June 15, 2011
Proposition 25, which the voters passed last year, allows a simple majority vote of the Legislature to pass a state budget, but also provides that legislators will not be paid if they fail to pass a timely budget. Democrats in the Legislature are presently working to fashion a budget that they can pass with a bare majority. As drafted, that budget would impose a further $150 million in cuts to the state’s court system, this on top of the $200 million in cuts imposed in March. The Los Angeles Times reports that Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, head of California’s judicial branch, has lashed out at the proposed cuts, calling them “‘devastating and crippling to the judicial branch.’” According to the Times, the Chief said the cuts would prevent courts from providing fundamental services and protecting Californians’ rights. “‘By marginalizing the courts,’” she said, “‘California strikes a blow against justice.’”
UPDATE: The budget passed today by a vote of 51-23 in the Assembly and 23-15 in the Senate, according to The Recorder’s Capital Accounts Twitter feed.