Silicon Valley Leadership Group Pushes for Budget Reforms as Part of Budget Solution

SACRAMENTO — Calling on the Governor and legislative leaders to include fundamental budget reform in this year’s agreement on the state budget, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Board of Directors has voted unanimously to join a chorus of Californians endorsing the California Forward Fiscal Reform Plan.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which represents more than 300 of the Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in California, endorsed the California Forward proposals currently being debated in the Legislature. The legislation – ACA 4, AB 2591, SB 1020 and SB 1426 – will restore public confidence in the state’s fiscal operations.

California Forward has developed an innovative budget model to help repair our state, based on good fiscal management and incentives for on-time and value-oriented spending plans," said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “Similar to balancing your budget at home, California Forward’s plan prevents lawmakers from spending money they don’t have and ensures that existing funds are well spent.”

“With a $20 billion budget shortfall – and yet another round of cuts, tax increases and borrowing on the horizon – the one thing apparent to almost everyone is the urgent, immediate need for budget reform,” said Fred Keeley, former Assembly Speaker pro Tempore and member of the California Forward Leadership Council, who presented the reform plan to the leadership group.

“A majority of Californians want non-partisan reform – and our proposals have the support of not only the state’s top elected leaders, but the state’s business and community leaders, as well,” said Bob Hertzberg, former Assembly Speaker and Co-Chair of the California Forward Leadership Council. “The Silicon Valley Leadership Group understands that the state’s leaders must stand up to the people standing in the way of real reform.”

In recent polling sponsored by California Forward, the state budget has emerged as a top-tier issue of importance for California voters. Asked to choose the most important issue facing them and their families, 26 percent of voters indicated balancing the state budget was their top priority, with 27 percent giving top priority to creating more jobs, 23 percent choosing improving education, 11 percent selecting ending corruption in government, three percent answering improving the environment and two percent giving top priority to reducing crime. When asked to choose whether the Legislature should focus on reforming the state budget process or focusing on job creation, 50 percent of likely voters chose reform, while 33 percent chose creating jobs, with 12 percent volunteering that lawmakers should accomplish both goals.

“Since California ranks among the highest cost, highest tax rate states in the U.S., California Forward’s plan appropriately protects the two-thirds vote requirement safeguard on tax and fee increases during a critical time in our state’s economic recovery and improving jobs climate,” said Guardino.

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents more than 300 of Silicon Valley's most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly one of every four private sector jobs in Silicon Valley. For more about the Leadership Group visit http://svlg.org/about/mission.php.

About California Forward

California Forward is a bipartisan public interest organization committed to improving the quality of life for all Californians by creating more responsive, representative and cost-effective government. California Forward strives to engage Californians to develop, enact and implement reforms that improve the performance of government and the strength of democracy throughout the state. California Forward was launched in 2008 with the support of five of California’s leading foundations: The California Endowment, The Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. California Forward is co-chaired by Robert M. Hertzberg, a democrat from Los Angeles, and Thomas V. McKernan, a republican from Orange County.

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