Monday, November 24, 2014

The governor's least useful tool

LA Times columnist George Skelton suggests that the governor could use the "nuclear option" in the contest with the Regents and Napolitano.

...Brown has plenty of weapons to use — including a nuclear option. He and the Legislature could completely blow up UC's scheme by reducing state funding by every dollar raised from increased tuition. Then they could negate the students' burden by using the state savings to provide tax credits for the tuition-payers...

Full column at

The problem with this analysis is that a) clearly, Napolitano and the Regents were aware of the "nuclear option" and other things the governor might do and nonetheless made a decision to go ahead with their plan, and b) the thing about nuclear options is that they usually can't be used.  You can easily blow yourself up and there will be fallout whose severity depends on the unknown directions of the winds.  Nuclear options are dangerous to use.  A lot will depend on how the public perceives the issue.  Skelton is right about one thing; there is room for compromise.  There is plenty of time for a deal.  The actual budget doesn't take effect until July 1.

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