The hole in California's pocket topped concerns discussed Monday by Democrat state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino during his annual State of the State address to the La Canada Flintridge City Council, but he also found positive news to report.
Near the end of his second term in Sacramento, Portantino touted bills signed into law this year that brought tax relief to property owners affected by mudslides, created a statewide umbilical cord blood bank and gave immunity to teenagers who formerly risked arrest by reporting health emergencies associated with underage drinking.
But it's on what hasn't gotten done — at least not yet — that Portantino said his sights are focused.
"We cannot continue to lack priorities, and we cannot continue deficit situations. Budget reform is the single biggest issue," he said, pledging continued support for a proposed constitutional amendment that would require identification of funding sources before state expenditures are approved.