"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, expressing frustration
with lawmakers' failure to approve a state budget, ordered his administration Thursday to lay off thousands
of part-time employees and moved to temporarily slash the pay
of most full-time staff," reports Michael Rothfeld in the Times.
"The governor, a Republican, apologized to state employees,
many of whom, he acknowledged, are already struggling
in a difficult economy. But he said he had no choice
in the absence of a budget one month into the fiscal
"'Our state faces a looming cash crisis,' Schwarzenegger said."
"Nearly 200,000 employees could have their pay cut to the federal
minimum wage of $6.55 an hour, with full salary reimbursed once a budget
is signed. More than 10,000 lost their jobs Thursday. Exceptions were made for
those deemed too critical to let go for purposes of
law enforcement, public health and safety or other
The Roundup question of the day:
Does the state have to pay unemployment benefits to
the 10,000 laid off workers and, if so, will it amount to more
than minimum wage?
"Schwarzenegger also limited overtime and imposed a
"'I have a responsibility to make sure that our state
has enough money to pay its bills,' said the governor, who signed an executive order shortly
before noon at a news conference in Sacramento. 'It is a terrible situation to be in. I don't think any governor wants to be in this situation.
. . . But this is really the only way out at this point.'
"It is far from clear, however, whether the governor
can put the salary cuts into effect, or how long it
might take. State Controller John Chiang, a Democrat who was elected to his post, suggested
that the governor had overstepped his authority and
said he would not cooperate. Chiang made his statements
in a letter to Schwarzenegger and at a Los Angeles
The layoffs kicks Sacramento's already slow economy where it hurts, writes the Bee's Dale Kasler.
The Bee's The Buzz column gets Mike Villines on the record acknowledging more
revenue will be needed for the budget.
"'I don't believe you have to do this budget with tax increases.
I do believe you may have to look at some (tax) loophole closures,' Villines said."
So Republicans do believe in the existence of loopholes...
Meanwhile, Shane Goldmacher looks at the complaint
by Roger Niello against a local teachers group that has a roving billboard through his district.
[T]he billboard looked like the license-plate holder of the Niello Co., the Sacramento-area car dealership. The assemblyman and his two brothers
own the company that has been selling cars in the capital
"One of Niello's brothers called in the lawyers.
"'You are creating a false association between Roger
Niello, the politician, and my client, The Niello Company,' attorney John Costello wrote to the union.
Los Rios College Federation of Teachers President Dean "Murakami said they've agreed to take down the offending image. 'We were just surprised because we didn't think it was a big deal,' Murakami said. 'We didn't realize we were infringing any copyright.'"
"Lt. Gov. John Garamendi became the first candidate to announce he is running
for California governor in 2010 by blasting the incumbent Thursday over the state's budget stalemate and declaring that he would raise
taxes if elected," report Peter Hecht and Shane Goldmacher in the Bee.
"The veteran Democratic politician announced his gubernatorial
bid on the west steps of the Capitol, moments before
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an order to cut thousands
of temporary state jobs and freeze pay of 200,000 workers at $6.55 an hour to help the state pay its bills.
"The timing of Garamendi's announcement was no coincidence as he used the state's budget standoff to tout his own credentials as a
leader who can direct the California out of a fiscal
"'California is not a movie set, and gridlock is not
acceptable,' Garamendi said in a dig at Schwarzenegger, the action
star governor whose name won't be on the 2010 ballot. 'This is real life. This is about real people and Californians
who are hurting.'"
"Large sums from outside the state are pouring into the campaign coffers of several hotly
contested initiatives that will appear on California's November ballot, including funding for and against
measures that would ban same-sex marriage and require egg ranchers to provide roomier
quarters for hens," writes Dan Morain in the Times.
"With about three months left before the election, the
campaigns for and against the 12 propositions on the November ballot have amassed a
total of almost $70 million, according to campaign finance statements
filed with the California secretary of state Thursday,
and the sum is almost certain to soar as the election
"Four propositions account for two-thirds of the donations."
Morain looks at Proposition 8 (same-sex marriage), Proposition 2 (animal husbandry), Proposition 7 (clean energy), and Proposition 10 (bonds/natural gas vehicles)."
Speaking of out-of-state fundraising, Antonio Villaraigosa has raised more than $1.6 million for his gubernatorial, er, re-election bid, the Times reports.
"Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised $1.6 million for his 2009
reelection campaign in the first half of the year,
a sizable bundle of
cash in a race where, so far, the first-term mayor faces no well-funded
raised the vast majority of the money during a fundraising
June, when he held more than a dozen events and hopscotched
country, according to campaign finance reports filed
Thursday with the
city Ethics Commission."
"The Los Angeles Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to place a $7-billion bond on the November ballot. It would be the largest local school bond ever -- by far -- and would allow officials to tax property owners for
building and repairing schools for the next 10 years," write Howard Blume and Evelyn Larrubia in the Times.
"The funding package enshrined ambitious new goals,
but critics questioned the need for the bond -- as well as a price tag that more than doubled in the
last two weeks. From four previous bonds, the Los Angeles
Unified School District already has enough money to
allow every student to attend a neighborhood school
on a traditional, two-semester schedule -- the main goal for those earlier measures.
"This bond contains a wide-ranging wish list of possible items that backers say
would create "small" schools with the potential to improve graduation rates
and test scores.
"The requested amount ballooned from $3.2 billion in recent days, allowing district officials to assuage some critics
and constituencies with additional dollars and letting
board members pad funds earmarked for their favored
priorities, such as early childhood education centers.
Even so, the district has yet to allocate about $2 billion, leaving that for future unspecified needs."
A big Roundup apology to Canada, who we accused of
speeding, drug-running, masturbating driver yesterday. Turns out,
guy was Austrailian, not Canadian, driving 150 km/h while masturbating at the wheel of his drug-laden car,"
Who knew there was a difference?
And speaking of Australia, it looks as though designer vaginas are a no-no down under.
"Cosmetic surgery to
"rejuvenate" the vagina has been blacklisted by Australian
gynecologists who say more women are being injured
by the dangerous
"Top female sexual health
specialists say they are seeing an increase in women
infections and altered sexual sensations after undergoing
"Most have had labioplasty operations, to
change the external appearance of the vagina or, less
narrow the vagina or "amplify'' the female G-spot.
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians
Gynecologists has issued a position statement on the
it dangerous, expensive and unwarranted."
Unlike that Meg Ryan-style Joker Mouth plastic surgery that so many people seem to deem essential.