For any form of economic stimulus to take effect a year from now, that stimulus needs to be introduced, voted on and passed within the next few months. This is about jobs and jobs is not a partisan issue. Both parties agree that additional stimulus is warranted but exactly what form that stimulus takes will be the subject of much debate in the coming months.
One part of the stimulus is clear: there must be more money made available for public infrastructure projects to stem the current decline of construction jobs. President Obama is currently proposing spending 300 billion to prop up the economy with additional infrastructure spending. It really doesn’t matter where anyone stands politically on these issues because you can’t reduce taxes on the 21% of structurally unemployed or underemployed persons if they’re paying no taxes because there is no work. One economic proposal that can be renewed is the land bank, where state and local public infrastructure projects are partly financed by the federal government with the feds picking up 35% of the financing costs for such projects.
There’s only one catch with stimulus funds. You must be both transparent and accountable with laws, and not merely policies and procedures in place governing your expenditure of public funds and guess what? The Judicial Council and the AOC as currently comprised do not qualify for any stimulus funds on any of their construction projects. They don’t qualify to participate in a land bank where more than a third of construction financing could be diverted to the trial courts while the feds pick up the tab on that third.
No matter how one views it, a shot at economic stimulus funding must be made by the State of California for court construction. It is clear that a shot at this funding last time out was squandered. The only way to do that is to transfer all public buildings to DGS immediately, without further delay and to utilize this vehicle to also save trial courts by diverting 100% of the construction funds to fund trial court operations during the transition.
Will the Judicial Council and the AOC conduct a turf war to ensure they continue to duplicate the services provided by DGS to the detriment of all trial court workers and the taxpaying public?
Consider yourself on notice.
If you get a chance to write a letter to our friends over at firstname.lastname@example.org or to speak a few choice words this Friday, you might bring this issue up “for the benefit of all Californians.”