As the legislature prepares to convene a special
session on the budget, there is an effort to cloud what was a very clear
message from voters in the November election.

came down firmly against new and higher taxes. That is the strong conclusion
when you look at how voters selected the winners among the propositions on the

attitudes on taxes played a leading role for candidates as well. In his
successful race to return to the governor’s office, Jerry Brown had to promise
there would be no new taxes without voter approval and stated on many occasions
that California "had to live within its means."

small businesses – reflecting the will of frustrated Californians everywhere –
want the legislature to make the tough decisions required to bring state
spending in line with available revenue.No
more gimmicks. No more borrowing. Get rid of the state’s deficit, which carries
with it the constant demand for higher taxes.

never-ending threat to businesses struggling in this recession is enough to
drive companies out of state to more friendly environments. Their departure
helps create California’s painfully high and seemingly immovable 12.4%
unemployment rate.

Small businesses create
more than half the new jobs in California each year. More and more of those
businesses will be creating those jobs in other states in the future.  In fact, in a recent letter to the California
Air Resources Board, former Governors Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and George
Deukmejian, noted that since January 2007, more than 2500 employers left
California for other states and some 109,000 jobs left with these

must be motivated in their upcoming decisions by the direction provided by
voters in November.

passing Prop 25 voters were saying they have had it with the finger pointing
and 100-day late budgets in Sacramento. 
They passed Prop 25 so that a budget – but not new or higher taxes –
could be passed with a majority vote and voted to penalize legislators by
cutting their salaries and expenses for missing our Constitutional budget

But the voters also said
no more shenanigans by passing Prop 26, which brings an end to calling tax
increases fees.  That little bit of word
play used to allow end runs around the two-thirds vote requirement for passing
new taxes by claiming new and increased levies were only "fees."

And voters made clear on
Nov. 2 they are in no mood for increased taxes. 
Prop 24, the Jobs Tax Initiative with a $1.3 billion tax hike on small
businesses and large employers alike was soundly rejected. Voters also said no
to a tax hike for state parks in Prop 21, oddly proposed to be part of the car

Finally, with Prop 22
voters protested the shell games and manipulation that take place in the annual
patchwork budget.  They demanded funds
for transportation not be raided to make it appear a budget is in balance.

Now is the time to make
tough decisions.  Most lawmakers are as
far from another election as they ever will be and that election is all the
more interesting with the prospect that they will run in a district not of
their own design, but created by a non-partisan citizens’ commission.

who believe the government does not take enough money from its citizens are
misinterpreting recent post-election polling information. They claim voters
don’t understand the budget. However, the voters understand the difficult job
situation, tough times for businesses, and their own precarious financial
situation during these recessionary times.

The no new taxes message from the voters is real.

current California budget was more than 100 days late, included higher taxes
that the legislature refused to acknowledge as such and was $6 billion out of
whack in just over a month.  Practically
the entire legislature was returned to office. 
They should do all they can to clean up this mess before passing it on
to a new administration.