We learned last week that Santa Ana City Councilwoman Michele Martinez is supporting the Government Performance and Accountability Act ballot initiative. She joins the Orange County Business Council, South Orange County Regional Chamber, Senator Marian Bergeson, Councilman Jeffrey Lalloway of Irvine, Councilwoman Kris Murray of Anaheim, Councilman Jerry Amante of Tustin, Mayor Frank Ury and Councilman David Lechness of Mission Viejo and many others who support this radical revision to the State Constitution.
Among the things this initiative proposes, is changing the state budgeting process from the current one-year process to a two-year process. The success of such a process is highly questionable because of the unpredictability of state revenues. As we have seen with each budget cycle, revenue forecasts rarely seem to pan out on an annual basis, to balance a two year budget would be even less predictable.
Martinez should know this. While she wrote in a mailer from her failed campaign for Santa Ana Mayor in 2008 that the city was facing a $28 million deficit; she joined her council colleagues in ignoring that deficit for two more years. That failure to pay attention led to the outsourcing of hundreds of city jobs including the entire Santa Ana Fire Department.
The Democratic leaders in the State Assembly and State Senate have significant reservations about this proposed initiative. While some provisions are intriguing, others severely limit the ability of the legislature to control the state budget making it unacceptable.
The California Legislative Analysts Office writes of the initiative:
This measure amends the Constitution to: 1) Constrain the Legislature’s authority to enact laws that increase state costs or decrease state revenues by more than $25 million annually; 2) Expand the Governor’s authority to implement midyear reductions to appropriations in the state budget; 3) Shift state funds to local governments for the purpose of implementing new “Community Strategic Action Plans;” 4) Modify state and local government budget practices. Read More.
I’m not so sure that shifting limited state funds to local control, to fund unrestricted “Community Strategic Action Plans” is such a great deal. This plan appears reminiscent of the now shuttered Community Redevelopment Agency’s that permitted city leaders were able to bankroll their campaigns with developer contributions in return for massive giveaways of public funds.
The fact that Michele Martinez has joined pay-to-pay princess Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray (Republican), and the Orange County Business Council, tells us who’s side she’s on. This, combined with her history of pay-to play behavior as a councilwoman in Santa Ana, demonstrates that she is probably FOR SALE to the highest bidder. Imagine what Michele Martinez would do if she were to represent us in the California State Assembly.