AssemblyMEMBER, sixty-sixth district
June 23, 2009
To: California Families and Taxpayers
From: Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries
Re: State Budget Vote Called – Without Details available for the Public or Legislators
In a surprise announcement Assembly Speaker Bass announced at 3pm today that the State Assembly will hold an unusual Wednesday Floor session, presumably to address the growing $23 billion state budget deficit.
Legislators may be asked to vote on $13 billion in cuts and $8 billion in taxes, or possibly larger cuts or larger tax increases. The problem is that nobody really knows for sure because NO information is available to the public or Legislators as to what is being planned. It appears that we are again going to be asked to walk out onto the Assembly Floor and vote without ever having seen any specific language in advance of the vote. It could be massive tax increases. It could be devastating cuts to local government funds. It could be large scale releases of convicted felons from prisons. It could be all of the above!
Simply put – we don’t know what the majority party Leadership is going to ask of us in just a few hours. Once again, we’re being treated like mushrooms—kept in the dark and served up heaping piles of… legislation!
Of course, this sort of closed government wouldn’t be possible if the legislature would pass ACA 8, which I introduced earlier this year to force legislation to be published 24 hours before a vote could be taken.
If you are concerned about the potential for trouble, as you should be, you can watch the proceedings live on the California Channel (carried by some cable systems) or online at www.calchannel.com If you cannot catch it live, you can watch the archived version online later. Warning: This Session could be a long one, lasting into the evening.
Speaking of archives, for a sense of the political culture of the Assembly, watch the beginning of this past Monday’s Assembly Floor session. You may find the “opening prayer” to be quite illuminating.
Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries represents Western Riverside County and Northern San Diego County, including the communities of Jurupa, Riverside, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Murrieta, Temecula, Fallbrook, Bonsall, Valley Center, and Julian.