Monday, June 21, 2010

California on 'verge of system failure’

Arnella Sims has seen a lot in her 34 years as a Los Angeles County court reporter, but nothing like this.

Case files piling up by the thousands, phones ringing off the hook, forced midweek courthouse closings and occasional brawls as frustrated citizens queue for hours to pay parking fines.

“People think we’re becoming a Third World country,” said Ms. Sims, 55. “They don’t understand.”

It’s a story that’s being repeated all across California – and throughout the United States – as cash-strapped state and local governments grapple with collapsed tax revenues and swelling budget gaps. Mass layoffs, slashed health and welfare services, closed parks, crumbling superhighways and ever-larger public school class sizes are all part of the new normal.

California’s fiscal hole is now so large that the state would have to liberate 168,000 prison inmates and permanently shutter 240 university and community college campuses to balance its budget in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Think of California as Greece on the Pacific: bankrupt and desperately needing a bailout.
Read the rest here.


The Anti-Gnostic said...

“People think we’re becoming a Third World country,” said Ms. Sims, 55. “They don’t understand.”

Don't understand what? That's exactly what California is becoming.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I always find it fascinating how the scare tactics kick in. It's always the thousands of serial murdering rapists about to be released and schools or colleges closing that are the first thing to be cut. Heaven forbid they cut non-essential items first.

Big Dave from the Enclave said...

I fear commenting being so close to the belly of the beast. God forbid an innocent person end up in prison or jail. The chances of a Habeas petition being anything more than rubber stamped "denied" is a miracle. The system is so over whelmed, I must say that the AG has done a great job here in Calif cutting waste at DOJ, we are actually paying the Governor the money that would have been saved in furloughs but cutting cost. Now I sit in a broken chair all day but I am blessed beyond measure to have a job. It isn't a matter of if but when California goes bankrupt. I am voting for my boss because I think he has the experience to hammer through the unions and petty legislators.

Anam Cara said...

I remember when we lived in Panama. A neighbor went to court about a situation. When all was said and done, and she wanted a copy of the judgment papers, but the courthouse had no copier. They all walked across the street to a convenience store and paid 10¢ a sheet for the copies. When a judgment was made that required one party to pay the other, it had to be paid in person, not to the court which would then give it to the other party because the court had no safe to lock up the money!