We received this commentary from Assemblywoman Audra Strickland…
There seems to be this notion promoted in the media that Republicans are not all on the same team. And, that support for our Republican colleagues in the Senate and their efforts to balance the state budget is a repudiation of the Governor and the Assembly Republicans that voted for the budget. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is because of Governor Schwarzenegger and his commitment against raising taxes that Democrat proposals for new taxes are not a serious part of budget negotiations. During the Davis administration, Democrat politicians seemed to compete to see who could propose the largest and most creative new tax levy. Today we are at the cusp of fiscal responsibility and a state government that lives within its means largely because we have a Republican Governor committed against raising taxes.
Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines can be proud of his leadership. For as long as I can remember, Assembly Democrats have been champions of an out of control tax-and-spend policy here in California. That is why state spending has out paced inflation and population growth, and the size of state government has more than doubled in the last decade.
However, because of his leadership, Assemblyman Villines has been able to significantly slow the tax-and-spend nature of Assembly Democrats. The budget that recently passed out of the Assembly slows the growth of state government to 1.3% growth. Compare that with the double digit growth seen in recent budgets.
Additionally, Villines has achieved what was unimaginable just a few months ago – convincing Assembly Democrats to join Republicans in approving a measure with clear intentions to cut taxes in order to boost the economy. That is truly significant.
But, let us all be clear that the ultimate goal is to ensure that our state budget is balanced, that state government lives within its means and that we correct the over-spending of years past by eliminating the waste, fraud and abuse in state government. Our goal is not simply to slow the Democrat’s spending spree.
The ball is now in the hands of Senate Republican Leader Ackerman and our Senate Republican colleagues. I am confident they can take us across the goal line – not settling for simply slowing the Democrats but truly working toward fiscal responsibility in California.
As Republicans and fiscal conservatives, let’s keep up the encouraging words for our Senate Republicans. We are all on the same team. Let’s score one for all the taxpayers of California.