It’s the final hours of the 2009-2010 legislative session here in California and legislators are furiously passing bills left and right to beat the constitutional deadline. Legislators did take the time today to vote down two budget proposals, but as Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said, "I feel an urgency, but not an urgency at any price, and that’s really what this has come down to."
And that’s the problem. Legislators seem to have no incentive to pass a budget this year. This is the second longest period the state has gone without passing a budget (In 2008, it was 85 days past due.). Some have even speculated Governor Schwarzenegger would like to hand the unpleasant responsibility of trying to hammer out a budget to the next occupant of the horseshoe.
But just because it’s hard work doesn’t mean politicians can be let off the hook that easily. It’s time for legislators and the governor to declare a moratorium on any legislation that isn’t related to the budget process. Americans for Prosperity California is calling on the legislature to do just that:
Americans for Prosperity California Urges Legislators to Pass Responsible Budget
On last day of legislative session, AFP California urges legislators to focus on budget issues
Camarillo—Americans for Prosperity California called on legislators to reprioritize their legislative activities on the last day of the 2009-2010 session. With the state budget 62 days overdue, the Assembly and Senate are engaged in a marathon bill-passing spree. But the vast majority of the thousands of bills debated during the current session have nothing to do with California’s budget problems—other than spending more money that the state doesn’t have.
“We’re just hours away from the deadline for passing legislation, and almost two months past the constitutional deadline for passing a budget,” commented David Spady, State Director for AFP California. “If legislators want to show that they are truly serious about addressing the state’s fiscal problems, they will set aside any bills that don’t cut spending or contribute to a balanced budget.”
“One example of legislation that is actually addressing the budget crisis and its impact on taxpayers is AB 1506 by Assemblyman Joel Anderson,” stated Spady. “AB 1506 will require the state of California to accept as payments the very IOUs it issues to taxpayers. In other words, if a private company contracts with the state, and the government can’t pay that company for services rendered, then turns around and issues an IOU because there is no state budget, the company can then use that IOU to pay taxes or other debts it owes the state. This bill makes the state accountable for its irresponsible behavior in not passing a budget and expecting taxpayers to bail it out by essentially floating the government a loan. AFP California encourages Governor Schwarzenegger to sign AB 1506.”
To learn more about Americans for Prosperity California, visit www.AmericansforProsperity.org/California