"The state budget approved only weeks ago is already
falling into the red, and lawmakers may be forced to return to Sacramento this month to
make emergency spending cuts and take other measures to keep California from running
out of cash," write Evan Halper and Michael Rothfeld in the Times.
"The financial pressures on the state are numerous.
Revenue is dropping precipitously as the economy falters.
The global credit crunch may make it impossible for
officials to obtain billions of dollars in short-term loans that they typically rely on at this time
"And a federal judge on Monday put the state on notice
that it may need to spend as much as $3.5 billion more on prison healthcare in this fiscal year
than lawmakers had planned.
"Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) said Monday that an emergency legislative session
within weeks is 'a big possibility.'
So, in that case, who would be in on the Senate meetings?
Perata or Steinberg? And more importantly, quien es mas macho? Perata or Steinberg?
"Bass and other leaders will meet Wednesday with Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger to consider whether to call the
Legislature into action.
"'The governor is watching the financial condition of
the state very closely,' administration press secretary Aaron McLear said. 'With revenue coming in lower than expected, a special
session is something he will discuss with the leaders.'"
"With California's wallet emptying out faster than the cash is trickling
in, state officials scrambling to pay the bills have set their sights on new lending sources: California's two biggest public pension funds," reports the Bee's Jon Ortiz.
"Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, has proposed that the California Public Employees' Retirement System purchase the state's looming debt. The money would keep California operating
– including paying state employee payroll and funding
schools – into next year."
Hey, maybe they can bail out Wall St. too!
"Florez outlined the plan in a letter to state Treasurer
Bill Lockyer on Friday. Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar on Monday said his boss will also float the idea to
the California State Teachers' Retirement System. Lockyer sits on the boards of both
"'I just thought, 'Nobody is talking about CalPERS as a possible investor,'
' Florez said Monday. 'They might be able to get us a better deal than the
banks, and we might be able to give them a better return
on their investment than the stock market, especially
"Florez and Dresslar said that if the funds wouldn't purchase state
notes, Lockyer could ask them to issue letters of credit
to shore up
Dan Walters brings back a blast from the past.
"In brief, California's fiscal house of cards is tumbling or, to use another
timeworn cliché, its chickens are coming home to roost. Years of ignoring
the state's structural deficit, even when the economy was humming,
are haunting us and our politicians.
"Al Checchi, an airline executive who ran for governor of California
10 years ago, only to lose the Democratic nomination
to Gray Davis, hit the nail squarely in a recent newspaper
op-ed piece, to wit:
"'The self-delusion manifested in the manner that California 'balanced' the current fiscal year budget, the myopia involved
in ignoring the magnitude of future year shortfalls,
and the abdication of fiscal responsibility in failing
to provide a feasible basis for funding the long-term pension and health care obligations promised California's public employees, make Wall Street executives, by
comparison, paragons of fiscal responsibility.'"
Is that supposed to be an I-told-you-so? Checchi in 2012!
"The federal judge who took control of California's decrepit prison health care system in 2006 made it clear Monday that he intends to order the state
to pay the first installment of an $8 billion plan to bring the system up to constitutional
standards," writes the Chron's Bob Egelko.
"At the close of a hearing in San Francisco, U.S. District
Judge Thelton Henderson promised a ruling later this week and left little
doubt about its contents: an order requiring state prison officials to turn
over $250 million to a court-appointed overseer to begin construction in February
on the first of eight planned new medical facilities
for about 10,000 prisoners.
"Henderson removed the $1.1 billion prison medical system from state control more
than two years ago after finding that shoddy health
care was killing one inmate each week and that state
officials were incapable of complying with the constitutional
ban on cruel and unusual punishment. This June, the
judge approved the plan by his appointee, Clark Kelso, to build new medical and dental hospitals and to
refurbish some current facilities.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration has maintained that it can't set aside bond funds for the construction without
approval from state legislators, who have repeatedly
rejected funding proposals.
"On Monday, Henderson said it's too late for that argument. He noted that state officials
took part in discussions on the construction plan and
voiced no objections before he approved it in June."
"More gay couples were married in California in the first three months
that same-sex marriages were legal than were married in the first
four years it was legal in Massachusetts, according to a new study," reports Dan Morain in the Times.
"The data, released Monday by UCLA's Williams Institute, found that an estimated 11,000 same-sex couples were married in California from June 17, when the California Supreme Court began allowing
the weddings, to Sept. 17.
"As of spring, 10,385 same-sex couples had wed in Massachusetts since the state
legalized such unions in May 2004, according to a study by the institute released in
Well, we are a bit bigger. And we have better weather...
"Next month, Californians will decide whether gay couples
can continue to marry when they vote on Proposition
8, which would amend the state Constitution to define
marriage as between only a man and a woman."
"State health officials say the words “bride” and “groom” will reappear on all marriage license applications issued in California starting next month," reports the AP's Lisa Leff.
"In a notice posted on its Web site, the California
Department of Public Health reported it's making the change because many couples wanted the
option of identifying themselves in traditional terms.
"When same-sex marriage became legal in the state on June 16, the department issued gender-neutral marriage forms with the words “Party A” and “Party B” where “bride” and “groom” used to be.
"The forms, which county clerks will be required to
use starting Nov. 17, will have blank spaces for applicants' names and personal information next to the words “First Person Data” and “Second Person Data” and boxes for checking “bride” or “groom.” Because “bride” and “groom” appear in both sections, couples could check the same
title twice to reflect a union between two men or two
Whew, we were all losing sleep over that one.
"More than 120,000 struggling California homeowners could see their
monthly mortgage payments lowered after Bank of America Corp. agreed to
provide $3.5 billion in loan and foreclosure relief to settle lawsuits
it inherited with its takeover of Countrywide Financial
Corp," reports the Chron's James Temple.
"The pact stems from cases filed earlier this year by
other states, alleging Countrywide, based in Calabasas
County), used misleading advertising and unfair business practices
dupe customers into taking out home loans they couldn't afford. Bank of
America acquired Countrywide, along with its outstanding
challenges, in July."
And congratulations to Stanley Kobierowski who was
named Rhode Island's drunkest driver ever!
"The 34-year-old Kobierowski was arrested after driving into a highway
message board on Interstate 95. Authorities said he had the highest blood alcohol
level ever recorded for anyone in Rhode Island who
And somehow, someway, the guy's not going to spend any time in jail.