So California's budget woes aren't going away any time soon. They're looking at another $20B shortfall in projected tax revenue vs. expenditures in the upcoming two years (2010 and 2011). The neat part is that when the Governator tries to make cuts on his own the legislature tells him no. When he asks them to make cuts they tell him no. So the answer of our wonderful elected officials is to continue to spend more money than the State has.
My first thought would be to remove from employment those who aren't performing up to par, regardless of tenure. I know the SEIU won't allow for that, but I think having the State government take a leadership stand instead of caving to a union would set the stage for some pretty good, sweeping changes in how things work here in California.
Eliminating employment waste alongside cutting spending on programs we don't need would be good starts. The problem is, the programs we don't need most often end up being handouts to an uneducated voting public who have found they can vote for the representative who will give them the most benefits for the least amount of work. Since this majority often has little to no tax liability it makes no difference to them; that is until the program they rely on runs out of money because the State that runs that program has as well.