Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Putting the Brakes on Bad Budget Ideas

Fed up with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s inaction on the state’s budget crisis, California’s Assembly and Senate leaders have challenged the governor to sign their proposal to help balance the state budget.

So far, the governor has refused to sign a Dec. 19 package of budget-boosting fees, including his own proposal to tax oil companies for the harm they do to California’s air, land and water.

Gov. Schwarzenegger keeps moving back the goalposts. Rather than working to stabilize California’s chilling economy, the governor has been holding the proposals hostage in order to roll back California Environmental Quality Act regulations for a number of massive freeway expansion projects.

Putting the brakes on environmental protections means less consideration for the potential effects of construction: increased global warming pollution; more bad emissions in affected neighborhoods; and potential harm to water, land and endangered species. It also sets a dangerous precedent by removing YOUR voice from projects that could affect YOUR neighborhood!

What’s more, the governor’s budget delay resulted in the shutdown of a number of public works projects, including important habitat restoration work – potentially costing working Californians their jobs!

Sierra Club California joins other environmental groups, workers’ groups and seniors’ advocacy groups in calling for the governor to stop holding the budget hostage – and start working toward a real solution.

Read the LA Times' take on the budget

Gov. Schwarzenegger has threatened to veto the proposals. Read the Sacbee.com story here

Sierra Club California's Paul Mason stands with protesters following a state budget press conference.

Cartoon c. The Sacramento Bee, used for non-profit educational purposes under terms of "fair use" doctrine. Props to Rex Babin.

1 comment:

Irvin Dawid said...

It looks like the Gov is serious about destroying California for the sake of CEQA relaxation on major infrastructure projects - for the sole purpose that they'll qualify for Obama's infrastructure stimulus.
Perhaps we should pressure Obama, not Schwarzenegger, that if CA is to get any infrastructure stimulus funding, it's not enough to be 'shovel-ready' but also "environmentally-cleared"....