Document:California Press Release 15 July 1998 Budget Deadlock

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Office of the Executive Director
11956 Riverside Dr., #206
Valley Village, CA 91607-3772
For immediate release: July 15, 1998
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200

Libertarian Party thanks California legislature for budget deadlock

LOS ANGELES - The Libertarian Party of California has two words for state legislators regarding the impasse over the 1998-99 budget: "Thank you."

"We thank the folks in Sacramento for not deciding how to spend the taxpayers' hard-earned money," declared Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle. "We thank them for not passing a budget on time, and we thank them for not abiding by the constitution they swore to uphold."

Hinkle's comments come exactly one month after the legislature's constitutionally mandated June 15th deadline for passing a budget. The deadline has been met only once this decade, and no penalty exists for missing the deadline.

"We can forgive the lawmakers' ignoring of a state constitutional provision - because the budget they intend to pass is so exorbitantly massive and, worse, is an affront to individual liberty and personal responsibility," remarked Hinkle. "When taxpayers see the final budget, they won't have much to be thankful for."

Governor Pete Wilson has proposed a $74.4 billion budget, while the Assembly and Senate have passed $75.9 and $76.2 billion budget bills respectively. Wilson and legislative leaders are locked in debates over the competing proposals.

"The Libertarian Party can solve the budget impasse with just three words," announced Hinkle. "Cut, cut, cut -- cut taxes, cut spending, and cut the budget."

Specifically, the Libertarian Party of California proposes to:

(1) Require legislators to approve a budget smaller than the previous year's budget. "One way to decrease the size of government is to force it to spend less each year," said Hinkle.

(2) Impose a penalty on lawmakers who violate the Constitution. "Legislators' pay should be docked every day beyond the deadline that a budget is not passed," Hinkle proposed. "Not only would that be an incentive to lawmakers, but Californians would finally get their money's worth."

(3) Pare down the state bureaucracy by eliminating most state agencies, boards, and commissions. "Sacramento has become a mini-Washington, DC. Let's get rid of useless state agencies like the Economic Expansion and Environmental Improvement Financing Division, the State Athletic Commission, and the California Forest Products Commission."

What are the chances of getting any of these proposals passed?

"Pretty good - once Libertarians are elected to the legislature," Hinkle predicted.

"But as long as the Republicans and Democrats are in control, the only thing to be thankful for is the time they waste arguing with each other instead of spending our money."