State Headed for Another Budget Mess



California appears headed for another protracted budget battle now that Republicans are openly opposing a plan by Democrats to raise the state vehicle license tax. According to the Chron, state Democrats want to raise the license fee by $15 in order to keep 219 state parks from closing and to avoid cuts to the state poison control center, health services for people with HIV and AIDS, and health insurance for poor children. But the plan failed to garner a single GOP vote in committee and Governor Schwarzenegger says he opposes it.

The governor and Republicans simply will not vote to raise taxes, especially after last month's election. The GOP is convinced the election proved that California voters don't want higher taxes. As a result, it'll be just about impossible for Democrats to save many state services from the chopping block. It also appears that we're in for another painful, summer-long budget fight, and that city and county governments should expect to see their coffers raided.