SACRAMENTO — Assemblyman Paul Cook, a Republican from Yucca Valley, issued a repudiation of the state budget passed Tuesday night. His statement, released from his office:
"Tonight, the Legislature continued an ignominious tradition by passing yet another gimmick-filled budget under the cover of darkness. This budget contain no reforms to jumpstart our economy or fix our broken pension system. Instead, it's filled with legally questionable tax and fee hikes. It plays the same games that politicians have been playing for years by assuming that billions of dollars in new revenue will come in above and beyond current revenue projections.
"Last year, Californians voted to allow the California Legislature to pass the state budget by a majority vote. However, they also voted to require the same 2/3 majority for fee increases that's already required for tax hikes. This budget attempts to circumvent the voters by passing several tax and fee hikes with a simple majority.
"For example, this budget, which was crafted by Governor Jerry Brown and the Democrats in the Legislature, includes an increase in vehicle registration fees. This fee, better known as the 'car tax,' affects every California motorist. Somehow, the majority of legislators feel that increasing the car tax is neither a fee nor a tax that requires a 2/3 vote. This will nullify part of a scheduled reduction of the car tax, set to take effect on July 1.
"This is just one of the taxes contained in the budget. These illegal increases will almost certainly end up in the courts, leaving the budget out of balance once again. Even beyond these increases, the budget includes an assumption that $4 billion will materialize out of thin air beyond the $6.6 billion increase that has already been projected.
"Luckily, starting July 1, Californians will receive significant tax relief for the first time in years. Due to our unanimous opposition to raising taxes on Californians during a weak economy, my Republican colleagues and I have guaranteed that the sales tax, state income tax and car tax will all be reduced. This will provide over $1,000 in annual tax relief to the average California family.
"Californians have spoken clearly and strongly on the issues of taxes and fiscal sanity in state budgeting. Despite this setback, voters are making progress in the war on big government, but they must remain vigilant. If the majority of Legislators refuse to make tough decisions on spending, such as creating a strict spending cap or undoing the stranglehold that state bureaucracies have imposed on our economy through over-regulation, voters should make these decisions for them at the ballot box."
On the other hand, Gov. Edmund "Jerry" Brown issued the following brief words after the budget was passed:
“Democrats in the California State Legislature made tough choices and delivered an honest, balanced and on-time budget that contains painful cuts and brings government closer to the people through an historic realignment.
"Putting our state on a sound and sustainable fiscal footing still requires much work, but we have now taken a huge step forward.”