Sacramento – “Getting our budget under control is my top priority this year. Like many Californians, I’m tired of the ‘every six month band aides’ we’ve been using for short term solutions. We need to embrace significant budget reform. That’s why I’m reintroducing a pay-as-you-go Constitutional Amendment to force fiscal discipline and prioritization on the budget process. Pay Go will force California to live within its means and encourage us to look for savings.” Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D- La Cañada Flintridge)
ACA 5 (PayGo) would require the State Legislature to adopt a measure calling for all new legislation, initiatives and bonds costing more than $250,000, to include specified savings or revenue sources. In other words, anything that costs money must be paid for.
State services have been funded in the past through gimmicks and borrowing that have exacerbated the state’s fiscal crisis. California’s bond borrowing has reached the point where the debt load could easily exceed 10 percent of the annual state budget. If adopted, this measure would force identification of specific funding before issuing bonds or creating new programs.
The legislation has also been introduced in special session (ACA 1) in order that the legislature may address it in talks about the budget deficit.
And, in an effort to stimulate the California economy and help small businesses stay afloat, Assemblymember Portantino has proposed a new credit to help small businesses pay for workers’ compensation premiums. This proposal would establish a new tax credit equal to 20% of workers’ compensation annual premiums paid by a qualified small business with less than 20 employees.
“As someone who values the important role that small businesses play in our economy, I’ve been reaching out to small business owners in my district for thoughts and ideas on how to help them during these difficult times. The single biggest complaint I hear is the high cost of workers’ compensation insurance. Although we need to make sure our work force is protected, there is certainly something the State can do to help these struggling businesses. That’s why I am introducing a bill to help small businesses with their workers comp costs. In the spirit of “Pay Go” the program is fully funded up to a ceiling of $200 million. This money will help small business owners in a very significant way by allowing them to offset a portion of their workers compensation expenditure.”
This bill doesn’t change workers’ compensation coverage it helps small businesses pay for it. The credit would be funded by allocating $200 million currently available under the poorly-utilized small business hiring credit to the newly established workers’ compensation credit. The workers’ compensation credit would be allocated to small businesses with gross receipts of $1 million or less and the funds would be available on a first-come, first-served basis.