Another example of how corporate influence is destroying California’s ability to govern itself:
Pretty much everyone agrees we need shelters for victims of domestic violence. So it was not at all surprising that a bill designed to keep dozens of those shelters open passed the California Assembly on a unanimous 76-0 vote last week.
So why, when this uncontroversial bill reached the Senate, did Senate Republicans refuse to allow it to pass?
They blocked it because they were miffed that the Democrats had refused to cave in to their demand that the California ReadyReturn program be eliminated.
So what is the California ReadyReturn program and why is eliminating it more important to Republicans than keeping domestic violence shelters open?
California ReadyReturn is a common sense program aimed at making life easier for wage earners with uncomplicated taxes. If, like most people, your income comes from wages and you’re taking the standard deduction, you can simply go to the ReadyReturn website and print out a tax return ready for signing. The program does it by taking the background information from your last return and plugging in new income figures as reported to the state by your employer. It costs very little to run and has the potential to eliminate the stress and hassle of tax preparation for thousands, if not millions, of Californians.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that Intuit Corporation would prefer all those people spend $30.95 each for Intuit’s TurboTax California State tax preparation software, even though their taxes are far too simple to make it worthwhile.
And with $618,000 spent by Intuit on lobbying in Sacramento over the past few years, it’s hardly surprising that more and more legislators have come to see California ReadyReturn as an intolerable interference with private enterprise.
So intolerable, in fact, that closing domestic violence shelters would, apparently, be preferable to seeing ReadyReturn continue.
Not that any of this is exactly a surprise.
After all, how much money do victims of domestic violence spend on lobbying?
BTW, our own Republican Senator, Abel Maldonado, broke ranks with his party and voted to keep the shelters open. He deserves our thanks for that.
For more information, see this story from the LA Times.
Republicans standing up for the right of big contributors to gouge consumers for services that the government can, when allowed to, provide much more efficiently and inexpensively. Kind of funny how much this resembles the national health care “debate.”