Workers Will Suffer Under Harsh New Budget; Republicans to Blame for Loss of Revenue

June 29, 2011 - Last night the Legislature passed a balanced, majority vote budget that closes a
$9.6 billion deficit. The drastic cuts in this budget will cause real harm to all California families, and to workers in construction and other fields.

Those cuts were necessary to balance the budget because of a complete refusal by Republicans to extend existing sales and income tax revenues, or to allow voters to decide whether to extend them.  As a condition of offering any votes, Republicans made outlandish demands to dismantle regulations that protect workers, consumers and the environment. They were unsuccessful in that endeavor.

However, all Californians will see their quality of life suffer as a result of the cuts made necessary by the Republicans’ refusal to provide any votes for continuing revenues. Drastic cuts are coming to schools, higher education, health, public safety, and state parks.

Construction takes a severe hit as well. Redevelopment money of $1.7 billion was shifted to the general fund, and legislation was passed that will allow the agencies to continue operating if they give school and public safety a greater share of property taxes currently provided them, as a result of the Building Trades fighting to preserve some redevelopment funding in the face of calls for its complete elimination. Additionally, court construction takes a hit of $300 million, with a one-year delay in projects not yet under construction. The Governor and Legislative leaders committed to quickly disperse bond funds already available for construction, and to a bond sale this fall.

Republicans will claim they are not to blame for the harm in this budget because they didn’t vote for it. That’s just a smokescreen. Republicans are solely responsible for the loss of crucial state revenues that made this budget necessary.  

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