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Guest Contributor
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Reform California
Getting the state's house in order...
[Arnold Schwarzenegger] 6/15/05

Governor Schwarzeneggers Address Calling a Special Election to Reform California
Monday, 06/13/2005

When you elected me governor, I made a promise. I said I would put Californias financial house in order and reform a government that no longer listened to the people.

The most important thing we did last year was to save this state from bankruptcy... and we let the world know that California was once again open for business.

Today, our economy is growing, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Revenues are up.

Were putting money back into roads and transportation. Most important, we are investing more money in education than ever in our history three billion dollars more for education this year, fifty billion dollars total. Education spending is up eight percent this year.

But serious problems remain. We cannot continue a budget system that automatically spends a dollar ten for every dollar we take in.

Without reform, we are destined to relive the past all over again 22 billion dollar deficits, higher car taxes, and the threat of bankruptcy.

Some politicians say the answer is to raise taxes. They say, Bring back the car tax, Arnold. Raise the income tax. Get rid of Prop 13.

But I say no. I did not come to Sacramento and you did not send me here to repeat the mistakes of the past.

I know some people say, Arnold, why not wait until next year? Why have a special election now?

But how can we just stand around while our debt grows each year by billions of dollars? If you break your arm, you dont wait until your next physical. You get it fixed now.

Thats why I say dont wait until next year or the year after because every year were adding billions of dollars in new debt.

Even if we reach a bipartisan agreement in the Legislature to bring about reform, constitutionally the people must still vote. There must still be an election.

People ask about the cost of the election. Well, do the math: for a buck and a quarter per citizen, you can fix a broken system and save the state billions of dollars. Now remember this is your money. That is a fantastic bargain!

In my state of the state speech in January, I said that if the Legislature did not act on reforms this year, the people of California would.

The people are the ones who wield the power. The people are the ones who can cut through the chains of politics and the past. It is from the people that a democracy gets its strength.

And millions of people have signed the petitions to reform the budget, education and redistricting.

Today was decision day, the deadline for a special election this November.

With those millions of people who signed petitions standing behind me, today I signed a proclamation calling for a special election.

I still hope the Legislature will join me, and we can go to the ballot together with a bipartisan plan.

Last year we accomplished so much because we worked together, Republicans and Democrats alike.

But one way or another, with the peoples help, there will be action this year.

With the peoples help there will be reform.

Our broken state government will be modernized and revitalized.

And you the people will be heard. CRO





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