Do Logue and LaMalfa hate Chico?

Their obstructionism could cost hundreds of local jobs, failed businesses

Do local Assemblyman Dan Logue and state Sen. Doug LaMalfa realize how much harm they are doing to Chico? Because of them, this community could be looking at an even worse economic crisis than the one it’s in now.

Both men are part of the Republican minority in the State Legislature that has obstructed Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempt to launch a June vote that would authorize a temporary extension of certain taxes imposed in February 2009 as part of a legislative budget deal.

The Legislature has approved an additional $13.5 billion in further cuts, including $500 million from the California State University system—18 percent of its revenue. But that leaves another $13 billion needed to bridge the $26.5 billion budget gap.

The tax extensions would have provided much of that. Without them, the money will come from additional cuts. Chico State University President Paul Zingg says he could be forced to slash as much as $42 million from his budget. Statewide, schools would take a $4.6 billion hit.

The Republicans held the budget hostage to leverage an absurd demand list of more than 50 goodies that the voters of California would never support otherwise. Convinced that further negotiations with them were futile, Brown this week gave up trying.

The university and public schools are two of Chico’s biggest industries. Cuts of the magnitude envisioned would wash through the town’s economy like a tsunami, putting people out of work and shuttering businesses.

Do Logue and LaMalfa care? Apparently not. As LaMalfa told Action News reporter Alan Marsden recently, “If an Armageddon budget is what it takes to wake up people to demand reform of this Legislature … then maybe that’s the attention-getter it takes.”

Tell that to the teacher thrown out of work, the university student who no longer has a place at school, the downtown business owner forced to close her doors because so many of her customers are out of work. Oh, he’ll get their attention, all right.