On 07.15.2009, the KPFA Evening News reported that California's budget deadlock might end within the hour.- But, negotiations broke down, once again, over K-12 education funding. California Democrats want Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's written promise to restore cuts when good times return. It's hard to know just what this could mean, since California will have a new governor in 2011, and, since no one seems to know if and when good times will return, especially given that California is among the states hardest hit by the mortgage meltdown.
California already ranks 47th in support for K-12 education, and Schwarzenegger seems determined to add a 50th ranking to his legacy, even though the state ranks 7th in per capita income.
California also ranks third, behind Texas and Alaska, in the amount of crude oil that corporations pump out of its land and coastal waters. And, despite its hardship, it remains the only state that charges no tax on oil and natural gas extraction.
More cuts to K-12 now seem inevitable, but California Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico has a bill, Assembly Bill 656, now moving out of committee, a tax on oil and natural gas at the wellhead. Revenues would fund higher education, with emphasis on renewable energy tech, so that Californians might finally benefit from their oil and natural gas before it's all gone.
Here's California Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico on why Big Oil should share in what Arnold Schwarzenegger calls "shared sacrifice":