Posted by: mutantpoodle | February 19, 2009

Maybe one will come up

So California has a budget:

The logjam in Sacramento was broken when Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria provided the final Republican vote needed to pass the plan, which includes more than $12 billion in tax hikes. In exchange, Democrats agreed to rewrite election rules that Maldonado said had allowed the Capitol to become paralyzed by partisanship, leading the state to the brink of financial ruin.

The plan came together after midnight, following seven unsuccessful votes held throughout the day and into the night in the Capitol, which Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) had locked down Tuesday, barring senators from leaving. California’s financial state had deteriorated to the point where Schwarzenegger ordered layoffs of 10,000 state workers and the suspension of hundreds of public-works projects. Early income-tax refunds have been delayed, and public anger has grown.

Remember – this came one day after we read this:

As California’s government continued its grinding downshift toward insolvency, efforts to close the state’s nearly $42-billion budget gap hit a new snag late Tuesday as Republicans in the state Senate ousted their leader.

Around 11 p.m., a group of GOP senators, unhappy with the higher taxes that Senate leader Dave Cogdill of Modesto agreed to as part of a deal with the governor and Democrats, voted to replace him in a private caucus meeting in Cogdill’s office.

They chose Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, a staunchly antitax lawmaker from Murrieta, as their new leader.

Of course they did.

But my favorite quote from all this comes from State Senator Sam Aanestad, another intransigent Republican, who has pledged to never raise taxes. “Unless,” he said yesterday on Morning Edition, “it’s an extreme emergency…”

As John Cusack says in the clip above, maybe one will come up.

Until California scraps its ridiculous supermajority requirements for budgets and tax increases, it will remain ungovernable, and will continue its downward slide in quality of education, infrastructure, and, oh yeah, bond ratings. That my state was held hostage by a group of ideologues who will pay no price for their pivotal role in California’s current misery gives me but one comfort.

The rest of the country used to make fun of us because we had a Self Esteem Task Force. Now it’s because we are a barely functioning entity.

Banana republics, at least, get things done.

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