California has finally approved a budget.
Abel Maldonado, the legislator I wrote about earlier in the week, provided the threshold vote — and his hostage taking was sadly successful. Maldonado got his government reforms on the ballot for a May special election. He also stripped the budget of a 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax, replacing it with a quarter-percent hike in personal income tax, a move I’m particularly un-fond of because it disincentivizes earning instead of driving. But whatever.
With any luck this spells a death knell for the Super Majority budgeting process, which my great state shares only with two decidedly lesser members of the union: Arkansas and Rhode Island.
I give Schwarzenegger credit for getting this deal done. This crisis has been brewing for years now — it’s what got the Governator elected after all. Ahnold succeeded in kicking the can down the road this far, but finally led a budget process that gets to the core of the problem.
Now let’s hope state tax revenues don’t tank completely this year, requiring the state to carve out an even meaner budget. Oy.