Monday, February 16, 2009

Urgent Action Needed! California On The Verge Of Systemic Collapse

If you have been watching the news this week, you've heard about the budget debacle going on in Sacramento. For the last three days, we have remained one vote short of the required two-thirds majority for a budget deal, with only two Republicans being willing to join the Democratic caucus in the Senate. You can follow Calitics' coverage of the Budget here:

To be blunt, the budget deal on the table is a mess. It consists of over twenty bills in each chamber. It guts environmental protections on several major projects, it offers gifts to corporations and a few powerful industries. It relies on cuts and borrowing far too heavily, and does not provide the real long-term fixes of our revenue stream that we so desperately need. And the spending cap that will go to the ballot in the spring represents a major step backward, and progressives will have to expend substantial resources to defeat it. Yet despite all that, only one thing is really clear:

If we do nothing, the state faces systemic collapse.

Folks, this isn't about ideology, nor can it be a debate about budget priorities, or whether California government has grown too big or not big enough. We're looking over the edge of the cliff now. 

California is being hit harder by the economic crisis than any other state. We face a $40 billion deficit, and already the state is running out of money. Schools are looking at cutting classes and laying off teachers. Tomorrow, if there is no budget, 276 infrastructure projects will be halted - affecting 38,000 workers in the state, and the governor has announced that he will issue layoff notices to 20,000 state workers. And the state's credit rating, already low, will suffer further downgrades, effectively costing taxpayers more money.

The media has now taken notice that the Republicans are trying to bring the state down with them. But the media has little power if we aren't watching and if our leaders don't know we are watching them. So, here is what we need to do:

Call Senator Abel Maldanado (R-Monterey County, 916-651-4015) and tell him to give up his list of demands and end this hostage situation.

Call Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks, 916-651-4001) and tell him that the state deserves better than a Senator who goes back on a deal when threatened by his own party's extremists.

Tell as many people to do the same thing. Use every tool at your disposal, Twitter, facebook, or just word of mouth. The more people that know about this Republican extremism threatening our state, the better.

The Senate is set to once again resume session, and we might be in for another all-nighter. However, keep at it, because this is simply too important to let Republicans play their dangerous games with the lives of Californians.

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