On Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger unveiled his 2010-11 budget proposal which will serve as a starting point for budget negotiations later this year. Major components of the package rely on federal funding fairness and steep cuts.
This budget certainly isn't good news for anyone. The reality of our economic times has forced the state to make tough decisions. It is important now to take the opportunity to enact critical reforms. Streamlining government and ridding the budget of waste, fraud and abuse should be a top priority.
The reforms mentioned by Governor Schwarzenegger include reforming the state's pension system and expanding the use of private contractors to reduce bureaucracy.
Our state's pension system costs have increased 2,000 percent over the last 10 years. Clearly this type of growth is not sustainable without squeezing out critical services like education and public safety.
Pension system reforms I have introduced along with my Republican colleagues over the last few years have been shelved in committee hearings by the majority. I will continue the fight, however, to reform the system.
The governor also pledged to refuse any calls for tax increases in the 2010-11 budget which will likely draw the outrage and anger of Senate and Assembly Democrats who have made clear their desire for a mix of cuts and increases to close the deficit.
I have always said that when you find yourself in a hole you should stop digging. Californians are already burdened with the highest sales tax and the second highest income tax in the nation. Tax increases will not solve the structural budget deficit and will only extend the economic crisis gripping our state and nation.
Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-Carlsbad) serves the communities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Vista, and portions of San Diego, Escondido and Oceanside as the Assemblyman for the 74th District.
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