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Scott Wilk: The loss of ‘super-majority’

Posted: May 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Just as their households must, Californians expect their state government not only to live within its means, but to work in a bipartisan way for the benefit of all.

This past week, the governor and legislative leaders did just that.

Thankfully, with bipartisan negotiations, we were able to reach a compromise on a deal that would benefit all Californians — Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1XX, which creates a real “rainy day fund” that will go before the voters this fall.

As a co-author of ACA 1XX, I am pleased to see that establishing a reserve fund is finally a top priority in Sacramento.

Under the plan, the state will actually save money into a rainy day fund, one that cannot be simply suspended by Executive Order or raided by a simple majority vote, and that will provide money to prevent painful cuts to education and public safety during economic downturns.

Prior versions required a 3 percent contribution per budget year; however, ACA1XX more realistically cuts the annual contribution to 1.5 percent but also requires the fund to be replenished with any additional revenue from capital gains taxes when the stock market has good years.

For the next 15 years, half of the rainy day fund would be dedicated to paying down state debt and liabilities, estimated at $340 billion.

California’s current budget is about $100 billion, and the state would set aside at least $1.5 billion for the rainy cay fund.

The current deal also creates a reserve for education spending, which wouldn’t operate until schools funding is fully restored to pre-recession levels.
ACA 1XX also includes a key component that my colleagues and I have been pushing for, the “three day in print” rule.

This requires all legislation, particularly budget bills, to be in print and online for at least 72 hours prior to any vote to ensure that all Californians are able to review the budget before it’s enacted.

For 10 years, we have had a so-called rainy day fund set up by Proposition 58 that has saved very little, if anything.

In 2010, ACA 4, a stronger version of the law, became part of the budget compromise that required a 3 percent annual contribution from the state’s general fund and was supposed to have been put before the voters.

But Democrats, armed with their newly minted super-majorities, instead refused to place that measure before the voters, allowing them to continue to overspend in prosperous years.

No money was saved in 2012-13, when tax revenue grew by $11.4 billion.

Unfortunately for the majority, with the persistence of the economic downturn and the dramatic fluctuations in revenues, the need to strengthen the rainy day fund would not go away.

But the governor’s original proposed plan again had so many loopholes in it you could drive a bullet train through it.

While it would have been nice if the motivation of the governor and the Democratic leaders to include Republicans in negotiations stemmed from a genuine desire to strengthen the rainy day fund, the cold, hard truth was that the

Senate super-majority had been lost through the suspensions of three Democratic senators.

So the Democrats needed Republican votes to move the measure to the governor’s desk for signature.

However we got here, we now have for California voters to approve a reliable rainy day fund that cannot easily be siphoned off and will actually be there to pay down debt and cover basic priorities in tough years.

Whether it is the budget, the rainy day fund, tax increases, new fees and regulations on business, or anything else, if the recent negotiations on the governor’s rainy day fund demonstrate anything, it is that when both parties and their policy improvements are included, California gets a better product — and California is the better for it.

Scott Wilk is a Santa Clarita Valley Republican who represents the 38th Assembly District in the California Legislature.

Comments

TruthSquad: Posted: May 16, 2014 6:31 a.m.

It sounds like a thoughtful proposal.


listenup: Posted: May 16, 2014 9:16 a.m.

Good piece Scott. A politician who actually writes bills that help California. And this will help us all.


OldReliable: Posted: May 16, 2014 9:21 a.m.

Scott Wilk touts bipartisanship all the while he's playing dirty politics within his own GOP. His talk is cheap.


peoplesvoice: Posted: May 16, 2014 9:38 a.m.

About time a politician actualy looks out for the people in this state over themselves


PatriotUSA: Posted: May 16, 2014 9:44 a.m.

Wilk has been ona role lately up in Sacramento! Every day I login I see something new he has been doing for us! Keep it up!


scvsoccermom82: Posted: May 16, 2014 9:44 a.m.

This is interesting. Thanks for sharing!


OldReliable: Posted: May 16, 2014 1:06 p.m.

Like what, Patriot?


AlwaysRight: Posted: May 16, 2014 4:14 p.m.

Thanks, Scott. At least someone has a little common sense in Sacto. Wilk for Governor!


EgbertSouse4U: Posted: May 16, 2014 4:45 p.m.

You're off to a great start, Mr. Wilk. Thank you!!


OldReliable: Posted: May 18, 2014 6:25 a.m.

Scott Wilk is perhaps THE most divisive politician in this area; his actions only serve to strengthen those who represent everything he actually opposes. Scott Wilk is trapped in a perfect Catch 22 scenario.


kkorenthal: Posted: May 18, 2014 7:21 p.m.

Does anyone post as themselves on here? Hey Signal, the early 2000's called and they want their anon commentator policy back!


tech: Posted: May 18, 2014 8:51 p.m.

How is that relevant, kkorenthal?


ricketzz: Posted: May 19, 2014 6:52 a.m.

Says the totally generic "tech" whose moniker is not even searchable.


philellis: Posted: May 19, 2014 10:30 a.m.

OR, any substance available to support your vague claims?


tech: Posted: May 19, 2014 10:42 a.m.

How observant, ricketzz. It appears you can't answer my question either.


Indy: Posted: May 19, 2014 4:01 p.m.

Wilk wrote: But Democrats, armed with their newly minted super-majorities, instead refused to place that measure before the voters, allowing them to continue to overspend in prosperous years.

Indy: I agree that refusing to vote on things is childish but many politicians don’t want to go ‘on record’ with their votes.

We see this in the House of Representatives headed by Speaker Boehner that very often refuses to vote on many bills.

Or even in the Senate where even the 'threat' of a filibuster stops the legislation without anyone knowing 'who' did the threat.

In any event, I can agree with the ‘overspending’ issue as long as Scott is willing to tell us the ‘consequences’ of not doing so . . . or why citizens can’t afford the services they both ‘demand and expect’ from government.

Simply rehashing the ‘regulations’ excuse is tired and worn out.

And if we need to modify regulations, why doesn’t Scott list the ones he wishes to address on his website? And provide us in ‘simple English’ what the issue is.

In any event, I’m not in favor for any politician of any party to dismiss existing regulations without clear public disclosure.

But I do like the ‘reserve fund’ since it will address the recurring recessions that our economy has to deal with.


philellis: Posted: May 19, 2014 4:54 p.m.

How big should the reserve fund be and how much spending can we "afford" now?


tech: Posted: May 19, 2014 6:00 p.m.

"We see this in the House of Representatives headed by Speaker Boehner that very often refuses to vote on many bills." - Indy

No doubt you realize this applies equally to the Senate, right? It's how majority control operates now.


emheilbrun: Posted: May 20, 2014 6:58 a.m.

Indy, interesting paragraph from you here...

"In any event, I can agree with the ‘overspending’ issue as long as Scott is willing to tell us the ‘consequences’ of not doing so . . . or why citizens can’t afford the services they both ‘demand and expect’ from government."

I think most folks would see 'benefits' of controlling overspending. You see 'consequences'. Then you write about 'citizens' not being able to afford services they 'demand and expect' from government. Point of clarification please, did you mean citizens or residents?


OldReliable: Posted: May 20, 2014 9:31 a.m.

It's been said that if a Democrat won McKeon's seat, it would make Wilk SCV's GOP King. Which would delight Wilk.


Indy: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:27 p.m.

Tech wrote: "We see this in the House of Representatives headed by Speaker Boehner that very often refuses to vote on many bills." - Indy

No doubt you realize this applies equally to the Senate, right? It's how majority control operates now.

Indy: It’s really important to know that libertarians approve of ‘not voting’ on legislation . . . for partisan political purposes.

There’s a reason why Boehner has been mostly a ‘failure’ running the House and this strategy to ‘prevent voting’ will be his ‘legacy’ . . .


Indy: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:35 p.m.

Emheilbrun wrote: Indy, interesting paragraph from you here...

"In any event, I can agree with the ‘overspending’ issue as long as Scott is willing to tell us the ‘consequences’ of not doing so . . . or why citizens can’t afford the services they both ‘demand and expect’ from government."

I think most folks would see 'benefits' of controlling overspending. You see 'consequences'. Then you write about 'citizens' not being able to afford services they 'demand and expect' from government. Point of clarification please, did you mean citizens or residents?

Indy: It’s great for fiscal conservative to grandstand ‘less taxes’ but they don’t tell the public the consequences.

When republicans were vetoing any increase in public education spending as the enrollment grew, our local legislators ‘at the time’ voted against any tax increases on ideology grounds . . . ignoring the consequences where the ‘student/teacher’ ratio increased as more kids were crammed into overcrowded classrooms due to the budget not be expanded for student population growth.

I don’t believe using our ‘students’ as political fodder for ideology to be honorable, do you?

In any event, most folks don’t connect the dots on spending cuts versus services being cut or their quality being reduced.

And most folks don’t realize that the CA educational system has been dropping out more than 1 student in 4 for 30+ years with all the quotes from legislators saying there were ‘110% behind quality education’! Only recently as the graduation rate reached 80%.

Politicians sadly play to voter ignorance versus properly educating them to the realities we face based on the ‘demand’ for public services versus the ‘affordability’ of same.

Saying we can’t afford something by advocating tax cuts is great . . . but NOT ‘leveling’ with the public in the ‘same sentence’ about the consequences is cowardly.

PS - do you know what we spend per student per year in K-12?


tech: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:46 p.m.

Indy: "It’s really important to know that libertarians approve of ‘not voting’ on legislation . . . for partisan political purposes." - Indy

It's super important to know if a social democrat like yourself approves of Sen. Reid blocking votes on legislation passed from "The People's House".

Please advise. --edited.


tech: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:56 p.m.

"Total taxpayer investment in K-12 education in the United States for the 2004-05 school year is estimated to be $536 billion. [ * ]

Even in this current time of the war against terror, taxpayer investment in education exceeds that for national defense. In addition to the K-12 money mentioned above, taxpayers will spend an estimated $373 billion for higher education in the same school year. As depicted on the chart below, the United States is a world leader in education investment. However, nations that spend far less achieve higher levels of student performance."

http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/10facts/index.html#chart1


emheilbrun: Posted: May 20, 2014 5:48 p.m.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/compare_state_welfare_spend

Indy, check out the link above and you will see why Calif per student spending lags.


tech: Posted: May 20, 2014 8:24 p.m.

It's seems Indy avoided this request as well:

"Point of clarification please, did you mean citizens or residents?" - emheilbrun


Indy: Posted: May 28, 2014 1:51 p.m.

Tech wrote: Indy: "It’s really important to know that libertarians approve of ‘not voting’ on legislation . . . for partisan political purposes." - Indy

It's super important to know if a social democrat like yourself approves of Sen. Reid blocking votes on legislation passed from "The People's House".

Indy: Yes, the statistics show republicans have obstructed in the Senate more than in other time . . .

And now we see House Speaker Boehner refusing to vote on issues like the minimum wage and extended unemployment insurance fearful that it wouldn’t be good for the next election going ‘on record’ with NO votes . . .

Cowards all . . .


Indy: Posted: May 28, 2014 1:59 p.m.

Tech wrote: "Total taxpayer investment in K-12 education in the United States for the 2004-05 school year is estimated to be $536 billion. [ * ]

Even in this current time of the war against terror, taxpayer investment in education exceeds that for national defense. In addition to the K-12 money mentioned above, taxpayers will spend an estimated $373 billion for higher education in the same school year. As depicted on the chart below, the United States is a world leader in education investment. However, nations that spend far less achieve higher levels of student performance."

Indy: This is where the lack of a business, economic, and management background really hurts this poster’s ability to understand basic budgeting.

Comparing ‘total budgets’ without any reality to why a given budget for a given program is what it is, is the main reason why so many libertarian market fundamentalist simply shouldn’t be anyway near our government.

As we’ve seen here even in CA, only recently did the state reduce its dropout rate to just 1 in 5 kids . . . versus the 1 in 4 over the last 30 years.

And as we saw here in SCV-land, our ‘republican’ legislators were still voting down tax increases as the K-12 student population grew by some 1 million net students over a 15 year or so period as if the additional teachers, classrooms, and supplies were just going to 'drop out of the sky'!!!

Not surprising, as you ‘cram’ more kids into a classroom, the student/teacher ratio increases making it harder for the teacher to get results.

And of course, conservatives went on to ‘blame the teachers’ . . . what nonsense but this is the result of ‘ideology’ being a conservative ‘guide’ over basic business practices used to properly budget expenditures.

In any event, the US ‘lags’ in most major academic areas except for perhaps ‘graduate work’ but most Americans never get to realize that level of education . . .

And with comparison as this poster made above, it’s little wonder why the US ranks as it does.


Indy: Posted: May 28, 2014 2:01 p.m.

Emheilbrun wrote: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/compare_state_welfare_spend

Indy, check out the link above and you will see why Calif per student spending lags.

Indy: I see the statistics for welfare . . . and that effects K-12 spending based on student population in what manner?


Indy: Posted: May 28, 2014 2:04 p.m.

Tech wrote: It's seems Indy avoided this request as well:

"Point of clarification please, did you mean citizens or residents?" – emheilbrun

Indy: Is it the position that libertarian market fundamentalist don’t want to provide ‘public education’ to the illegal worker’s children here that help build our homes, nanny our children, do all our landscaping, ‘man’ the fast food restaurants’, dominate the hotel/motel service industry, pick our agricultural produce, and on and on . . .


emheilbrun: Posted: May 28, 2014 8:14 p.m.

Indy: "I see the statistics for welfare . . . and that effects K-12 spending based on student population in what manner?"

Welfare and Education are the two largest slices of the California budget pie. If you wanted to increase funding for education, from where would you take the money?

Education per capita spending for larger states:
California: 2,846
NY: 3,780
TX: 3,371
PA: 2,947

Welfare per capita spending for the same states:
CA: 1,235
NY: 1,270
TX: 393
PA: 1,088

Source: www.usgovernmentspending.com


TalkyTina: Posted: June 6, 2014 5:48 p.m.

Scott Wilk is a joke. Knows how to play the game while in the district. Fact of the matter is none of his bills go anywhere. Puts out press releases about stuff coming out of committee. Please.

He will "co-author" until the cows come home and claim victory. Yeah right. Here are items we constituents are at a loss for:

* Scott Wilk accepted more gifts and freebies than anyone in the legislature (even the Democrats)
* Scott Wilk accepted thousands of dollars from the dirtiest union in the state. The prison guard unions (CCPOA).
* Scott Wilk has had more staff turnover than his three previous officeholders and has his wife do all the hiring and firing. #heygiho
* Scott Wilk got into a physical altercation with a big GOP donor and had to go to the hospital.
* Scott Wilk got behind the wheel with his "girlfriend" and damaged a state vehicle. Speaker Perez swept it all under the table to have his vote when he wanted it. #Sealed
* Scott Wilk hired a felon and appointed another before replacing her.
* Scott Wilk recruited Stephen Winkler to run for Saugus while Candidate Recruitment Chair on the Central Committee.

This kingmaker may have power now but karma is a funny thing.



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