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You Want Some GOP Votes for the Budget? Give Them Some Cover

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You Want Some GOP Votes for the Budget? Give Them Some Cover
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You Want Some GOP Votes for the Budget? Give Them Some Cover

Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

A view of the California State Capitol in Sacramento.

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Slowly it is getting down to the nitty gritty.  Protests in the state capitol won't work. Lots of teachers and parents marching outside of schools may not do the trick either.

There may be only one way to siphon the four Republican votes needed to pass tax hike extensions and balance the state budget. 

Give those legislators some cover.

It has been said before but it merits repeating. If Republicans are upset over systemic problems with the budget and with public education give them a chance to address both.  

A spending cap with teeth could do the trick with the former, reform of the "last in first out" seniority system for teachers could work for the latter.

The potential for this to work is borne out by the fact so many dismiss the idea.

Tom Torlakson the state Superintendent  of Schools elected in large measure by the California Teachers Association, recently said tenure was "too complicated" an issue to be placed as a ballot measure tied up with the budget.

Really? What is complicated about not giving a teacher a job for life after just two years in the classroom? 

Democrats have long opposed a spending cap that could actually limit the amount of spending to the revenue that actually comes in  to the state treasury.  

They have an honest argument as to why that could hurt the poor and disabled as well as others who depend on Sacramento for what constitutes a decent standard of living.  Why not  debate that issue before the voters?

Whatever Republican agrees to the tax hike vote may be forced from his job as a result of the conservative anti-tax right that dominates the party.  

There are a few that may take that gamble if they can get something in return that would placate moderates in both parties -- who will have a roll in next year's general elections thanks to the "top two" ballot reform.

My guess is the governor is willing to cut some deal to get the matter finished. Now he just has to convince his party's labor constituents that such a deal is better than closing schools. 

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