Archived: Editorial: Legislature Must Sets Aside Partisanship to Solve Budget Crisis


Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass yesterday announced measures to help “quicken” the process to solve the state’s looming $21 billion budget deficit.

Voters on Tuesday sent a very strong message to their legislators — who have had a history of not listening to their constituents — that they are fed up, don’t trust them, and will not stand by for business as usual, to get through the state’s economic crisis.

According to Bass, “This conference committee will be different than in the past. It will include more members’ points of view and it will be more open to the public and transparent than in previous years.”

We hope that is true.

It is too bad that it has taken this crisis in confidence for legislators to realize they have been ignoring a very important interest group: the average resident who does not have a government job, receive state funded benefits, or who just might think that papering over the state’s budget mess may hurt state run programs more in the long run.

The state’s decision to have a party for the status quo by having taxpayers’ vote on a bunch of propositions they weren’t sure would work, failed because voters refused to attend the party and defeated Props 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and IE.

All of a sudden we are hearing that the political deadlock in Sacramento, and perhaps in local municipalities as well, will be moved aside so both parties can have members on a conference committee on the budget.  Well, at least sort of, with two Republicans and six Democrats, tell us, was that really so hard?

We agree that the public should also be included in the workings of the budget conference between the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees meeting by televising the meetings as is being proposed by the committee.

True transparency and open deliberation can go a long way toward restoring public trust, and greater understanding of the challenges facing the state.

To do less will only betray California residents again.

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