“We’ll have the budget for the coast that has tax increases and services,” Lockyer said in a wide-ranging interview with The Times’ Sacramento bureau. “And in a bunch of other areas in Central and Southern California that don’t have tax increases … their public schools are closed a month of the year – and see what happens.”
He described the idea as a “genuine thought” that would allow Democrats their preferred solution of raising taxes and Republicans their preferred approach of cutting services.
“If people in Orange County aren’t going to vote for a state budget, I don’t know why you shouldn’t sell [UC Irvine] to Google,” he said. “Why is there a DMV office in Riverside? Those folks ought to figure out how to go to L.A. at night to renew their driver’s license.”
Lockyer, a Democrat who was previously California’s attorney general and leader of the state Senate, said the state has had “an institutional breakdown.” He sees growing tensions between the Legislature’s majority Democrats and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “I would not be surprised if the Legislature’s response to the governor’s muscle is to say: Fine, shut everything down.”