But any hopes by Liu of stamping her own brand of change on the state and her 21st District, which includes Burbank and Glendale, will likely be stymied in the short term by a projected budget deficit of $40 billion over the next 18 months.
Like all legislators who were sworn in Dec. 1 — a month earlier than usual — Liu has been pressed to find a means to balance the state’s voluminous budget deficit so she can move on to other issues, the reason why she got back into politics.
“Now that I have at least four more years to address some of these issues, I can tackle things that are important,” Liu said from her Sacramento office Thursday. “We need to get our act together here and pass a budget.”
She supports a Democratic-sponsored package that would reduce the budget 44%, or $18 billion over the next year and a half, though some Republicans have decried the proposal as “deceitful.”
The plan would raise taxes on gasoline by 39 cents; cut state spending on schools, state universities and programs for the needy; and lower the state’s payroll by $657 million. It could also impose $10.8 billion in higher taxes on Californians by a simple majority vote, said Republican Assemblyman Anthony Adams, whose 59th District includes La Crescenta.
“At a time when Californians are just starting to see signs of relief at the gas pump, legislative Democrats will force families to pay more of their hard-earned dollars to a fiscally irresponsible government,” Adams said. “Raising taxes at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet is the worst thing we can do right now. At what point are Californians going to say, ‘Enough is enough’?”