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Donner Party inspires latest Sacramento budget moves

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POSTED January 26, 2010 2:51 a.m.

Sacramento is no longer practicing voodoo budgeting.

They are now entering the realm of cannibalization budgeting and are treating local government as if they are mere cattle for the slaughter.

Instead of trying to take money from cities, running it through the schools without leaving a penny for use in the classroom, and then taking it back to Sacramento to cover the state deficit the California Legislature has adopted the Donner Party model of survival.

They are showing signs of a willingness to take local services which are primarily police, fire, streets and parks down to the bone to avoid reorganizing or paring back the bureaucracy or even laying off a single state employee.

The California Legislature on both sides of the aisles are so beholden to the all powerful state employee unions that they are afraid to do anything that even resembles true government reform even though the state’s back is up against the wall financially.

They are blatantly getting ready to seize all Proposition 72 funds – a measure passed by state voters to help beef up local law enforcement. That would mean a loss of $200,000 for a city like Manteca or enough to fund 1.25 police officer positions annually.

What else can they do since they don’t want to make the tough decisions? They’ve already done every little trick from advance collecting state income tax from next year to help pay for this year’s shortfall all the way to “holding” money collected for local purposes for seven months at a time and making “one time” cost savings by delaying payments to schools for anywhere from six to nine months.

After 20 years of side stepping tough solutions and instead using smoke and mirrors to go from one deficit disaster to another they are finally running out of wiggle room for more deceptions. It had to happen sooner or later.  Even the Great Houdini would have run out of tricks by now.

They’ve got cities and counties teetering on the edge like lions that are hunting down weak zebras. The California Legislature is getting ready to go in for the kill oblivious to the consequences just so they don’t have to suffer politically at the feet of powerful state employee unions.

There is plenty of blame for both sides of the aisle. You don’t hear either side talking about specifics on how to reduce government or eliminating redundancy. Sacramento practically invented the concept of redundancy. Why do we need nine different agencies handling economic development issues? Why do we need enough state level education bureaucrats to almost match Manteca’s population?

Now there is only one thing to do. Voters must stop the Sacramento spending virus and protect their neighborhoods and communities. That means cutting off any legal way that the state can borrow, swipe, hold, take, steal, or appropriate in any creative way possible from local revenue.

The next time Sacramento comes calling to shake down the provinces, they need to be stopped by the state constitution.

And the only way to do that is to effectively tie their hands by qualifying for the November ballot and then passing the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Act of 2010.

If we don’t we run the risk of being overwhelmed by the state’s “cost cutting moves” by releasing felons early from prison and making it extremely difficult for local law enforcement to put career criminals back in state prison. The state has made it clear they’d rather jeopardize public safety than the jobs of state bureaucrats.

If the act doesn’t pass the odds are strong we will end up with even less police and less firefighters and – if we’re lucky – will be able to retain a couple street workers or so.

Sacramento has declared war on local government and on the safety of the public. They are literally addicted to the idea that California is all about Sacramento and not about the cities and counties that comprise the Golden State.

Go to www.savelocalservices.com to find out more about the ballot measure and how to circulate petitions to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Remember when your house is on fire, when you need a peace officer, or your street has a pothole no one in the California Legislature is going to respond so why should we keep letting them take local money on top of the nearly $90 billion they already take from us to run the state?





 

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