By David Siders The Sacramento Bee
Published: Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010 – 12:10 am

In a state accustomed to yawning deficits and late budgets, California’s gubernatorial candidates promise voters they could work more effectively with the Legislature than has Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In their campaigns, Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown both point to the recurring budget impasse as an example of dysfunction in the Capitol, a climate they say they could improve.


“I want to lower taxes, I want to streamline regulation, and I will be the staunchest supporter of small businesses.” June 1, 2010

“I would have chained them (legislators) to the desk to get this (the state budget) done.” Sept. 1, 2010


“The politicians in Sacramento have been fiddling while the deficit continues to grow. We’ve got to grow up. We’ve got to face the music and make the tough decisions.” June 8, 2010

“I have committed ­ no taxes unless the people themselves actually vote for them.” July 12, 2010


• Impose targeted tax cuts, such as eliminating the capital gains tax.

• Impose a state spending cap tied to the state’s gross domestic product, ensuring spending does not increase unless the state’s economy is growing.

• Reduce the state work force by 33,000 positions through attrition, in particular reducing the number of lawyers on the state payroll.

• Reduce spending by $15 billion, in some cases by eliminating waste.

• Overhaul civil service rules to eliminate automatic pay raises for employees.

• Overhaul the state pension system, keeping the existing defined benefit plan in place for current state workers while adopting a 401(K)-style plan for new hires.

• Require welfare recipients without high school diplomas to obtain GEDs.

• Turn the Legislature into a part-time body with reduced salaries.

• Reduce the lifetime welfare limit from five years to two.

• Establish a commission to review regulations, laws and agency activities to streamline government.

• Propose legislation to deny salaries and other payments to lawmakers when the budget is late.

• Start budget negotiations earlier, and veto legislation that does not address the budget crisis and other priorities.


• Raise taxes only with voter approval.

• Start budget negotiations earlier, soon after the Nov. 2 election.

• Veto legislation that involves spending without an identified funding source.

• Propose a constitutional amendment to require that any ballot initiative mandating new spending also provide a funding source.

• Appoint a team of experts to identify inefficiencies and spending on areas of low priority, while creating a reserve fund to save money for economic downturns.

• Penalize lawmakers if they don’t pass a budget on time, suspending salaries, per diem payments and other pay.

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