California and New York continue to fascinate me. Both are States that have to come to terms iwth deficits, have State Governments that are dysfunctional and are in need of reform. But, California gives me hope. New York is a whole different story, though.
California’s challenges are well known. But, believe it or not, there is still hope for California because it is resilient. Yesterday, I participated in an online discussion sponsored by the New America Foundation. The focus was California and the challenges it faces as it begins to once again deal with the 20 Billion Dollar Budget shortfall. Of all the discussions, I found one comment by Joe Matthews especially disturbing. He talked about how the Republicans and Democrats in the California Congressional Delegation do not any take the time to talk. It got so bad that the Anenberg Foundation sponsored a get together in Coachella Valley for them to talk things through. If this is not a disgrace, I don’t know what is. But, I am gratified by some of the things that the Governor has proposed. For instance, he has proposed to shift the way monies are spent within the budget. California, right now, spends about 11% of its budget on Prisons and around 7.5% of its’ budget on Education. He is proposing to change the formula. He is also making a full court press to go after the Feds for California’s Fair Share. I find that to be especially gratifying in light of the sweet heart deals some of the States have been getting. I am not sure if the Governor will be successful though. Will the Congressional Delegation do what it has to do, though? We shall see