In Sacramento, the annual budget follies continue. The Democrat-controlled Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown can’t agree on a formula to come up with a plan for the new fiscal year.
Opposition from small business groups and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association dramatically increases the odds that Brown’s plan for tax hikes to close a $16 billion gap over two years will go down to defeat in November.
Once again, a charismatic and popular governor who promises straight talk has failed to move the Legislature away from one-time gimmicks and bookkeeping chicanery. The economy is improving fast enough to keep the state from skipping the light bill. But it’s not nearly fast enough to fill the fiscal potholes without massive reform, big cuts or tax increases. It looks like a bumpy summer and an even bumpier fall for California and its budget woes.
Lost in the debate is talk of making it easier for companies to grow in California. That’s really the only sustainable path forward.