Monday, March 02, 2009

CTA and Other Unions Could Cause Trouble For The State Budget

From today's major Sacramento newspaper, which I understand may be looking for a buyer:

Labor unions that blasted a state budget deal for its constitutional spending limit have gone quiet as the state gears up for a May 19 election asking voters to ratify the agreement.

Campaign veterans believe Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders can only succeed in persuading voters to pass six budget-related ballot measures if unions remain on the sidelines.

Labor groups will hold internal meetings over the next month to decide how to proceed.

Well, if you didn't believe me before when I told you how much sway unions have in this state, you might now. How did it get this way? It's not like California was ever a large steel state, car state, etc. Why are unions so strong here? But I digress.

The most controversial ballot measure this year is Proposition 1A, which establishes a cap on future state spending based on a trend line over the previous decade.

Public employee labor unions fear the measure would mean less money for government jobs, yet the cap was essential to winning Republican support for the budget package...

Lawmakers and Schwarzenegger crafted the budget deal to win support from education groups. They placed Proposition 1B on the ballot to specify that the state would pay schools $9.3 billion beginning in 2011-12. They tied the measure to Proposition 1A, partly to discourage teachers unions from opposing the spending limit.

CTA President David Sanchez said that his group has taken an interim support position on Proposition 1B, but that it will take positions on all the measures at a state council meeting next month.

"We're going to be having a campaign to encourage electorate support for repayment back to schools," Sanchez said.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think there really are some true believers in the ranks of the CTA, the sort who would like to see portraits of David Sanchez and other CTA luminaries hung everywhere, like the Norks hang pictures of Kim Ilsung and Kim Jongil everywhere.

But I think there are others-- a much larger cohort-- who are very self-centered, and they know very well how dysfunctional Sacramento is, how a growing number of voters receive more benefits from government than they pay in taxes, and so forth. They sense the system is tottering, they know that ultimately the way things are now can't be sustained forever. But they don't care about five years later, or ten, or twenty years later. They care about now, and they feel that somehow it is wrong not to approach Sacramento and the taxpayers Sacramento supposedly represents with anything less than a militant "me first" mentality. In other words, if the CTA slacks off, even for a moment, there are all these other special interests just waiting for a momentary lapse so they can grab more of the pie: state employees, prison guards, cops, the welfare system, you name it.

"If we don't fight for our share, someone else will take it."

But they are so deep into the money & power gamesmanship, they have completely forgotten their main raison d'etre.