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SOUNDING OFF:State address unrealistic

Sen. Tom Harman released the following statements upon hearing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2007 State of the State Address and proposed budget:

Tonight, the governor painted a very optimistic picture of the future of California. I support the concept of many of his proposals but maintain a sense of wariness in regard to how we will pay for such extravagant plans.

Government has an obligation to be fiscally prudent with taxpayer dollars: minimizing waste, inefficiency and mismanagement, and increasing accountability.

It is widely understood that Sacramento is wasting a significant amount of tax dollars that California’s hardworking families pay each year. There is a lack of trust, and rightly so.

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We must look at 2007 as the year in which we turn this mindset around and begin to live within our means.

There is no questioning that California’s healthcare system is severely damaged: 6.6 million California residents are without health coverage a good portion of the year, and it is estimated that the average family pays about $1,186 a year in health insurance premiums to cover the uninsured — including those here illegally.

In order to put the pieces back together, we must adhere to a fiscally responsible approach, not mandate new taxes or “fees” on the backs of California businesses.

I am appalled that included in the governor’s healthcare proposal is the provision of health coverage for illegal immigrants living in California. The focus needs to be on providing affordable coverage for the working poor and those ineligible for current programs.

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I support the governor’s efforts to look at solutions to the state prison crisis, but we do not need commissions.

We need to build new prisons and jail facilities in a realistic and fiscally prudent manner and reject any proposal that undermines our state’s three strike law — if you do the crime, you must do the time.

Like the governor, I, too, want to work in a bipartisan manner. Rest assured, however, that I will not compromise my fiscally conservative principals in the process.

Budget response

At first glance, it [the proposed budget] appears to be heading in the right direction by bringing revenues and expenditures in line, while also fully funding Propositions 42 and 98, which is commendable.

I am concerned, however, that the governor predicated this budget proposal on potential one-time revenues with the assumption that we will see an increase in state revenues.

California’s spending binges are overly dependent on a few wealthy individuals gaining financial windfalls and then paying taxes on them. We are quickly running out of Californians willing to stay in the state to pay for our bloated bureaucracy.

While our short-term revenue estimates appear positive, I believe that the state is about to hit a revenue wall. Spending cuts are the only answer.

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The governor’s budget proposal can be accessed online at www.eBudget.ca.gov.

 

 


 

 

  • Sen. Tom Harman represents Laguna Beach, among other South Orange County cities.
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