IRVINE, CA—Orange County Business Council released the following statement today from President and CEO Lucy Dunn in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of Democratic lawmakers’ budget.
“I applaud the Governor’s decision to veto the budget, and for maintaining his commitment to not increase fees or taxes without voter approval. OCBC and the business community encourage Democrats and Republicans to work together to develop a budget that is fair and balanced for all people in California.
“In tackling the budget crisis, the Legislature has the opportunity to set California on the path to economic recovery. Through spending control and budget reforms, an economic strategy for job creation, pension reform, greater flexibility for local governments, and temporary tax extensions—if still needed–the Governor can set California back on track.
“OCBC supports a balanced budget that looks beyond simply cutting programs and raising taxes, and tackles the root of the budget problem head on. Now is the time for strong leadership, respectful compromise, and hard decisions. OCBC looks forward to the next iteration of the budget and stands ready to contribute thoughtful, practical solutions to California’s biggest challenges.”
Recently the Coalition for a California Financial Workout Plan, a broad-based group of leading business organizations from around the state of which OCBC is a member, developed a five-point plan to put California on the path to recovery. The plan includes:
1. Spending Control and Budget Reforms
To regain the public trust, constitutional spending controls must be put in place to ensure fiscal discipline, along with performance-based budgets, performance-based management, and multi-year forecasting.
2. A Path to Job Creation
The only way to grow the revenue pie is to improve the business environment to allow for economic growth. The business community needs to see a detailed and hard commitment to regulatory reform integral to the “financial workout plan,” including evaluation of economic impacts as a requirement of the regulatory process, CEQA reform, and a fix for the Redevelopment Area and Enterprise Zone programs to prevent abuses.
3. Pension Reform
The financial workout plan must include reforms that massively reduce current and future unfunded liabilities in pension programs at every level of government.
4. Government Closer to the People
A smaller state government with more flexibility afforded to local governments and assurances that new responsibilities will be matched with permanent funding sources that don’t rely on additional local taxes.
5. Extension of Temporary Taxes
Support of temporary tax extensions is possible, but only when coupled with the proposed structural reforms. The underlying budget problems must be resolved or the tax dollars will simply be throwing good money after bad. Tax extensions should only be in place for a period long enough to allow these reforms to take effect and for the economy to recover.
Orange County Business Council is the leading voice of business in Orange County, California. OCBC represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC serves member and investor businesses with nearly 250,000 employees and 2,000,000 worldwide. In providing a proactive forum for business and supporting organizations, OCBC helps assure the financial growth of America’s fifth largest county. For more information, visit www.ocbc.org
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