It doesn't take a financial wizard to understand that when you are spending more than you earn, borrowed all that your lenders will allow, maxed-out your credit cards, and there is no pay-raise, bonus or financial windfall coming your way anytime soon, you must begin slashing expenses and setting priorities. Our state is de-facto bankrupt. We do not need more taxes -- we need financial reform, spending oversight and to act responsibly.
To get California back on track we must:
Reduce spending (in departments across the board if necessary, rather than picking winners and losers). I'm convinced staff knows where to save money.
Halt state government hiring -- attrition will help reduce government employee levels.
Continue to negotiate unsustainable pension agreements that were approved in 1999.
Establish a rainy day fund to begin saving when our revenues bounce back, to reduce debt and reserve for the next downturn in the economic cycle.
Reduce debt by enacting Article XVI of our state's constitution where applicable.
Ensure accountability for the dollars we are spending, specifically on large projects. I'm amazed at the lack of accountability at the state level as to risk analysis and project level tracking. Our cities and counties are held accountable, the state should not be allowed to spend and hire without tools that allow for legislative oversight.
Implement performance-based budgeting in lieu of zero-base that encourages departments to spend every dime rather than reward cost-saving measures.