The governor’s race is finally over and Jerry Brown is now our governor elect. But as the dust settles, the truth of the state of California remains.We are in a deep recession, with more than 12 percent unemployment and serious state budget deficits that have caused cuts in just about every social service. Which is why we are offering Brown our short wish-list to help him order his priorities:
First, we need more jobs. Now. While other states’ unemployment rates are decreasing, California’s is increasing, putting more citizens out on the streets and in unemployment lines. As governor, we need to to decrease the unemployment through investing in green jobs. By increasing spending to make California a green er state, thousands of more jobs can be created, and money will be saved in the long run.
Second, we want a balanced budget. This year, students had to go without Cal Grants for months because the budget wasn’t approved. This year, let’s not wait until the middle of October to approve a budget that is balanced and appropriate for the needs of this state. Instead of wrangling with the state legislature, our governor needs to work toward compromise.
Third, invest in education. The state’s public education system, from kindergarten through university level has suffered terribly since the recession began. Budget cuts to schools have caused layoffs, pay cuts, increased class size, and cuts to services at schools across the state. College students have been shut out of classes at the community college through the UC level. Access to excellent education at every level is necessary for success, and for the sustained health of the state economy.
Fourth, the initiative system needs a revamp. As of right now, any company with a ton of money can put an initiative on the ballot. This year’s fine example was Proposition 23. Big oil companies used a weak foundation to support the cutting of pollution regulations so they could save money at the expense of the environment. Although it was defeated last week, the measure should have never made it to the ballots.
A system of checks and balances needs to be set up to stop the ballot initiative process from being co-opted by special interest groups.
So now, Jerry Brown, with enough issues to keep you busy for the rest of your term, make the Campus Times proud and improve the situation in California.