WatchSonoma Watch

North Coast legislators at odds with Brown over budget cuts


The North Coast’s legislative delegation is in the unusual position of opposing Gov. Jerry Brown over his proposed budget cuts to California’s social safety net and to higher education.

It’s not just that Brown and North coast lawmakers are all Democrats. Brown’s proposed cuts also go to the heart of what Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, called the party’s “core values.”

Jared Huffman and Noreen Evans

In budget hearings held Tuesday, Democrats outlined their opposition to the governor’s proposed cuts to welfare-to-work, In-Home Supportive Services, child care and Cal Grant scholarships.

Democrats also are seeking a $614 million state budget reserve, $434 million less than what Brown called for in his May budget revision.

Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, said Brown’s proposed cuts to social welfare programs are no different than those proposed by previous administrations.

She said such programs are “critically important” not only to the people that rely on them, but also to California’s long-term economic recovery. And she said California will not be able to compete with a global economy if the state doesn’t invest in education.

But Evans said without a willingness on the part of Republicans to support new revenues, “all Democrats can do is cut.” The Democratic legislators’ budget proposal calls for more more modest cuts than the does the governor’s budget.

Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, said it would be “unconscionable to make the deeper cuts that the governor has proposed at a time when we still have other, less destructive options available to us.”

He and Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, downplayed the differences with Brown, saying the two sides are in agreement on about 99 percent of the issues.

“To people who depend on home care and child care,” Chesbro said, “the stance we are taking is extremely important.”

The governor, however, issued a statement Tuesday saying the Legislature’s budget is “not structurally balanced and puts us into a hole in succeeding years.”

Democrats have been more muted in their criticism of Brown than when former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed similar cuts.

Aside from party loyalty, that’s because Brown’s plan would satisfy Democrats’ long-standing calls for the state to seek more sources of revenue, in this case through a tax measure that Brown is backing for the November ballot.

“He’s made a better effort to do right by our most vulnerable Californians,” Huffman said of Brown.

Chesbro said he would prefer a larger rainy-day fund but that the state is “in a downpour right now.”

Lawmakers said the threat of having their pay docked if they don’t pass a budget by Friday’s constitutional deadline is not a motivating factor to get the job done.

“I can assure you that the Legislature is on track to pass an on-time budget on Friday, and that it will be balanced, and it will be honest,” said Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who is chairman of the Senate’s Budget Committee and whose district encompasses southern Sonoma County.

12 Responses to “North Coast legislators at odds with Brown over budget cuts”

  1. Skippy says:

    “What happened to Christian charity?”
    It is alive and well. It is also voluntary and does not involve Big Govt sucking more from my wallet at the point of a gun.
    “I’ll bet some of these posters go to church.”
    They did. That’s where the radical priest told them how guilty they should feel because the world is an unfair place, and only Saint Big Govt could help. Then they switched churches.
    “Jesus would be appalled at their attitude towards those that have less. He preached differently.”
    And He said give unto Caesar(Big Govt)that which is Caesar’s. Funny how Big Govt liberals only remember His generosity, but forget about babies…umm…unviable tissue masses.

    “That’s the intent of big corporations. They want to take away workers’ security because that means more profit for them.”
    Of course. What industry doesn’t want all their customers to die starving in the streets? Especially if women, children and minorities are hardest hit.
    That’s taught on day one of Big Business 101: to maximize profits and grow a business, you first kill all your customers. That assures steady long term growth.
    If liberals weren’t so predictable, they would be amusing.

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  2. GAJ says:

    Bear said:

    “Or tell me a true story of how you achieved financial success in the economy of the last 32 years. And explain how your profits helped the workers who helped you steal them.”

    Myopic much?

    So every company “steals” profits and screws its employees while government can do no wrong.


    Anyone who is so blind that they think living beyond their means makes much sense is delusional.

    If someone took on a mortgage that they could plainly not afford on the “hope” that prices would rise forever has nobody to blame but themselves for their ignorance.

    Believe me, the employees that I had in the 25 years we ran a small labor intensive business in Sonoma and Marin Counties wish we were still running it.

    What “forced” us to sell?

    We were running a 200 employee company with a total of two people at the office.

    It simply became impossible to administer a company of that size with that small administration due to complexities and liabilities that multiplied over the years due to government mandates and associated growth in the opportunities for frivolous and expensive lawsuits.

    A do, however, applaud the recent approval by the State Senate of revisions to the Unruh Law in order to limit frivolous lawsuits under the ADA that have destroyed numerous small businesses in California.

    No other State was stupid enough to enact similar laws as the Unruh Act that gave “advocates” and their lawyers a license to print money.

    There are numerous businesses in Santa Rosa that under the old rules anyone could make a very healthy six figure annual income suing under the old laws.

    A colleague who was a lawyer said that if had chosen that route rather than running a small business he could easily have made $500,000/year.

    Without “evil” businesses “stealing” profits and employing taxpayers please explain to me how government would exist?

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  3. Petaluma Dave says:

    This whole democrat “balanced budget” is about as balanced as a dui at a Friday night road stop.

    Now that the state budget has been agreed to by the state legislature and passed to the governor, we will see if it is truly balanced and honest as Leno believes. And best of all, the state legislators can continue to be paid.

    This latest house of cards is build on the concept of increased taxes to be put before the voters in November.

    This little wrinkle may prove to be the undoing of this crafted democrat plan. Voters are in no mood for more taxation without more government cuts.

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  4. JDS says:

    @ Mockingbird,

    It’s not a question of compassion,it’s a question of resources.

    Business is still leaving this state and the base of taxpayers is still not sufficient to pay for every promise.

    The longer we wait,the more vicious the cuts will be.

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  5. bear says:

    No, I blame the ignorant for what the republicans are doing with voter rights, all unions and all budgets. You’re pursuing your own self-interest at the expense of others who have NOT had your advantages. Not exactly Christian.

    Here’s a little experiment for you: take a bible and an Exato knife and physically edit out all passages in the New Testament that do NOT deal with charity and the plight of the poor.

    Remembering that YOUR profits come at someone else’s expense.

    Or tell me a true story of how you achieved financial success in the economy of the last 32 years. And explain how your profits helped the workers who helped you steal them.

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  6. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Lots of compassion coming from the folks posting on this blog. They are lucky they have jobs and are able to make ends meet, I guess.

    What happened to Christian charity? I’ll bet some of these posters go to church. Jesus would be appalled at their attitude towards those that have less. He preached differently.

    And another thing-many people had jobs, homes and were able to support themselves easily. The banks gambled away many middleclass families’ futures. Now we have families living on the street with no resources through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. They want what they had but it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. In fact, we are all losing our job security. It’s coming to the point where no one will have a secure job they work 40 hours a week with some benefits until they can retire.

    That’s the intent of big corporations. They want to take away workers’ security because that means more profit for them.

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  7. Taxpayer says:

    No one to blame but themselves.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  8. FedUp says:

    “The North Coast’s legislative delegation is ..opposing Gov. Jerry Brown over his proposed budget cuts to California’s social safety net”

    Safety net. As if living was some sort of high wire act. Here’s your safety net. Graduate high school, don’t have kids until you are married and can afford them, stay off drugs. You’ll be fine.

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  9. Commonsense says:

    “safety net” programs such as welfare to work and education make up over 70% of California’s general fund. Voters need to take a look at these programs. Go done to your local health and human services offices and look at how business is done and visit your local schools and universities. The safety net (welfare)system is run like an honor system and the money is handed out on “EBT cards”, which many recipients can just cash out or spend anyway they like, with little or no consequence when the money isn’t spent on housing or food (as its meant to be). If we want to help people in need with food and shelter, then that’s where the money should go, directly to places like safeway and directly to landlords, but instead we provide lump sums of cash. We don’t under invest in either safety nets or education, what we do is over spend and spend in a way that encourages waste and fraud. Until the government changes it’s “core values and practices”, this is one voter who will not be voting for any tax increase, period!!!!

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  10. JDS says:

    It’s a new day,and the numbers are starting to trump the politics.

    I suggest the Republicans hold firm so that “All the Democrats can do is cut”.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  11. Thomas Brooks says:

    No more taxes!! Tax money is like heroin to a drug crazed addict and the governor and legislature are in bad need of a fix.

    They all need to go into rehab and get clean. Stop the spending and stop the debt. That should be their mission. Instead all they can think about is their next fix of more tax money.

    When will the governor and state legislature begin to make real personnel and program cuts? They have trimmed around the edges, but the core cause of most the spending goes on. They hire more employees to do less.

    Why because their public union masters call the shots and make demands for more not less.

    What California needs is a good shot of Wisconsin politics. Limit the influence the public unions have in this state and you will see a strong move toward a real balanced state budget. Make public unions irrelevant in local and state government and there will be a sudden surge of money available for all sorts of things beyond public employee wages and benefits which are truly needed.

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  12. Reality Check says:

    Republicans aren’t standing between Huffman’s and Evan’s dream of higher taxes, the people are.

    In 2009 voters, whacked back 5 proposals to extend and raise so-called temporary taxes. They did so again in 2010 on a measure to raise taxes for parks. They’ll have another opportunity this November. Don’t blame Republicans for what the voters did.

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