Nielsen Votes For No-Tax Budget, Pension Reform

Friday, October 8, 2010

(Sacramento) -Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) voted in favor of the 2010-2011 budget in a marathon legislative session that concluded early Friday morning.  This budget includes over $7.5 billion in spending cuts and no new taxes.  With California facing a $19 billion budget deficit and in the midst of a recession with high unemployment rates, Nielsen fought to make sure that no tax increases were included in this budget plan.

"This budget contains no tax increases, reduces spending significantly, and includes much needed budget and pension reform.  This budget is a very good first step," stated Nielsen.

The budget plan protects public safety by not allowing early release of prison inmates, maintains education funding at last year's levels, and reforms In-Home Supportive Service Programs, saving California over $300 million.

The budget also contains some very crucial pension and budget reforms.  This budget includes a spending cap and a rainy-day fund.  The pension reforms achieved in this budget roll back lavish pension benefits that were given away during the 1990's under SB 400 and prevent against 'pension spiking' by requiring a 3-year average as opposed to a 1-year average when calculating pension benefits.  It also provides greater transparency in CALPERS' pension contributions and investments.

"I am disappointed there was not more in this budget to promote job growth and end harmful regulations that force companies out of California.  California needs to become business-friendly yet again.  Nevertheless, I am pleased that this Legislature finally came together and passed a budget.  I strongly urge my colleagues to work together early and often next year, so that California does not face another record-breaking budget delay," concluded Nielsen.