August 16, 2011
MAYOR: IT’S TIME TO THINK BIG AND MAKE CALIFORNIA FIRST AGAIN
Mayor Challenges Sacramento to Take On Prop. 13 Reform To Increase Education Funding and Train California's Future Workforce
LOS ANGELES - With California facing a deficit of one million college degree holders in 2025, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa delivered a speech to the Sacramento Press Club today about the need to invest in California's education system to train our future workforce and keep our state globally competitive. To make these crucial investments, Mayor Villaraigosa challenged Sacramento to fix Proposition 13's corporate loophole to create more revenue for the state.
“We are at a point in time in California where we can no longer afford to go on patching the leaks and hoping they will hold for another season," Mayor Villaraigosa said. "We can’t go on pretending we can subsist on the investments our parents and grandparents made. And yet with cuts to schools and colleges – and with the latest revenue projections threatening even deeper reductions at our universities --we are running hard in the wrong direction. Instead of meeting our generational challenge, we are in the process of defunding and dismantling the greatest public university system in the world.”
The Mayor advocated a “Grand California Bargain,” to increase revenue, adequately fund our schools, stop the perpetual budget crisis in Sacramento and deal with California’s fiscal mismanagement. To do this, the Mayor called for a bi-partisan coalition to develop a rational, all-encompassing approach to improving our tax system in California and fix the loophole in Proposition 13.
"Let’s apply Prop 13’s protections to homeowners and homeowners alone. And let’s strengthen those protections. We could take half the money we generate to fund schools and use the other half to cut taxes for homeowners – and, you know what, we can spur the housing market in the process. Phase it in over time to soften the impact on business and call it the Homeowner and Public Education Protection Act."
The Mayor also called on Congress to stand up to the Tea Party and pass the Transportation Reauthorization Bill in the next 45 days. Failure to pass this bill will result in the loss of 633,000 jobs.
Mayor Villaraigosa ended his speech by re-emphasizing the need for a bi-partisan effort to think and work boldly together on investing in California's future.
"We need to stand up to the cynicism in our politics today that says our problems in California are intractable and impossible to solve. Because they are not. We just need to regain our confidence, remember as Californians where we came from and how we got here, and how we came to lead the world in virtually every field and every facet of human enterprise."
The Mayor's full remarks prepared for delivery are attached.