California voters not willing to make the hard choices on budget

May 20, 2009

(ChattahBox) — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers head back to the drawing board, as voters firmly rejected budget reforms across the board, leaving the government to manage a $21.3 billion deficit.  Voters in the special election refused to extend new tax hikes or to cap state spending, and declined to unlock funds that they had voted in better financial times to set aside for special purposes.

Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E were all defeated in Tuesday’s special election, in which about 40 percent of voters turned out. The first would have capped spending while extending a sales tax increase and boosting a rainy day fund, was rejected by about two-thirds of the voters who cast ballots. The second provided new school funding. While third allowed the state to borrow against future lottery revenue. A fourth and fifth would have allowed the state to move tobacco-tax money and health funds to the state’s general fund.  Voters did approve a sixth initiative 1F, by a 3-to-1 margin,  which prohibits state legislators from giving themselves a raise when the budget is not balanced.

The vote reflected Californians’ long-standing pattern of demanding everything but without sacrifice.

The words of then departing former Gov. Gray Davis, whose 2003 recall stemmed largely from a budget crisis brought on by the dot-com bust, ring true again: “We all want a free lunch, but unfortunately that doesn’t exist.”

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement after the polls closed, “Tonight we have heard from the voters and I respect the will of the people who are frustrated with the dysfunction in our budget system. Now we must move forward from this point to begin to address our fiscal crisis with constructive solutions.”

The governor is calling for an increase of $2.3 billion in budget cuts for education on top of $3 billion in cuts that were already planned. He has also called for a $400 million cut in prison costs by shifting inmates to local and federal authorities.


One Response to “California voters not willing to make the hard choices on budget”

  1. Cal. Gov. Schwarzenegger Begs Geithner for Federal Bailout | ChattahBox News Blog on May 22nd, 2009 10:48 am

    […] out onto the streets: Not one of these dire consequences of voting against the budget measures phased California voters in the […]

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