“The budget reflects the parameters of the rainy day fund that the legislature unanimously approved last month. No budget is perfect and no one got everything that they wanted, but with this budget, that insures stability and expands opportunity, we have the chance to put the great recession even further behind us” said California State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins to a crowded press room in San Diego Friday morning. The conference was held for Governor Jerry Brown’s ceremonial signing of the state budget.
Following Atkins, California State Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg had this to say, “I actually stand here with a big smile because there are many reasons to celebrate.” He then said, “we are gonna invest billions of dollars in public transit, commuter rail and inner city rail” but continued, “there is so much more to do.” “2014 bears no resemblance to 2009 when I started,” Steinberg said after reflecting on past budget woes. He closed by saying, “California is recovering.”
Then Governor Jerry Brown took the helm to laud the Democrat supermajority state legislature and slam D.C. politicians, “California is demonstrating that the majority can actually govern, unlike Washington which is mired in gridlock and partisanship and extreme polarization. State government in California is actually working with a majority vote framework, but with a lot of cooperation with the minority party as well.”
Brown also drew comparisons between China and the U.S., suggesting that China’s progress in constructing high-speed rail was something to aspire to. He further noted that if the U.S. is to continue to be a world power, we must undertake projects such as his high-speed rail vision.
Assemblyman and former Gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly wrote this in regard to Brown’s high-speed rail project:
This latest budget insults the intelligence of almost every thinking Californian. After raising taxes by $6 Billion using Proposition 30, Brown increases spending by more than twice that amount. In spite of overwhelming and growing opposition to his pet project, the high-speed rail boondoggle, Brown locked in a permanent funding source.
In response to earmarked cap-and-trade funds in the budget, Donnelly said, “The sad thing about cap-and trade is that while it robs our state of much-needed capital that could be used to grow and expand the economy resulting in more private sector jobs, virtually all of the money has been earmarked to grow government by any and all means possible.”
Donnelly also wrote regarding use of state natural energy resources, “The budget also creates a de facto ban on fracking, at a time when that represents the strongest potential for unleashing California’s natural resources and creating untold millions of new jobs and billions in potential new state revenues.”