Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell Supports Majority Vote Budget

June 17, 2011

As the constitutional deadline rapidly approached for adoption of California's annual state budget, I remained aware that voters have clearly indicated they regard this as a fundamental responsibility of their Governor and Legislature. Nonetheless efforts to do this on a bipartisan basis, utilizing ‘bridge funding' to allow additional revenue to be applied to offset the $9.6 billion deficit that remains, weren't yielding a budget compromise, despite the $14 billion in cuts to state programs already approved this year.

Thus the Majority Party had to take action in order to get our state back on a stable course and ensure there is no disruption in funding for schools, public safety, and vital government services for children and seniors.

I implored my colleagues across the aisle: Compromise means giving as well as taking. Cuts that hurt must be matched by resources that salvage.  But the minority party withheld the votes needed to put tax extensions on June's ballot, and now withholds votes to build a ‘bridge' to a fall election.

We had no choice but to pass this budget to protect our people and our future. Budget Subcommittee 1 held 17 Hearings, heard from over 1500 people and received several thousand letters, faxes and emails. I want to thank all who testified or wrote over the last three months, pleading with us to hearken to their stories and needs.  I – we -- could not turn a deaf ear.

An all cuts budget is unimaginable. We cannot take these God-awful cuts, already piled up on top of each other, and double the pain, decimating infrastructure as well as services, turning the awful into the catastrophic!

While I deeply regret the further cuts to our schools and Higher Education, this budget maintains a balanced approach of budget cuts and revenue solutions. It moves us further toward eliminating the structural deficit and implementing critical reforms through a statewide vote. This is the only viable path to stability and recovery.

Over the next months, as we address implementation and review proposals to streamline government and reshape services and as we look to January 2012, I promise that Sub 1 will facilitate innovative thinking, broad participation and prudent oversight.

I voted ‘yes' because this budget was a step toward the future. The budget addressed the ongoing structural deficit and the values of Californians who demand that we preserve the safety net.