Skip to comments.Pete Wilson, Willie Brown reminisce about budget days of yore
Posted on 10/14/2010 6:04:54 PM PDT by SmithL
Former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown blames much of the state's budgeting chaos on weak leadership, inexperience, a lack of collegiality and too much reliance on legislative aides -- all of which might be blamed on the state's 1990 term limits law.
He and former Gov. Pete Wilson -- both shown right in a 1992 file photo -- discussed the state's budget problems Thursday at a downtown Sacramento luncheon hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Brown, who served as Assembly speaker for nearly 15 years and was an assemblyman for three decades, was a chief target of the term-limits initiative that restricted tenure in the Assembly to six years and in the Senate to eight years.
"The budget process moved extremely smoothly," Brown said. "For openers, the individuals participating actually knew each other by first name. Under the term limits problem we have at the state Capitol, legislators don't even know each other. They don't get to know each other. They aren't there long enough to know each other. And they have virtually no interest in productivity on the substantive side because they're too busy trying to find their next position."
Wilson, a two-term Republican governor from 1991 to 1999, said a major problem today is that state leaders engage too freely in deficit spending. Although budgets are ostensibly balanced at the time they are signed -- as required by the constitution -- California has spent much of the last decade rolling deficits into the next fiscal year by relying on internal borrowing and risky solutions that never come to pass.
"That never happened when Speaker Brown and I were two of the Big Five," Wilson said.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.sacbee.com ...
Looks like a couple've happy fellas there.
I wonder what the two of 'em suck out of the treasury for their pensions and health coverage every year.
I assume these two created the unconstitutional "Big Five" method of trading favors... err, I mean negotiating budgets?
That crap has got to go.
Yep. That’s where it started.
I see “Pete the Tweet” still has delusions of grandeur. Also, I believe his memory may be fading—he wasn’t a member of the “Big Five” but did belong to the “Five Clowns”.
Neither can I appreciate why its constitutionality hasn't be challenged. It directly disenfranchises sitting officials with the authority to contribute. The caucus structure is a valid tool in partisan matters, but not during the peoples business.
It works because the caucus members “defer” to the legislative leaders they elected. I’m not sure there is a means to block it since all it is, is a handshake agreement that then gets hammered out by policy staff.
The republican's republican.
Eons ago, my high school civics instructor, Clair Baird, never mentioned that my vote would be cast for an Assembly elector. We understood the presidential vote was not direct, but we were were lead to believe that our Assemblymen actually represented our interests.
Today, Baird's apparent oversight is understandable. The republican's republican didn't exist.
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