as much as 100 percent upon the vacancy of a unit starting in 2017.

Mobile homes are an affordable housing option for people interested in living on the Central Coast and a large number of mobilehome residents are senior citizens on fixed incomes.  For many mobile home owners, their mobilehome is not only their residence, it often represents the investment of their life savings.

AB 761 threatens to destroy the value of these investments and I could not in good conscience support the bill when it was heard on the Assembly Floor.  Unfortunately, the bill passed out of the Assembly and is currently in the Senate.  I encourage those concerned about this issue to contact their State Senator and express their opposition to this damaging measure.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Not Cool

Even Bill Murray’s hipster cred can’t elevate ‘St. Vincent’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Back Nine Grill & Bar

The secrets of remodeling and juicy steak

 

What is Santa Cruz’s biggest eyesore?

David Finn, Santa Cruz, Graduate Student

 

Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese