When does a missed deadline become no deadline at all? The State Legislature for the 24th time has failed to pass a budget on time to meet the new fiscal year that starts on July1.
The deadline has been missed so many times that Californians hardly take notice.
That is, unless, they are expecting a check from the state and it is held up.
There are serious consequences for not passing a budget on time for the state’s already cash poor budget.
While we cannot see how California’s bond ratings could get any worse, (experts say it can and will), the millions of dollars in added interest costs means even fewer dollars available to pay for state services and programs. And like it or not, taxpayers are on the hook for all those wasted dollars.
It is time that our elected officials find the wherewithal to pass a budget quickly.
Facing the November elections, we are sure there are many in the Legislature who will find it hard to come to some agreement with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and their colleagues on the other side of the aisle — no matter which side they represent — on how to cap the $19.1 billion budget deficit that needs to be closed.
The decisions on whether to tax, or not tax, or how much to cut, or not to cut, appear to have paralyzed Sacramento. The issue is not that Democrats, Republicans and the governor are sticking to their guns, rather that the real problem is all sides are just too afraid to shoot for fear of striking themselves in their backside with the state’s electorate.
We’re sure they all could care less about a deadline that for nearly a quarter of a century has been viewed as a floating target, when faced with the prospect of angry voters.
Polarized California residents and businesses also have a hand in the current dysfunction. With an unwillingness to compromise, standing firm for either no new taxes, or lots of new taxes to prevent any cuts, is it any wonder our elected officials are running scared?
So as state officials fail again to meet their fiscal responsibilities, we can’t help but ask: Does this mean California taxpayers can also miss tax payments without a penalty?
Not on your life.