Daly and Martinez plan to fund education with an All Cuts State Budget

With the prospect of a $16 billion budget shortfall facing the state, Governor Jerry Brown has pinned a large part of his budget balancing strategy on increasing state revenues through his proposed short-term tax increase on the wealthiest Californians and short-term 0.25% (that’s a quarter of one percent, not 25 percent) increase in the state sales tax. We thought we’d review the positions of the top three candidates in the 69th Assembly contest on the Governor’s proposed tax increases.

“We can’t fill a hole of this magnitude with cuts alone without doing severe damage to our schools,” Brown said on Saturday. “That’s why I’m bypassing the the gridlock and asking you, the people of California, to approve a plan that avoids cuts to schools and public safety.”

The Orange County Register asked the candidates three questions in a survey for their Orange County Voter Guide.

How would you solve the state’s chronic budget problems?

Michele Martinez said:

“California’s budget must be reformed. We need to start with accountability and revenue standards that will identify what is working and eliminate wasteful government spending. I support performance-based budgeting that will provide clear goals and performance measures for state programs. I also support steps to aggressively grow our economy and create new jobs, which will be a source for new and stable revenues that can be invested in keeping our schools and neighborhoods safe.”

OC Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly (Photo: Lou Delgado)

Tom Daly said:

“The Legislature must stop opening new tax loopholes. In the last 20 years, those loopholes have caused a permanent loss of $112 billion. Second, after the latest court system computer fiasco, where a $300 million project ballooned to a $3 billion mess, the state must reconsider its own competence to do this work. California has spent more money on what doesn’t work than the combined start-up costs of Google, Apple and eBay.”

Julio Perez said:

“We are not going to balance the state budget tomorrow – it is going to take hard work. There are steps we can take to bridge the gap between what we’re spending and what we’re taking in. We can broaden our tax base to protect it from our boom and bust economy, close loopholes to force corporations to pay their fair share. What I won’t do is punish working families for the state’s budget shortfalls.”

Martinez and Daly are advocating a budget balancing approach focused entirely on cuts to existing programs. Neither one says anything about increasing revenues. Perez focuses on a balanced approach that cuts existing loopholes, and broadens the tax base in addition to cuts. Martinez thinks performance based budgeting will work in an assembly district where schools in Santa Ana are consistently at the bottom; the “eliminate wasteful government spending” sounds like Martinez is channeling her inner Republican.  It’s also hard to see how a cuts only solution is going to not hit working families that Daly hopes to protect.

What is your stance on Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to raise taxes?

Councilwoman Michele Martinez (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Michele Martinez said:

“Raising taxes at the State level is not going to solve our problems and I don’t believe the Governor’s ballot measure is the right long term solution. We need to reform our budgeting process to eliminate wasteful government spending and bring increased accountability to state programs. Our schools can’t afford another round of funding cuts and we need to work to make sure more money is directly invested in our classrooms.”

Tom Daly said:

“I will be voting “No”. I cannot support higher taxes as long as I see money being wasted. I cannot justify raising the sales tax on life’s necessities, while millions of persons are either out of work or working part-time. It isn’t fair, and ultimately won’t solve anything.”

Julio Perez said:

“Governor Brown began his term cutting budgets, eliminating cars for legislators, getting rid of cell phones and saving costs. He has made significant cuts. Now he needs to raise more revenue to balance our state budget. Let’s go to the ballot box to see if the people of California agree. His plan will fund essential state services during this difficult economic time and safeguard our schools from further devastating cuts. I plan on voting Yes.”

Again, we have both Martinez saying clearly that they oppose Governor Brown’s proposed short-term increase in state revenues to address the current shortfalls, while Perez makes the point that without an increase in revenue schools will suffer even more devastating cuts.

Martinez and Daly talked about funding  for education when they were asked; Besides the state budget, what is the single most pressing issue facing the state of California today?

“We need to keep our kids safe and make sure they have a good start in life,” Martinez told the Register. “I am running for Assembly to stop cuts to education funding, reduce the size of school bureaucracy so more money goes directly into the classroom, expand access to anti-gang programs in local schools and increase prison terms for sex offenders.”

“The state is forcing students out of what was once California’s greatest asset, our community colleges and state universities,” Daly said. “We must move aggressively to lower the cost of college textbooks – many now cost more than the fees to take a class – and we can do it by bringing textbooks into the digital era where they are nearly free. I will pursue initiatives like this, and restore the promise that once was the great California Promise.”

Julio Perez (Photo: Lou Delgado)

Perez said:

“Apart from the budget crisis, the biggest challenge facing California is the state’s high unemployment rate. As the economy recovers, we need to be ready. If elected, my top priority will be to create and protect good-paying jobs today, while preparing our children to compete for the jobs of tomorrow. I have fought my entire career for working families, and on behalf of the people of this district, I will continue that fight in Sacramento.”


We’ll have to note all three candidates are “for creating good high paying jobs,” but not a single candidate has offered a specific plan to do that.  I’m sure they’re all for puppies and ice cream sundaes too.  No where in any of the answers provided to any of the questions the Register posed has any of these candidates said how they plan to close the budget gap.  Saying you’ll work to cut wasteful goverment spending is hollow without identifying a program that represents wasteful government spending.  So specifically, what do Martinez, Daly and Perez propose cutting.

  5 comments for “Daly and Martinez plan to fund education with an All Cuts State Budget

  1. just me
    May 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Julio said he would vote for revenue increase to fund schools and balance the budget. I think its unfair of you to lump him with the others who want to fund education but do not have the guts to say they will make the rick pay their share. We can’t have democrats being rewarding the rich at the expense of those who toil for a living.

  2. May 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Did Daly & Martinez miss the big news last weekend? California now has a $16 billion deficit. Without extra revenue coming in (hint, hint: Jerry Brown’s tax initiative), that means even more cuts must be made. And since public education is such a big part of the state’s budget, this means either schools must be cut or entire departments must be eliminated! Don’t they realize that AD 69 voters are sick & tired of being asked to choose whether to eliminate class size reduction, nix more OCTA bus routes, and/or raise CA state park fees?

  3. MikeM128
    May 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I am not saying that any Republican will fix anything. I will say that anyone that supports a Democrat for any job after they have had over 30 years of complete control of California would be crazy.

    Between the Democrats and their spending and idiot voters saying yes to every bond measure proposed we are doomed in this state.

    All of those crazy pensions are haunting us and dragging us down. Too bad we have run out of businesses to tax, we taxed them right out of the state.

    You can call me bitter because I am. I am mad that I did not get one of those nice union jobs so that I can retire on a six figure income. Heck, I would already have been able to retire. Now I am really ticked off.

    Maybe the crazy Libertarians are not the crazy ones…..

  4. Common Sense 2012
    May 15, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Mike: The sad reality is that the Republicans have consistently refused to do sensible tax plans to fund the common sense needs of the state, such as roads, schools, and infrastructure. The end result is that the state is sending less money to the counties and the school districts, resulting in the local government passing bonds for schools, roads and infrastructure. Big Surprise. When the GOP stops marching in locked goose step and decides to increase historically low tax rates for those who make more than a million dollars a year, we will have a solution to the debt problems we have.

  5. Santa Ana Citizen
    May 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    What a tool Martinez is! How many in the 69th are going to be affected by the Brown tax increases? How many are going to killed by the cuts she is proposing – if she even understands the consequences of her position, which is really doubtful. It is like she is a mouth in searh of a brain – or the jobless willing to say anything to get a job.

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