This week the California Senate considered, and ultimately passed, Assembly Bill 711 (Calderon, D – Los Angeles) legislation to provide $45,000 for a study to determine if it is financially viable for East Los Angeles to become its own city. Apparently the city couldn’t raise enough money itself to fund the necessary study. I disagreed with this action.
When I questioned why the state should involve itself in local government finances, Senator Gloria Romero (D- Los Angeles) chimed in that the $45,000 was merely “budget dust”. Well, I have news for my liberal colleagues, outlaying a little “budget dust” here, and a little “budget dust” there is partially responsible for the mountain of financial trouble California is in now. When the state legislature is forced to cut vital services, education spending and release prisoners early to save money, do we really have any “budget dust” to spare? I think not.
Once again California finds itself facing a multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Our unemployment numbers are still among the highest in the nation. Is it really necessary to give taxpayer’s money away to East L.A. for a non-essential item? The legislature’s priorities should be on reducing the deficit and bringing jobs to California. As for glibly dismissing the amount as “budget dust”… ask any unemployed Californian looking for a job, what a state gift of $45,000 would mean to them? I’ll bet they wouldn’t call it “budget dust” at all. The legislature shouldn’t treat it as such either.