by C.T. Weber; this article was originally published in Partisan issue no. 27, printed April 2009.

So, you want to punish the legislature. Well Proposition 1F will not do it. You may get some kind of good feeling because you put them in their place along with some other office holders who have nothing to do with the budget. Ask yourself why members of both houses of the State Legislature voted 119-0 in favor of this distraction. Does it permanently abolish or even lower their salaries? No! Does it hold down increases in per diem allowances in any way? No!

What does it do? On or before June 1, the state Director of Finance would be required to notify the California Citizens Compensation Commission (which was established in 1990 to set salaries of 132 elected state officials) if the Director expects the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties, also known as the rainy day fund, to have a negative balance of at least 1% of the state General Fund on June 30. Now that's a mouthful. It boils down to a minor state savings at best when and if the Director notifies the Commission that the state is expected to end the year with a budget deficit.

The problems with the budget run much deeper. California is one of only three states that requires a 2/3 vote to pass the budget. That means that 1/3 of either house of the State Legislature can bring the state to its knees, and the threat of not receiving a possible 3% pay raise will not deter these true believer from their core ideology to dismantle the state along with the public services it provides.

C.T. Weber is Chair of Sacramento County Peace and Freedom Party and is a two-time former State Chair. He is currently a Director of California State Employees Association Region 3, and has served on CSEA Board of Directors, SEIU Local 1000 State Council and the Sacramento Central Labor Council.

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