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Smyth: Proposed state budget 'just the starting point'

Legislature must focus on job creation, reform to resolve budget crisis

Posted: January 8, 2010 3:03 p.m.
Updated: January 8, 2010 3:26 p.m.
 
SACRAMENTO - Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) today responded to the release of Governor Schwarzenegger's budget proposal for the 2010-11 fiscal year, saying it is just the starting point for the difficult work that must done in the coming months to balance the budget.

Assemblyman Smyth pledged to work collaboratively with Democrats and the governor on responsible budget solutions that protect the priorities of working families.

"The budget released by the governor today shows just how much work we have to do this year," Smyth said. "While there will be difficult decisions to be made, I'm committed to a budget solution that doesn't play favorites and that protects the priorities of my constituents. Job creation is a critical component of any long-term solution, and putting California jobs first makes it easier to protect essential priorities like classroom funding, public safety and social services."

The governor's 2010-11 budget proposal forecasts that California is facing an immediate $6.6 billion shortfall in the current budget year, and a projected $13.3 billion deficit next year.

In addition to releasing his budget plan today, the Governor also called a special session of the Legislature to address the current year budget deficit.

"Governor Schwarzenegger presented an ambitious plan to close the budget deficit, while maintaining funding in important areas like education," Smyth said. "I don't advocate seeking a federal bailout, but I agree with the governor that California must demand a fair share of federal funds. While New Mexico gets back over two dollars for every dollar they send to Washington, California gets back about seventy-five cents. If we want to avoid deep cuts, we need to make sure we are squeezing everything we can out of every dollar we have."

Assemblyman Smyth said that higher taxes, as some in Sacramento have proposed, would actually make it harder to close the state's budget gap, as it would hinder economic recovery, threaten job creation and hurt working families.

"Taxes are a non-starter within our caucus," Smyth said. "Members sacrificed their political futures last year in passing the largest tax increase in California history, only to find out that it barely made a dent in the deficit and cost hardworking Californians their jobs. We can't grow the economy if we're burdening families and businesses with additional taxes.

"Instead of raising taxes, we need to start by making government operations more efficient and encouraging competition from private firms in providing non-essential services. Nothing is more important than balancing the budget and creating jobs this year. All other legislation must take a backseat until these issues are resolved."

Smyth represents the 38th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and Glendale.

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