As state budget negotiations move towards a potential deal, outside groups are increasing their pressure on lawmakers they see as swing votes. Reporter Ben Adler was at the scene of dueling rallies in Modesto outside the office of a moderate Republican state senator.
On one side of the street, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association and the Tea Party. Turlock Tea Party Patriots member, Marie Roberson, said, “no more taxes. No more. No more compromises. Enough’s enough.”
On the other side of the street, union members and advocates for seniors and the disabled. Mike Burtch is a retired teacher, who said, “we’re not asking for new taxes. We’re asking for the taxes that are in place to stay in place – which is not the same thing as a new tax.”
The man everyone wants to influence is a freshman state senator and former mayor of Ceres. Anthony Cannella says he understands the passions on both sides.
“I’m arguing that yes, taxes are problematic, so let’s deal with the structural problems of the state so that we can fund these very important programs,” said Canella.
Structural problems like a spending cap, pensions and regulatory changes – issues his staff is negotiating with the governor’s office.