California's budget problems continue to grow worse by the day.
Lawmakers continue to work toward bipartisan consensus on a plan that will resolve our cash crisis and fully close our budget deficit, but so far we have been unable to find common ground.
As a result of the Legislature's failure to agree on a solution, our budget deficit has now grown to more than $26 billion dollars. Now the State Controller has been forced to issue IOUs for payments because the state has run out of enough cash to pay its bills.
This will cause significant hardship for small businesses that do work for the state, and needless suffering for many Californians struggling to make ends meet in these tough times. Some taxpayers may be forced to have to take out expensive loans just to get by. Small businesses may have to shut down or layoff workers, putting more people out of work. This is wrong.
It is unfortunate that we are in this situation today because we didn't have to be. There was a bipartisan solution passed by the State Assembly that would have brought more than $3 billion in savings right away. I was pleased to support this bipartisan plan because I thought it was the right thing to do to help our state and help people in need. Sadly, it did not become law before the June 30 deadline and now our budget problems have grown worse.
This is not a time for partisanship. It's time for us to work together to put hard-working Californians first. Regardless of how tough the choices may be, we must make them now to fully close our more than $26 billion deficit and solve the cash crisis.
One thing is clear - raising taxes is the worst thing we could do right now. With many losing their jobs, falling behind on their mortgages and cutting back on basic necessities such as groceries, forcing taxpayers to pay more taxes is a bad choice that will hurt families and our economy and jobs. Unfortunately, the liberal majority in Sacramento has stubbornly insisted on raising taxes yet again on hard-working families.
They have hindered our progress to reach a budget compromise by pushing reckless budget plans that would have imposed billions in new taxes on families and businesses. At the same time, they have rejected the difficult choices about budget savings necessary to get the deficit under control. This is irresponsible.
I strongly opposed the efforts by the majority party to raise your taxes and will continue to fight hard in the coming weeks to protect your wallets from new taxes. In pushing higher taxes, the majority party ignores the voices of the voters, who made it clear at the ballot box that they want lawmakers to cut wasteful spending and live within their means, not raise their taxes. The people have already done their part this year. We should not punish them with new taxes to pay for the Legislature's mistakes.
Instead of engaging in budget stunts that go nowhere, the time is now for all of us to come together to get our budget priorities in order and make significant savings in every area of government to save our state from insolvency.
The clock is ticking. With innocent Californians caught in the partisan crossfire, lawmakers must work together now to address our immediate problems, then pass reforms to help state government operate more efficiently and effectively to solve our budget problems in long run.
Taxpayers deserve nothing less, and I am ready to do my part to get the job done.
Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Hesperia, represents the 59th Assembly District in the California Legislature.