Wednesday Jan 21 2009
Legislature must stand up instead of standing in the way
By: Neil Pople,President of the Placer County Young Democrats
This last Thursday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave his State of the State address, one of the most brief in recent state history and perhaps one of the most critical as we face a budget shortfall of over $40 billion. While pithy in length and purpose, the governor sent a very clear message: that the state of our state is in one of real economic crisis. While we have leaders in California like Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass working hard to find a swift solution to the gridlock on the state budget, certain members of the state assembly and senate have stood in the way of keeping our state solvent. When faced with a tough economic situation, California Republican legislators have been anything but helpful to the thousands of California families that depend on state services. The California Republican Party has changed from the responsible party of fiscal conservatism and state’s rights to an organization seemingly bent on the complete destruction of state government. Leaders in the GOP like our own Assemblyman, Ted Gaines, have stonewalled against every budget proposal while feigning to be “fighting” for us. We no longer need leaders who are willing to call themselves “fighters.” We need leaders who are willing to take action and finally do. In order for a state budget to be passed, compromise is necessary. Democrats need to make tough decisions and pick which state services need to be cut. The Republicans need to understand that revenue increases are necessary, and have been previously enacted by former California leaders like Ronald Reagan. Obviously there are some state services that cannot be touched, education topping that list. The governor’s proposal to cut $87.5 million out of education along with a shorter academic year is not only irresponsible to our youth, but provides no real relief to our deficit. We either invest in our children on the front end with education, or we risk paying considerably more on the back end with prison. We also find critical services like health care, fire and police protection to be vital to the proper functioning of the state. The time has come for elected officials like Ted Gaines to finally stand up for the residents of their districts and put California before the Republican Party. While there are no simple solutions to our fiscal crisis, one thing is clear: the GOP’s unwillingness to do their jobs is killing this state, and only they have the power to fix the mess we face. Neil Pople is the President of the Placer County Young Democrats, which is in the process of being chartered this month.