Commentary: Republican tactics put California at risk

This editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee.

Republicans in the Legislature are playing a very dangerous game.

As California veers closer to insolvency, GOP leaders in the Assembly and Senate are insisting that Democrats meet numerous demands before they'll discuss revenue options to close a projected $14.8 billion budget gap in the current year.

Republicans (including Sen. Dave Cox and Assemblyman Roger Niello of Sacramento, who have a letter on this page) insist that these demands are not a form of hostage taking.

Yet what else could you possibly call it?

As Cox and Niello know, Republican votes are needed to fix the budget because of the state's two-thirds vote rule.

Also well known is the fact that some form of revenue increases – through taxes or other means – will be needed to help close the budget gap, which could grow to $41.8 billion by July 2010.

Yet instead of drilling down on what form of revenue increases and spending cuts would be least detrimental, and pairing those with policy changes to stimulate the economy, Republicans have issued a must-do list.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.