We have been dealing with the worst economic crisis in recent California history. Difficult choices have had to be made in order to protect education from the most devastating cuts, stop the elimination of aid for low-income college students and those transitioning from welfare to work, and keep most state parks open.
I have held forums throughout our district. By large margins, residents’ preferred approach was to protect our schools, social services and other state programs with new revenues, like the oil drilling fee or increased tobacco taxes, rather than cuts. But with every Republican legislator refusing to support new revenue and California requiring a two-thirds vote to increase taxes, our preferred path was not available.
Clearly, reform of our budgetary process is needed to achieve a balanced approach to future budgets. While California voters recently did away with the 2/3-vote requirement for the Legislature to pass the basic state budget bill, the budget still cannot be balanced fairly because of the remaining 2/3-vote requirement to raise new revenues. I remain committed to changing California’s 2/3-vote requirement and restoring majority budget approval.