$543 million is no drop in the bucket. When you have a California legislature that is floating an idea of single-payer healthcare that would cost approximately $400 billion a year it seems like $543 million is a bargain for a new annex capitol building.
So why do I think the demolition and replacement of the capitol’s 66-year-old annex building is a waste of money?
One reason it is a waste of money is the fact that California has a full-time legislature. When you have a full-time legislature, you have larger staffs. With the continual growth of centralized governance in California and more decisions being made by state legislators, we need to recognize that more decisions should be made at the local level, not in Sacramento.
This is one reason why I created Trickle-up-Taxation; a plan that empowers local municipalities to have the power and resources needed to address the unique demands of their community.
Full-time legislatures are not needed. Only ten states have full-time legislatures. Out of these ten, four are categorized as full-time, well-paid, and large staffs. Thus, only 8% of states, including California, operate at this bloated level.
Not that these other forty-six states are the perfect model for how to run a state, but it is self-evident that having such a bloated centralized state legislature isn’t necessary for the proper functioning of a state.
Another reason we shouldn’t spend $543 million on a new building is the fact that all our state legislators have district offices. These offices are meant to give constituents greater access to their state representative. The problem is, your representative is never around. Your representative should spend most of their time in the district they represent, not in Sacramento.
So why not have our state legislators work from their district office?
The trend of working from home or remotely is increasing each year. My own company has moved in this direction. With cloud-based servers, cloud-based phone systems, email, and tele/video conferencing it is possible to work from anywhere with an internet connection.
Let’s have our legislators and their staff work and live in the district they represent, not away from their constituents. We need to think how we can do things better, faster, and cheaper; just like the private-sector.
We don’t need to spend $543 million on a new building. We should move more decision making away from state legislators to local government, move to a part-time legislature, and have our state legislators work from their district offices. If we do this, we will actually save millions, instead of spending $543 million on the demolition and building of a new annex capitol building.