Bake sale won't balance state budget
Voters gave the Legislature the power to pass the state budget with a simple majority, instead of the two-thirds required in previous years, but with a firm deadline. Unfortunately, a simple majority vote for the budget is only half a loaf, because a two-thirds majority vote is still required to pass revenue increases. But as women always do, we will manage as best we can.
Today we are living up to our responsibility and passing a balanced budget by the June 15 state constitutional deadline.
While this is the responsible thing to do, it is also a sad day. We had hoped to offer Californians another option - the opportunity to decide whether to freeze taxes at their current level to forestall terrible cuts - but our Republican colleagues have steadfastly refused to give voters that choice.
As women legislators, we take seriously our responsibility to engage women to help nurse our state back to good health.
Today we join in passing a budget that inflicts real pain on women, children and all of California's families due to harsh cuts that must be made to balance the budget in the absence of more revenue. We want Californians to know that, although this budget is balanced, it falls far short of meeting the needs of California's families. In fact, it slashes funding to schools, higher education and courts, and it closes parks around the state. In a state as wealthy as California, this is simply unacceptable.
Every year the Legislative Women's Caucus holds a bake sale and donates the proceeds to fighting breast cancer. It is not possible to hold enough bake sales to make up the billions of dollars we have cut from our children's futures.
California and its families deserve better. California is not broke. We are one of the wealthiest civilizations the world has ever seen. We have one of the largest economies in the world. Refusing to use our resources for the benefit of our children is abominable.
We have much work to do, and we ask your help in moving California forward and finding the resources we need to provide our children with good educations and the support and opportunities they deserve.
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Noreen Evans represents the 2nd Senate District, including all or portions of the Counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma. Evans chairs the Legislative Women's Caucus and the Committee on Judiciary.