“This is my final season in California’s Legislature. My final budget. It’s bittersweet. In my decades representing the people in the state Assembly and Senate, I’ve seen a gradual erosion in the traditions and processes of each house. In respect for the rules of the institution. In respect and trust for each other.
“Transparency has been lost. There are fewer public hearings, and members of the public who want to speak generally are limited to stating their name and specifying their support or opposition.
“Turns out, the Democrats in charge find it more convenient to hide the budget process from the public. …
… “Major policy changes unrelated to the budget are being jammed into trailer bills, often with no significant prior testimony on their specifics. … Trailer bills avoid the usual legislative process of examination by one or more policy committees in both houses and two fiscal committees.
“Some things hidden in trailer bills have nothing to do with the budget. They’re purely political,
… This is not good democracy.
“How would I describe the budget of my final year? Lack of transparency. Let-us-get-paid budget. Corrupt process. Poor priorities. Budget of a few. No accountability. Fake, feel-good budget.
“The budget process as it takes place now is a shameful fraud on the people of this state. You deserve better. Be informed. Demand a return to an open process.”
Click here to read Senator Nielsen’s full Op-ed published in The Orange County Register.