Schwarzenegger warned Tuesday that California will go broke if the
Legislature doesn't quickly cut billions in spending ," Jim Miller reports.
a rare June address to lawmakers, a solemn Schwarzenegger
past ideas on changing state government, such as eliminating
boards and commissions. None of the proposals would
significant savings fast, however.
"Our wallet is empty,
our bank is closed and our credit is dried up," Schwarzenegger told
lawmakers. "If we don't act, the state will simply run out of money and
Our old friend Shane Goldmacher gets his first LA Times
byline, tag-teaming the governor's speech with Michael Rothfeld. "Saying the national recession has brought about a "transformation of
what services Sacramento can provide ," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on
Tuesday pressed lawmakers for a swift resolution of
crisis that threatens the country's most populous state with insolvency.
"We are running out of excuses and we have run out of
Schwarzenegger said in a rare speech to a joint session
Legislature. "And the people have run out of patience."
Sure, there were plenty of critics who said the governor
did not say anything new in his speech. But he did
draw one line in the sand.
"He told lawmakers he would not agree to any budget
deal that would take
money from schools or healthcare without first eliminating
high-paying posts on the state Integrated Waste Management
other panels laden with former legislators."
Well, we feel better already.
The Bee's Kevin Yamamura reports, "The governor's speech – and his budget – suggested a
return to his fiscal conservative roots . But Schwarzenegger emphasized
that he took no pleasure this time and pursued this
tack more out of
desperation than ideology.
"It's an awful feeling, but we have no choice," he said. "Our wallet is empty, our bank is closed and our credit
is dried up."
said the state's dire situation provides lawmakers the political
opportunity to consolidate more than a dozen state
commissions, which would save only $50 million but is popular with
Dan Walters writes the jury's still out on just how serious the governor is about
some of his proposed cuts.
"Those are harsh words, certainly, but they reflect
a dismal economic
and fiscal plight. And yet, because Schwarzenegger has been so
inconsistent on the budget for five-plus years, no one other than
himself knows whether it's steely resolve to close the deficit with
spending cuts regardless of the pain, as he says, or
another gambit in
the political chess game."
At this point, it's more like checkers, don't you think?
"His new words are not being taken at
face value because his past words have been so lacking
in permanence or
meaning. While Democrats wonder whether he is, truly,
telling them that
cuts are the only way out, thus forcing them to do
things that they
consider to be abhorrent, such as eliminating welfare,
wonder whether he's painting a dark picture to induce them, for the
second time this year, to enact some additional taxes."
And yet, it looks like Darrell Steinberg may have his eye on a ballot measure in 2010 for another budgetary program. Josh Richman reports, "Days after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed to abolish
the Healthy Families Program
(which would entail booting more than 900,000 California kids out of
health insurance), Steinberg’s Committee for a New Economy on Monday made a $75,000 contribution to Californians for Children’s Health — a sizable cash infusion for a committee that previously
had only about $20,000 in its coffers.
"The statement of organization for Californians for
Children’s Health says the group – for which a Web site
is under construction – exists to support “expansion of children’s
health coverage,” and its sponsoring organizations include the Children’s Defense Fund Action Council; the Children’s Partnership, a project of the Tides Center; Children Now; and PICO California. Its CFO is PICO California director
Jim Keddy; its secretary is Kelly Hardy, Children Now’s associate director for health.
"Hardy earlier today told me Californians for Children’s Health aims
to develop a ballot measure for November 2010, and although today’s
rapidly changing budget environment makes it hard to
say exactly what
that measure’s specifics will be, “we’re contemplating new revenue
sources that would come in, not General Fund sources,
support children’s coverage programs.”
First 5 commissions, we're looking at you...
"Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office has issued subpoenas in a widening public
pension fund corruption probe, has received $52,500 in recent campaign contributions from relatives and
a company of the two California businessmen he's now investigating" reports the Bee's Andrew Macintosh.
"The contributions from four family members of Sacramento
lobbyist Darius Anderson and the company of Los Angeles
went to Brown
late last year – months before his office reportedly subpoenaed
companies run by the two men political fundraiser Daniel
Weinstein. They have not been charged in a public
pension scandal that has migrated west from New York
and resulted in a handful of indictments and two guilty
pleas, including one by one of Weinstein's former employees.
"Brown received $48,000 in contributions from the wife, brother and parents
Anderson in late December 2008, state campaign finance records show.
That included $12,000 from brother Kirk Anderson
with whom Darius Anderson co-founded Gold Bridge Capital, a "placement
agent" that helps money managers secure major investments
from public pension funds. Darius Anderson controls
75 per cent of the firm."
"Darius and his family have known Jerry Brown for decades,
and they've always supported candidates and causes they believe
in," Anderson spokesman Dan Newman said."
The Chron's Tom Abate reports the state's high unemployment rate is putting the state's unemployment insurance fund at risk.
"California is paying out so much for jobless benefits
and collecting so
little in payroll taxes that its unemployment insurance
fund could be
$17.8 billion in debt by the end of 2010, according to a new report
from the state Employment Development Department.
"This latest fiscal crisis won't immediately affect the 1.1 million
Californians now collecting benefits because the state
is using an
interest-free federal loan to cover their checks.
"But the state is supposed to repay that loan and restore
unemployment fund to solvency by 2011 - and right now, policymakers
aren't sure exactly how to do that, or at what cost."
So, with all this bad news, what are we to do? Heck,
even the advice from Mr. McGuire is no good anymore!
That's because over in the Senate, they're cracking down on chemicals in plastics.
Eric Bailey reports, "Despite
a fierce lobbying effort by the U.S. chemical industry,
Senate narrowly approved a proposal Tuesday that would
ban the use of a
substance in baby bottles, toddler sippy cups and food
independent scientists say is a threat to childhood
The bill by state Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) that would prohibit
the use of bisphenol A -- commonly dubbed BPA -- now goes to the
Assembly, where it is expected to face a wall of resistance
manufacturers of the products that contain the chemical.
Industry leaders have focused on California for a lobbying
relations campaign they hope will turn back efforts
by health and
consumer groups to outlaw use of the chemical, a component
types of plastic and plastic-lined containers."
Steve Lopez gets back to what he does best -- taking shots at Antonio Villaraigosa . This time, Lopez has some advice for Villaraigosa's new girlfriend, TV reporter Lu Parker.
"I don't know Parker, although we work for the same rascals,
would strongly urge her to call Mirthala Salinas for some quick
counsel. After the mayor was done with Salinas, she ended up
Riverside bureau and he ended up talking about a run
for governor, so
the mayor may not understand the concept of equity
in a relationship."
And you know it's tough out there in TV land when a South American
dictator can't even get his own four-day telethon.
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
had promised a four-day marathon edition of his widely watched weekly
television talkshow, but unspecified technical problems
threw the plans
awry this weekend.
"In a three-line statement, the information ministry said Sunday's "Alo
Presidente" program had been canceled for technical reasons. Saturday's
show was called off without explanation.
"To mark its 10 years on air, Chavez last week announced an extended
edition of the program he frequently uses to criticize
States and announce major policies like nationalizations
America's top oil exporter. He planned to do one or two hours-long
broadcasts a day.
The leftist began on Thursday, speaking for about eight
hours in two installments and threatening to punish
a critical private TV station. He also chatted to teens about sex education, talked about
problems with his weight and called his friend and
mentor, Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro, "Our father who art in Havana."