'Broken California' in need of reboot
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More than a hundred people gathered in Knuth Hall Thursday evening to listen to suggestions on how to make California better.

"Something is broken and needs fixing," said Gerald Eisman, director of the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

The town hall meeting in the College of Creative Arts building included five speakers and each one gave their advice on what Californians can do to improve the state.

SF State senior Honora Keller provided a student's perspective for the budget cuts as well as supporting an idea for creating more money for higher education in California.

One suggestion Keller made was a bill called AB 656, which supports oil extraction. Currently California is the third largest oil production in the country but has no tax for oil.

Fred Silva, a senior fiscal policy advisor, explained that the state needed to turn its current annual budget into a multi-year budget.

"We need budgeting on more than a one year basis," said political science major Will Carlisle, who agrees with Silva. "On a year budget were not looking toward the future, a five year budget would be great."

Jim Wunderman, president and chief executive officer of the Bay Area Council, blames the people running things in Sacramento.

"Sacramento is not running with the interest of you and our businesses," Wunderman said.

Rebecca Gonzales from the California Budget Project explains that the budget itself needs to be fixed, such as the Three-Strike Law. It requires that a criminal who is convicted of three serious crimes on separate occasions be given a mandatory extended incarceration. According to the California's Legislative Analyst's Office Web site, the average cost of an inmate per year is $47,000.

Gonzales also explains that the state has shifted from relying on taxed goods to relying on untaxed services.

"It is important for our university community to become aware, people don't understand that disinvesting of higher education has been happening since the 1980's," said Amy Conley, SF State child and adolescent development professor.

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COMMENTS

Charles Benninghoff said

Here is what needs to be fixed: California admits that it pays in excess of $15Bn in direct welfare support payments to illegal aliens residing in the state. The step of refusing to pay "undocumented Democrats" welfare would save that $15Bn and cover about 20% of the state's deficit. Payment for the other 80% would require more discipline such as enforcing California's existing welfare laws, stopping so-called "in home" care welfare payments and eliminating 90% of the state's agencies, boards, bureaus and state employees. The legislature must be part time operation and paid a minimum wage. While liberals see a huge role for state government in everyone's lives, this "role" is simply a transfer device of wealth from those who work to those who do not. We conservatives see no role for government other than paving the streets, policing them and locking up law breakers. All education, welfare and social services should be privately run and funded. There you have it - no deficit, no taxes and no regulations.

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