Governor's State of the State Address: Working People Deserve Better
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
At a time when California families are desperate for real leadership, Governor Schwarzenegger showed once again that he isn't up to the task. The last thing our state needs is more of the same: policies that favor wealthy corporations at the expense of the middle class and economic recovery.
Working people deserve a better plan than our Governor is giving us. Schwarzenegger's plan to balance the budget on the backs of working people while giving a free ride to corporations and the wealthiest Californians will bankrupt the state and prevent economic recovery. The Governor's tax reform proposals would shift the burden of funding state services from the wealthiest 1% to the middle class, while decreasing revenue overall. Real reform would close corporate tax loopholes that bleed billions of dollars away from state services every year.
We agree with the Governor that the state should invest more resources for job training and jobs for the future. However, the Governor proposes to fund training programs by robbing workers. The Governor's proposal takes money out of the state's Disability Insurance fund, a safety net funded completely by worker dollars.
Real economic recovery comes from investment in infrastructure, new technology and manufacturing that create good jobs with decent pay and benefits. A first step for economic recovery would be to end the illegal furloughs of state workers that drain money from the economy and eliminate jobs essential to running the state.
The perfect storm of job loss, slashed wages, corporate tax giveaways and massive cuts in state spending threatens to drown any chance of an economic recovery. We urge the Governor to adopt real policies of change—plans that will put Californians back to work and spur economic recovery. The California Labor Federation has adopted a five part economic recovery agenda that can be viewed here.