This comes via NOCCC . . .
Another reason we need representatives of moral integrity…
In every business your word is your bond. Maybe I am being old-fashioned, but if you look someone in the eye and tell them you are going to do something, they expect you to do it. Unfortunately, such a value is considered passé, even naïve, in Sacramento.
Take the recently passed budget by the majority party. Even though they promised that education was their top priority, they targeted schools with 99 % of their “trigger” cuts. They also rejected solutions Republicans put forward earlier this year to protect classrooms without raising taxes.
While I had many concerns about this budget, I was particularly bothered by the fact that it is peppered with broken promises, some of which were made years ago. These are not just promises that the majority party made to Republicans, but to all Californians.
The budget process this year was, at its core, a closed process. It is true that the majority party held numerous public hearings on budget ideas, but the actual budget language was negotiated behind closed doors. Numerous budget “trailer” bills showed up out of thin air, one giving the Governor’s tax plan top priority at the ballot box being one blatant example. No public hearing was held on the final package and no vote taken by the Assembly Budget Committee. This contradicts the promise that majority party members made in 2010 when they supported Proposition 25. They stated that reducing the threshold to pass a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority would produce a more transparent budget. No bipartisan input, no time to debate and discuss, no public input. Where is the transparency?
Regrettably, the broken promises were not limited to this year.
What about releasing more criminals on the street? Back in 2007, the majority party promised to fund the creation of needed prison beds to help alleviate overcrowding. In a bipartisan effort to avoid court-ordered early release, the Legislature provided borrowing authority to build 16,000 new beds. Yet this year’s budget reduces that authority by $2.8 billion, which will inevitably lead to the early release of more dangerous criminals.
In 2010, the majority party joined Republicans to pass a law to ensure that our roads and highways would have a steady flow of funds to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of projects. Yet in this year’s budget, they rolled back that law and took $312 million of transportation funds to use for other programs, even though Southern California has terrible traffic congestion.
As part of the 2010-11 budget, the majority party agreed to place a constitutional amendment establishing a strong rainy day fund reserve on the November 2012 ballot. This fund would help prevent severe budget deficits in the future. Yet the majority party reneged on their promise and changed the election to 2014 because it interfered with the Governor’s partisan agenda to pass tax increases. The list of broken promises goes on and on. It is sad that the majority party has abused the trust that has been given to them.
When I served as Mayor on the Chino Hills City Council, my colleagues and I did not think about party labels. Our top priority was to serve the people of Chino Hills, and we made progress for our city because we trusted each other despite our differences. Our word was our bond.
As part of the Republican leadership team in the State Assembly, I have worked hard to build consensus whenever possible. But it is hard to build that consensus when extreme partisans draw upon Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” as their source for inspiration rather than the Golden Rule.
With the majority party now not needing Republican votes to pass a budget, we are now finding out what they can do – and it is taxpayers who lose out.