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This year’s legislative session ended in September but you’ll feel the damage to your pocketbooks for years to come.
I will give my Democrat colleagues credit for consistency, at least, because every year they come up with new and creative ways to spend taxpayer money, but I question whether it materially improves our citizens’ lives.
This year, Governor Brown signed legislation that will add an additional $680 million annually in general fund spending. Remember, this is not growth in existing spending; it’s brand new spending that stacked on top of the already heavy taxpayer burden.
But as bad as that sounds, it actually gets much worse. That already big number excludes the premier budget-busting bill that will cost taxpayers billions every year while at the same time making them less safe and breaking down social order, Senate Bill 10.
SB 10 eliminates cash bail in California and replaces it with a court-operated pre-trial risk assessment program, meaning that the government will be eliminating the huge, privately funded and taxpaying bail bond industry with a massive increase in government employees and bureaucracy. Estimates based on similar bail reform in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. suggest that California’s new, additional taxpayer cost resulting from this change could be a staggering $7.8 billion a year.
Adding insult to injury, eliminating cash bail will lead to fewer people showing up for their trials and more criminals out on the streets, creating new victims and further eroding the quality of life in the Golden State. Increased costs plus decreased safety is not much of a deal for the taxpayer but it’s becoming the California way.
In the past five years, California general fund spending surged roughly 44 percent, from $96 billion to $139 billion. Meanwhile, the state’s population grew by roughly 5 percent. Spending grew about 9-times faster than population growth! Remember that sobering statistic the next time anyone praises Governor Brown for his fiscal discipline. It’s an unearned reputation entirely unsupported by facts.
California government creeps into every aspect of our lives, from what pronouns we can legally use, what therapies we can try, what bags we can get at the grocery store, to what straws we can have, but apparently, it’s still not big enough or intrusive enough to satisfy my liberal colleagues.
Spending is taxes. After this legislative session, California taxpayers can look forward to putting more and more of their paychecks towards an ever-expanding state.
Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.