Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, a nonpartisan public policy research group, released this statement following the Governor’s signing legislation implementing deep cuts to state spending:
“California’s massive budget shortfall driven by the nation’s still weak economy has resulted in deep cuts that will limit young Californians’ ability to obtain a college education, place thousands of the state’s children at risk of homelessness, and make it immeasurably tougher for parents to move from welfare to work.
“The Governor’s approval of this portion of the budget package moves California half way towards a balanced budget. Closing the rest of the gap, while preparing California for the future, requires a balanced approach; cuts alone cannot be the answer.
“California must protect our core public systems and structures in order to secure a prosperous future and pave the way for an economic recovery. To that end, lawmakers need to complete the job and set the state on a path to a balanced budget by eliminating costly and ineffective Enterprise Zones; ending redevelopment subsidies that take money from schools and public safety without producing promised benefits; and closing tax breaks that actually encourage businesses to move jobs out of California.
“Difficult times require cooperation and compromise. California’s requirement for a supermajority vote to increase revenues – a threshold that only 12 states in the nation have to meet – has become a major obstacle to governing and fiscal responsibility. For that reason, voters deserve to make a clear up-or-down choice about California’s future with a June ballot measure that maintains funding for public schools and protects core local services.”