Yesterday, Governor Brown's rosy revenue projections ran smack into the brick wall of reality. California's budgetary deficit isn't the paltry $9 billion predicted by the Governor. Heck, we could have found $9 billion in the state's couch cushions. No problem.
Instead, our deficit, thanks to the inexcusable fiscal malfeasance of years of legislators spending beyond our means, and the inexcusable electorate allowing them to do so, is more like $16 billion. That's billion with a "B." This year. A one-year deficit against a $91 billion budget.
The solution proposed by the Governor is to (1) tax us more than we already are, and (2) cut stuff. What gets cut? As far as our constitutionally created branch of government knows as the judiciary is concerned, the cut proposed is another $544 million from the courts budget, which has already lost $650 million over the last three years.
One retired judge recently told me that the Los Angeles Superior Court is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. But, for the most part, the leaders of the Courts, while complaining loudly about the cuts, are too political to take on the Legislature and Governor over this constutional crisis.
Where is the leadership? When are the advocates of Court access and the constitutional scholars and the judges crushed under this unchecked robbery going to stand up and demand that the third branch of government receive the first distribution of funds, regardless of what revenue is available. The Courts are entitled to protected funds sufficient to discharge their constitutional role in California.
See, for example, coverage in the Los Angeles Times.