Even in liberal Sonoma County, the message from voters was clear and unequivocal: We’re tired of the endless posturing and paralysis. We’re tired of the smoke and mirrors. We’re tired of government pretending that it’s not subject to the same economic realities as everyone else. If state government has to crash and burn, well, so be it.
So, now what? If the usual partisanship holds sway, it is difficult to imagine how the state Legislature will close the gaping hole in the state budget. The package of stopgap measures overwhelmingly rejected by voters on Tuesday was supposed to be the best that lawmakers could manage.
Even with layoffs, deep reductions in state services and the gutting of local government, it’s likely the state will run out of money in July. How will the state pay its bills? Will anyone lend money to the state of California? At this moment, no one has the answers.
Moreover, without fundamental reforms, it is difficult to see how state government can move beyond the political dynamics responsible for the current crisis.