Legislative Republicans call for budget transparency and accountability

State Sen. Scott Wilk speaks during the Valley Industry Association's fourth annual State of the State luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia in Valencia on Friday, 062521. Dan Watson/The Signal

California Republican legislative leaders sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to protect essential services down the road by ensuring expenses are reflected accurately in the 2021-22 state budget. 
“The budget you recently signed ignores a limit on spending that voters placed in the California Constitution,” wrote Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, and Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, along with Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Kern Count, and Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama. “Disregarding voter intent allows the state government to continue growing at an unsustainable rate, which will inevitably result in difficult cuts to essential services for people in need during economic downturns.” 

Republican leaders told Newsom that a more prudent option to address excess tax revenues and establish a stable budget for the future would be to enact some combination of returning budget surplus money to taxpayers and investing the funds in capital outlay, or infrastructure, projects. 

Republicans asked Newsom to remove realigned vehicle license fees, realigned sales taxes, and “state operations” as a part of the definition of “qualified capital outlay projects” from the voter-approved budget limit to more accurately reflect the state’s expenses. 

“The 2021 Budget Act,” the letter stated, would “allow state spending to grow at unsustainable rates (and) will only make life harder on Californians in future economic downturns.” 

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