Commenting on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s State of the State address presented Wednesday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said that several structural changes need to be made before the situation in Sacramento improves.
“While the Governor outlined an ambitious agenda to address the state’s fiscal crisis, it failed to include the structural reforms necessary to reform the state’s broken budget process,” Antonovich said.
“With a $20 billion deficit, failure to enact structural reforms will result in California’s bankruptcy,” he said. “Our full-time legislature has failed to work full time to stop the fiscal hemorrhaging.”
“The state needs to enact structural reform that includes: 1) the elimination and consolidation of state agencies with duplicative responsibilities; 2) a two-year budget; 3) a part-time legislature; 4) an end to term limits; and 5) bringing our civil service system into the 21st Century,” he added.
“How can California’s budget problems be due to the legislature’s two-thirds majority requirement to raise taxes when our state currently has some of the highest gasoline, sales and business taxes in the nation?” Antonovich said.
“Proposition 13 is also not to blame — property tax revenues went from $6.4 billion in 1981 to $43 billion in 2007 – a 600% increase — far higher than the combined rate of population growth and inflation over the same period.
“To retain business, create jobs and spur economic growth, California should tear a page from Nevada’s successful playbook and make overtures to business to stay or relocate to California with business-friendly incentives including reducing taxes, regulation and an innovative marketing campaign,” the supervisor concluded.