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Capitol Notes

In Sacramento today, legislators are expected to vote on a new budget proposal.  Don’t hold your breath.

The Sacramento Bee‘s Dan Walters writes an interesting comparative analysis of the fiscal fortunes of the cities of Sacramento and Fresno:

During their last pre-election debate, Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo and her ultimately successful challenger, former pro basketball player Kevin Johnson, sparred over whether Sacramento should emulate Fresno, its slightly more populous municipal cousin.

Johnson chided Fargo about Sacramento’s budget deficit and pointed to Fresno, which had recently reported a healthy surplus. Fargo insisted that she had been a good fiscal steward and blamed budget problems on a rapidly declining economy.

It was an opening for Johnson to throw a telling jab: “Fresno is living in the same United States of America as we are.”

The much different fiscal circumstances of these two otherwise comparable cities contain a lesson for politicians at all levels: Heed Aesop’s fable about the spendthrift grasshopper and the thrifty ant.

Of course, among their similarities, both Sacramento and Fresno are home to Enterprise Zones.

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