San Francisco Chronicle Reports - On November 2, Californians arrived to vote for our broke state in the hopes of making things better some way or another. Supporters of Proposition 19 said that in addition to the use of marijuana the legalization would help close the state budget deficit by generating more than $1 billion every year in tax revenue.
It turns out that the $1 billion would have just been a drop in the bucket because the deficit is $25 Billon. This is double what the lawmakers predicted before the election. Which I am sure wasn't an accident.
Cutting services and raising taxes will be a difficult task for legislators because the passage of Proposition 22 during last week's elections means that $800 million in certain transportation and local government funds will be frozen and unavailable to help bridge budget shortfalls. There is a special legislative session being called before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's term is complete. Sorry Terminator, no sneaking out the back door.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here; The public is just glad we have a freaking budget. Just last month, lawmakers were 100 days overdue in passing a budget allocating $86.5 billion in general fund spending. Well, the Prop. 19 marijuana law passing may not have solved the budget crisis, but it might be able to chill out the masses to help us until we can get over this mess.