Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The Associated Press reports that pink slips are now being readied for some 20,000 state workers in California after another late-night session failed to produce a budget bill.
Legislators could not find the one last Republican needed to join the other two who have already pledged their votes for a budget that includes $15.1 billion in spending cuts, $14.4 billion in tax increases, and $11.4 billion in new borrowing.
The huge tax increases continue to be the major stumbling block for the minority party.
Without a budget, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is making good on his promise to cut payrolls by roughly 10 percent in corrections, health and human services, and other areas.
On the local news last night, one of the Republicans whose vote was being sought commented that what he wanted for his 'yes' vote was a bill that required salary to state legislators to cease on the first day that a budget deadline comes and goes without a budget bill having been passed, not to resume until a bill is passed.
That idea was actually mentioned here just yesterday in California Dreamin' and makes a good deal of sense, given what has happened over the last four months.
After a frustrating holiday weekend that failed to yield the one vote needed to end California's budget stalemate, the state is poised to begin layoff proceedings Tuesday for 20,000 government workers.Here's a clip from CBS News:
In addition to the layoffs, the state also plans to halt all remaining public works projects, potentially putting thousands of construction workers out of jobs.
Despite the warnings of impending fiscal calamity, most rank-and-file Republicans have refused to agree to higher taxes. Republican lawmakers blamed Democrats for years of overspending.
"You're not going to go back to the people's pocketbooks to fuel that spending," said state Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Temecula.
During a lively floor session Monday night, state Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, defended his colleagues' stance against tax hikes and said his constituents were pleading with him to vote no on the budget proposal.
He accused Democrats, who hold majorities in both houses, of using the recession to drive an agenda of tax increases.