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    LB area Assemblywoman Oropeza Calls For "Responsible Revenue Increases" To Help Balance CA Budget

    Current CA gov't spending expected to exceed revenue by $21.1 billion over next two years

    (December 6, 2002) -- LB area Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, who chairs the powerful Assembly budget committee, has called for "responsible revenue increases" [our translation: tax/fee increases] to help balance the CA state budget, in which current state government spending is anticipated to exceed revenue over the next two years by more than $21 billion.

    Earlier today, CA Governor Gray Davis proposed that the state legislature enact $10.2 billion in cuts, recaptures and other budget changes in virtually all governmental areas, including education. In a written release, the Governor said his proposal "reflects tough decisions made to deal with a tough situation. Reductions will be made in every state agency, nearly every department, nearly every program and in all areas of state spending. In times like these, everyone must be part of the solution."

    In response to the Governor's proposal, Assemblywoman Oropeza, a former LB Councilwoman, released a statement saying she was "pleased the Governor has made this first set of recommendations to address the more than $20 billion budget shortfall we face" but adding:

    "As we begin the process of thoroughly reviewing his reduction proposals, I again call for balance in closing the shortfall. This budget cannot be balanced by cuts alone. The time has come for responsible revenue increases. Every time California has faced severe budget shortfalls, Democrats and Republicans have come together to pass a balanced package including revenue increases. Historically, this approach has successfully stabilized our state’s economy. The key to solving California’s current budget crisis is no different."

    The Governor has called the legislature into Special Session, which will begin on Monday Dec. 9, to work on the $10.2 billion in budget reductions. The CA Assembly and Senate ultimately have the last word on spending. Governor Davis said of his package of proposed budget reductions that he urges the legislature to enact:

    "All of these [proposed] reductions are painful, but they are absolutely necessary if we are going to be in a stronger positions to meet this challenge in the coming year. If all of these actions are taken immediately, they will maximize savings and ease the pain down the road. I urge the Legislature to approve this package as fast as humanly possible."

    [ comment: Merry Christmas.]

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