The California state legislature sauntered back from their month long July vacation on August 1 and promptly got back to what they were doing before, which is virtually nothing of substance about passing a budget. Now September is nearly here and there has still been no forward motion on a budget. Goodness, just because the state constitution mandates that a budget be passed by June 30, and it’s already two months late, is certainly no reason for our esteemed legislators to work themselves into a tizzy doing what they were elected to do.
Truly, it’s certainly better for them to sit and think about a number of things, then vote on competing budgets that had no chance of passing and in fact, didn’t. This was, according to Assembly Speaker Perez, a “next logical step” in the process he has been promising for months, a way to get “a honest appraisal of where people are at.” Excuse me, but I think we already know that. Republicans want to slash spending to the bone and not have any new taxes because they delude themselves into thinking this will somehow grow the economy. Meanwhile, Democrats want to keep spending mostly as it is while imposing a bunch of new fees and taxes that magically won’t actually increase anyone’s taxes. Do I have that right? And is there any question as to where the respective sides are at?
The problem is both sides in the legislature are ideologically fixated as well as being beholden to their special interest groups and donors. They can stonewall the budget for months more. Hey, it’s not hurting them. Plus it’s a wonderful fund-raising opportunity.