Tuesday, July 27, 2004

California budget rescued from special interests

California has at least a "hand-shake" budget. The money part had been settled long ago. What I was watching were the side deals. It looks like the Democrats pretty much held firm. Senate Democratic leader John Burton even gave Governor Schwarzenegger some credit for helping to reach a reasonable settlement.

how the LA Times describes the various resolutions. (The bulleting is mine.)
  • Issue: a loophole that allows owners of luxury yachts to avoid paying the sales tax on them by keeping the yachts in Mexico for three months. 

    Resolution: [C]lose the loophole for two years and study its impact on the [yachting] industry.

    [The] Republicans [had] warned that closing [this loophole] would wreck the state's yacht industry.[!]

    The governor ultimately joined Democrats to push for the change. "Arnold, God love him, he went to bat on it," Burton said.

  • Issue: [a law that] allows workers to file multimillion-dollar lawsuits against their employers for a variety of offensives — some of them as small as using the wrong size type on posters that inform employees of their rights.

    Resolution: [Employees may] sue for major violations, but only if the Labor and Workforce Development Agency refuses to act. [No] suits for such minor violations as failure to post labor rules.

  • Issue: [A] law that restricts schools from contracting out for transportation, janitorial and other noninstructional services to companies that pay below union wage.

    Resolution: The Democrats agreed to some concessions, but Republicans said they weren't enough.

    I wish I knew more about this compromise. Neither the NY Times nor the Sacramento Bee had any details.
All-in-all, I'd say that the good guys won. Let's see if the Governor can convince enough of his party-men to support his budget. The Democrats can't pass it on their own.

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