As dawn broke over Sacramento early Thursday morning, the State Legislature wrapped up a marathon session that finally put to bed a two-year spending plan that will bridge the state’s unprecedented $42-billion deficit caused by the global fiscal crisis. The Democrats in the Legislature, along with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a handful of courageous Republican lawmakers, put together a budget compromise that begins to lay the foundation for getting California working again.
Much about the budget plan was difficult to support and undoubtedly will cause significant pain to many Californians. Nearly $15 billion in spending cuts will greatly impair our ability to provide vital services, including public education, health care and transportation. More than $12 billion in temporary new tax revenues will cause great strain to families and businesses during an already difficult recession.
These budget cuts and temporary tax increases address the immediate crisis but do not remedy California’s long-term fiscal challenges. Those challenges can be met only by growing our economy, protecting the jobs we have and creating new jobs that will improve Californians’ quality of life and produce a stronger state economy and tax base.