The California budget remains in a stalemate. The Senate’s first vote was 3 votes short. That is, no Republicans voted for the budget. Passing a budget in California requires a 2/3 vote which requires that some Republicans vote for a budget to pass.
The proposed budget includes new “temporary” taxes. Then, in addition it requires substantial borrowing. Now I am not opposed to borrowing in general. However, at present the state has been borrowing for three years. When state and local governments borrow, they have to pay interest.
At present the interest we are paying on the borrowing is greater than the budget of the California State University system. If more borrowing is made necessary then more interest will be paid.
California dramatically under funds its schools. We rank about 27th in per pupil expenditure of the 50 states. If you compare the states and compare cost of living in each state, Superintendent O’Connell says that California ranks 49th. out of the 50 states.
In 2003, then Governor Gray Davis gave more money to the schools. In 2007 Governor Schwarzennegger gave more money in the Quality Investment in Education act. But now, in this budget crisis, we are limiting our spending on schools. California is not making educational progress in significant part because we refuse to adequately fund our schools.
So, if in response to Republican strategy the current budget can only be passed by borrowing, then in a future year there will be less money, and their will also be money spent paying interest on the debt.
This does not move us forward. Borrowing on the budget may be an unwelcome necessity. However, it does not move in any way toward school budget improvement nor toward dealing with California’s educational crises.
Duane Campbell. Sacramento