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John Campbell

John Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly website and through the website for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]

Remember The Budget?
Reality is on its way…
[State Senator-Elect John Campbell] 11/22/04

Remember the budget deficit? It's not gone yet. In the next days and weeks, you are likely to hear that the state budget deficit for next year is going to be much greater than had been previously estimated; for instance, the Legislative Analyst is forecasting a $7.3 billion shortfall. Why? Not because of a recession or revenue shortfalls. Some modest job growth has actually returned to California and tax revenue estimates have been running at or above projections for months now (according to the Department of Finance we are up an estimated $1 billion so far this fiscal year). As always, it's the spending that is still running above targets.

How does this happen? When legislation changing or enhancing government programs is introduced and passed in Sacramento, there is always a cost estimate. Many times, the constituencies interested in a program will try to ensure that the cost is underestimated, so that the bill will pass. In other cases, in spite of the cost, legislators' are unwilling to vote against a program that "feels good" even if we don't have the money to pay for it. Then, after the bill becomes law, even if the cost runs way, way over the estimate, it must still be spent because the law requires the program be enacted. So, the spending lobby wins because they get their law and then they say we must have new taxes so that we do not "cut" programs, which includes the brand new law which is unfunded.

Remember when I told you last year that the Assembly had passed legislation adding 31 new commissions, boards, panels, mentors, etc. etc.? All of those cost money.

Bottom line is, you will soon be hearing in the news how bad our budget problem still is. Realize that revenue increased last year and is increasing this year and will increase next year. So when you are told that we may have to have tax increases, you will know that their argument is completely bogus. The problem is entirely because legislators in Sacramento cannot control their spending. And they will need the heavy hand of the Governor, along with a constitutional amendment to restrict their ability to spend us into oblivion again.

Transition Period

On November 30th this legislature dissolves and the new one is not sworn in until December 6th. Starting next week, I will be shutting down my Assembly office and transitioning into my new Senate office. Everything will change from our phone numbers and addresses to our computers and e-mail addresses. And, because this is government after all, it will not happen overnight. So, posting this report for about 3 weeks until we are up and running on our new system. To relieve your depression at not getting this report for 3 weeks, I recommend the following: (1) Listen more faithfully to the Hugh Hewitt show (2) Remember how mad or frustrated you get reading this sometimes and enjoy the fact that for 6 days this year there is no legislature at all! (-: 3) Rejoice in a happy Thanksgiving




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