California's Democratic-led Legislature is putting union interests over taxpayers' well-being, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday as the state prepared to issue IOUs for the first time in nearly 20 years. State, National, International, posted by J, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm
What part of the union memebers being citizens AND taxpayers does the governor not get?
Posted by Nancy, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 2, 2009 at 11:12 pm
Give me a break! The Governor is the problem here. The Legislature sent a bipartisan budget solution and he won't sign it! Read below for the real deal on the Governor and how he hurt our state this week.
July 2, 2009
If Governor Schwarzenegger Had Taken Yes for an Answer - No IOUs
Today Governor Schwarzenegger becomes only the second Governor since the Depression to have IOUs issued on his watch. Today he has abdicated his fiscal responsibilities and effectively turns California's finances over to Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Controller John Chiang.
Small businesses, students, seniors, and taxpayers will all start receiving IOUS. This shameful day didn't have to arrive. In fact, Governor Schwarzenegger had several opportunities to prevent it.
On June 12 Governor Schwarzenegger unilaterally blocked the Controller's authority to secure short-term loans to avoid the cash crisis. He said, "let them have a taste of what it is like when the state comes to a shutdown -- grinding halt."
On June 25 after the Governor called Senate Republicans to his office for private meetings, $4 billion in immediate cash solutions that had been passed on an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the Assembly were killed in the Senate.
Most recently, the Governor vetoed a comprehensive package of budget solutions supported by majorities in both houses of the legislature that would have resolved the $19.5 billion deficit, left a $4.0 billion reserve, avoided the cash crisis and prevented IOUs.
The focus of Assembly Democrats throughout this process has been to find a responsible approach that solves the deficit without eliminating the safety net or eviscerating schools. That meant rejecting the Governor's outlandish proposals to take health care away from 950,000 kids, to make 587,000 poor families homeless by eliminating CalWORKs, and to push 400,000 seniors into nursing homes by effectively eliminating IHSS.
During weeks of budget hearings we heard from too many people who were going to lose access to medicine, access to college, access to the basic necessities of food and shelter for us to accept the Governor's plan. However, we did the right thing and dug down to make deep cuts in programs and services we care about--cuts on top of the $27 billion that has been slashed from state services since 2003. But by using a scalpel instead of a chainsaw, we were able to take the Governor's plan and come up with solutions that reflect 93% of his proposals somewhat and 45% of his proposals entirely. We ultimately sent him a package of bills that solved the entire deficit without raising taxes. He vetoed those bills.
Instead, Governor Schwarzenegger decided he wanted to use the state's cash crisis to leverage last minutes demands unrelated to the budget--demands described in the press as "proposals he has struggled to advance in the past."
None of the Governor's last ditch proposals had been publicly vetted, and it would have been an abdication of our responsibility if we were to sign off on these extraneous demands without a thorough review of their impact on the people of California. Do we believe California needs a wide range of policy and governmental reforms? Absolutely. Were we, as duly elected agents of the people of California, going to be extorted into buying a pig in a poke? No.
We did offer, as a sign of good faith, to begin work immediately on reforms regarding restructuring Medi-Cal and eliminating fraud in the IHSS program. We also committed to working with the Governor on other reform legislation for him to sign. But the Governor wouldn't take "yes" for an answer. So California businesses, taxpayers and students will be receiving IOUs simply because Governor Schwarzenegger thought it was more important to immediately force last minute changes such as reducing future employee pensions, fingerprinting elderly and disabled Californians who receive services, and denying kids food stamps if their families can't access a computer to sign them up for the program.
Of course, this fight is not over yet. We must move to clean up the fiscal mess caused by the national recession and made $7 billion worse by the Governor's actions. We will continue fighting to prevent the elimination of the state's safety net--especially in these tough times--and to block partisan attempts to punish public schools.
We will also continue to say "yes" to the cuts we need, and "yes" to responsible reforms. But the problem won't be solved until Governor Schwarzenegger picks up his cue and finally decides to say "yes" back.
Posted by J, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm
Sorry SteveP, but I disagree.
I grew up in a small Northeastern town where if it weren't for the unions involvement, the workers would not have made a living wage and would have been bullied into working in deplorable conditions. It was only their willingness to join together in protest, that improved their work conditions.
If we could rely on management to always do the "Right" thing, rather then what gets them a year-end bonus, perhaps we would no longer need unions. I don't think we are there yet.
The unions currently in negotiations for contracts are facing managers who point to the economy & unemployment statistics to justify taking away from their retirement and health benefits, not simply freezing their salaries. These are the same managers who gave themselves pay increases (some as much as 20%)and multi-year contracts. What ever happened to leading by example? If you expect "the troops" to tighten their belts and lose some of their income, benefits, and fear their ability to retire, shouldn't they do the same? Instead, these managers are giving themselves travel and food allowances, and making extravagant purchases, that if they were truly concerned about economic stability, could have been delayed.
I wonder if the governor accepted campaign donations from the unions he is now bad-mouthing?
Posted by J, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 6, 2009 at 8:51 am
Thought I would respond to someone who has obviously misread me and made assumptions-
Posted by J this, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm
Why is it that the pro-union faction always trots out class warfare rhetoric?
If you will re-read my initial post, you will see that I did not say I was pro-union. I will not claim to be anti-union either. I have worked in both union and non-union positions and found benefits in both, and flaws in both systems. What I will say for certain is that in my union positions I was less hesitant to step up to voice concerns over conditions in the work-place out of fear of the consequences- I knew I would represented if my employers lashed out. I also knew my retirement would be secure, and in a world of so many uncertainties, that was a nice thing to take comfort in. In my old age I would have some type of income/pension, and health care.
Try starting a business from scratch: risk capital, meet a payroll, compete with other producers.
My husband owned/operated his own small business in California for over 20yrs. He credits the disability/health insurance he was forced to hold and California tax laws for the demise of small business- not unions.
In general, I have an equally low regard for public sector management and public sector unions.