Posts Tagged ‘budget’
I caught this article the other day. It’s a good recap of how legislation doesn’t solve problems. Maybe my view is slanted since I’m a program manager and not a lawyer, but I think if the government is going to legislate it should try to quantify what it’s going to achieve. The numerous bills and laws will see are policy pushes by one side or the other. I believe instead of vague statements these policies should write what their goals are.
If you are worried about California’s future, there’s no shortage of disturbing statistics to keep you up at night. California’s unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in November – and, with a host of new regulatory mandates added when the New Year began, our state is becoming even more unattractive for businesses.
California’s three largest pension funds have promised $500 billion in retirement benefits that they don’t have the money to pay for. California’s cities have another $135 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, and a couple of municipalities have already filed for bankruptcy.
This op-ed, co-authored with Senator Bob Dutton, originally appeared in the Flashreport
As of today, the Governor has yet to act on any of these bills. When he is done, we will grade Governor Brown on his performance. The Governor’s “letter grade” will be computed using the following scale… If he vetoes 90% or more, the Governor got an “A”, 80% – 89% a “B”, 70 – 79% a “A”, 60 – 69% a “D” and below that, an “F”…
For convenience, we have broken down the bad bills into seven different categories… Next to the bill number and author, in bright red, will appear the action taken by the Governor on each bill (none as of today).
A whopping 0.14% of the bloated state general fund budget vetoed by Brown. Sadly, this paltry line item veto amount continues the California governor bipartisan tradition of vetoing almost none of the spending. The traditional amount is about 0.25% — one quarter of one percent. Jerry couldn’t reach even this low benchmark.
Gov. Jerry Brown: State budget deficit now $16 billion
Gov. Jerry Brown said in a video release today that California’s budget deficit has mushroomed to $16 billion, nearly twice as high as the $9.2 billion he estimated in January.
Gosh, what a stunning revelation! Who’d a thunk it?
But the good news is that it’s not Assemblyman’s Nathan Fletcher’s fault. He wasn’t at his post in Sacramento, so no responsibility for this deterioration falls on his shoulders.
Gimmicks aside, the annual budget deficit remains $50 million, with $318 million needed to restore service to 2003 levels
City Councilmember Carl DeMaio today released a fiscal assessment of the Mayor’s proposed FY 2013 budget which reveals that instead of a truly balanced budget, the city will run an operating deficit of at least $50 million. When accounting for lost services, the city is $318 million short.
“Once again the city’s budget is not really balanced this year – and we face at least a $50 million shortfall. Taxpayers deserve a budget that is balanced for real,” DeMaio noted.
I’m a lover of our Parks and it’s not because I’ve been a National and County Park Ranger, but because of how I grew up. My parents, teachers, friends and scout leaders helped in nurturing that love of Parks in me. I will also say that some Parks were created because of political pressure and really shouldn’t be in a Park system (this mainly applies to the National Parks).
Politics & Media Mashup: your weekend news aggregator leads off with big budget news from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Also included: Links to some of the week’s best stories about local, state and national politics as well as social and traditional media.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders dominated the news cycle late this week with his announcement that he had finally solved the City’s budget problems.
CA Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) projects the 2012-13 state budget deficit at $13 billion.
Yesterday, the City’s Five-Year financial outlook was presented to the Budget and Financial committee meeting and I was very disappointed to see that the true infrastructure deficit was excluded from the City’s financial forecasts.
If the full infrastructure deficit is not included I fear that our roads and infrastructure will continue to fall into further disrepair since the City Council would not have an accurate monetary target that reflects the needs of San Diego Communities.
To avoid making the painful cuts in CA state spending that are so badly needed, the Democrat budget passers and the Governor blithely assumed big-time revenue increases this fiscal year. To no one’s surprise, it’s not working out as projected.
CAPITOL ALERT: The latest on California politics and government
Posted by Kevin Yamamura
August 9, 2011 1:01 PM
California revenues miss mark by 10 percent in July
For the second straight month since Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state budget, California has fallen behind in revenue projections, this time 10.3 percent for the month of July.
Wouldn’t it be nice if for once, no matter how hard it might be for them, that a real budget would be approved by Sacramento politicians without any gimmicks and not based on optimistic revenue projections?
How about learning to live within your means?
I scream whenever I hear the term “optimistic revenue projections” used anytime regarding the budget, because I know those projections aren’t going to be reached.
So, regarding the budget Governor Brown is reportedly going to sign, here are some analogies to compare the logic behind the state’s budget as if I prepared my personal budget using the same thinking.
Once again we’re left with a “smoke and mirrors” budget that doesn’t solve the problem and just passes the deficit to the next year. SO far Governor Brown has stood behind his campaign pledge and vetoed this budget because of the usual “Smoke and Mirrors,” but how long will he do so?
What we need are politicians that instead of bending to special interests, will stand up for the best needs of the state, which is a REAL balanced budget. But that isn’t going to happen. If you look back to 1979, the voters passed the Gann Limit initiative. This measure limited the growth of government based upon population and inflation. It mandated self-constraint, however, even with so many good ideas, it’s been severely weakened (1988 and 1990 ballots, as a start) to the point that it is virtually powerless.
Councilmembers DeMaio and Zapf Call for Critical Review of Fire Department Labor Costs
Councilmembers Carl DeMaio and Lorie Zapf today released a troubling report showing extreme differences between Fire Department employees and similarly qualified employees of private sector ambulance companies.
The analysis showed the Fire Department is paying salaries that are 137% to 325% higher for comparable work in the private sector when including fringe benefits.
“Any time the City gives out salaries and benefits that are higher than the local labor market we are wasting the taxpayers money,” noted Councilmember DeMaio. “This report shows that Fire Department salaries and benefits significantly exceed local benchmarks and the Mayor and City Council should reform these expenditures immediately.”
Posted: Apr 21, 2011 1:45 PM PDT
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The City of San Diego could save taxpayer money by installing solar panels on as many as 33,000 street lights due to be replaced, a councilman said Thursday.
The panels would provide enough electricity to run the lights, and any excess could be sold to San Diego Gas & Electric for an estimated $6.5 million, Councilman Kevin Faulconer wrote in a memo to Chief Operating Office Jay Goldstone.
The savings and potential earnings could help offset cuts to city services proposed for the next fiscal year, according to Faulconer.
Stories about budget cuts are easy to tell and reaction is fierce, but the coverage is often misleading
Just about every media outlet has recently and repeatedly told San Diegans the news isn’t good – massive cuts to your libraries and rec centers are coming.
It’s a great story for the overworked journalist. Easy to report. Easy to write. Readers, who rarely respond, write strongly worded letters to the editor. This prompts more of the same stories.
All of this would be okay if the storyline was a straightforward tale about pending cuts – but this is only half the story.
Good and bad news in Mayor’s budget
Faulconer commits to protecting core services, furthering reform
San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer issued the following statement today in response to Mayor Jerry Sanders’ budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012, which begins July 1:
- There’s clearly some good news in the Mayor’s budget proposal, and there’s clearly some bad news.
- I want to thank the Mayor for working with the City Council to end the fire engine brownouts, a significant step that will positively affect every neighborhood in San Diego. It’s our top priority because there simply is no more important role in government than protecting the public.
Millions in Wasteful Spending Should be Reformed Before Services are Cut
Councilmember DeMaio today urged his Council colleagues to reject large elements of the Mayor’s budget plan citing negative impacts on local neighborhoods and the failure to finish the job of implementing budget reforms.
“After years of severe cuts and wasteful spending San Diegans deserve a budget plan that will protect community services and restore long term fiscal health to our City. As with previous years this budget plan does not do that,” stated DeMaio.
$228 million of debt transferred from General Fund to Redevelopment
By a vote of 7 to 1, a proposal by Councilmember Carl DeMaio was approved today to transfer 30 years of debt service on the Convention Center from the General Fund to the Redevelopment Agency. The action saves taxpayers $228 Million over 30 years.
“In these difficult times when we are facing deep budget cuts, I’m proud that we were able to pass this common-sense measure to protect core services,” said DeMaio.
Five Year Plan Generates Over $1 Billion in Cost Savings and Adopts New Approaches to Providing City Services
City Councilmember Carl DeMaio today unveiled a comprehensive five-year financial recovery plan that balances the city’s budget and restructures long-term city finances to eliminate the city’s structural budget deficit.
“To fix the city’s financial problems and safeguard our neighborhood services, we must embrace new approaches in city government,” noted DeMaio.
Titled the “Roadmap to Recovery,” DeMaio’s plan borrows some elements of the bankruptcy process – with the imposition of a five year mandatory spending caps, reorganizing city operations, and restructuring several significant liabilities facing the city.
It’s not time YET, but as the city of San Diego runs out of options, and Carl DeMaio keeps hammering on real solutions, look for cracks in the Dem CC members’ heretofore unflinching loyalty to their bosses — the public employee labor unions
The one Dem who has for years sometimes failed the union loyalty tests has been iconoclast Donna Frye — the best city council member we’ve had in the last 10 years — after Carl DeMaio, of course.
This city council split with the unions HAS to come. It’s only a question of “when.”
From Jon Fleischman at www.flashreport.org…
There is a saying goes something like, “Adversity Breeds Opportunity.”
This came to mind as I was reading stories in the SDUT, on the website of the Voice of San Diego, as well as a great column from FR friend Vince Vasquez on the up and coming SDRostra website — stories all about the massive budget deficit facing the City of San Diego, and the proposal of Mayor Jerry Sanders to try and address the $190 million shortfall.
The current and ongoing (Hopefully not forever) budget fiasco in Sacramento can give the Republican leadership (If it is still the party of fiscal conservatism, which lately, I’ve come to doubt) a chance to shine as the party that actual walks the talk regarding fiscal leadership and responsibility. Instead of just talking, the party must start seriously writing a measure for the ballot that will once and for all require fiscal constraint in Sacramento (It will need more strength than the Gann Initiative did).