"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the leaders of the Legislature
reached agreement Monday evening on a pain-filled, recession-driven,
$25 billion state budget revision that cuts some $9 billion from public
schools, colleges and universities,
takes $4 billion from cities and counties, continues three
furlough days per month for most state employees and
cuts $1.4 billion from the state's prison system," Capitol Weekly reports.
Floor votes are tentaively scheduled for Thursday in
You can watch leaders announce the deal here.
Still more cutting loomed. "Frankly, we may not be done (cutting) yet," Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg said after the agreement
was reached. He said the state has confronted a $60 billion cumulative shortfall since Jan. 1.
The draft budget counts on money from two major pieces
that have yet to be finalized -- the sale of a portion of the State
Fund that is hoped to fetch $1 billion and the approval of a
controversial off-shore oil lease off Santa Barbara that is expected
to draw $100 million annually.
The cuts to education mean local school districts will
have the ability to cut up to five days off the school
year. Sources told Capitol Weekly that some of the
education cuts -- perhaps $3.9 billion worth -- could be made up by
federal money. Also, some $1.7 billion listed as cuts were in the form
payments to K-12 schools and community colleges and could be recouped
in future budget years.
The LAT's Halper and Goldmacher report," the proposal would reshape some aspects of government in California ,
significantly scaling back many services that have been offered to
residents -- particularly the elderly and the poor -- for years.
of thousands of seniors and children would lose access to healthcare,
local governments would sacrifice several billion dollars
assistance this year and thousands of convicted criminals
less time in state prison. Welfare checks would go
to fewer residents,
state workers would be forced to continue to take unpaid
days off and
new drilling for oil would be permitted off the Santa
Under the accord, local governments were among the hardest hit,
as the state will borrow $2 billion in local funds under Proposition 1A, take another $1 billion in local gas tax money, and take more than
$1 billion from local redevelopment agency funds.
John Howard reports, "Next time you hit a pothole or drive through a bumpy
stretch of poorly maintained road, you may have those
folks in Sacramento to thank.
One piece of a budget-balancing plan proposed by the Schwarzenegger administration
and approved by a two-house conference committee is to take fuel-tax money that normally would go to cities and counties
and use it instead to pay the debt service on transportation
The proposal is in the budget document that will go
before the Legislature this week. The governor and
legislative leaders announced agreement on a spending
blueprint Monday night.
“It’s a money grab,” said Matt Rexroad, a Yolo County supervisor. “The roads of tens of thousands of people will be affected
in Yolo County alone.”
Bring on the lawsuits!
The Chron's Matthew Yi reports, "The plan also includes allowing an offshore oil drilling project
near Santa Barbara, keeping most state parks open and eliminating the
Integrated Waste Management Board, which is led by political
appointees, many of them former lawmakers, who earn
salaries. Prison spending would be cut, but inmates
would not be
Cal Grants would be spared, which means college students who have
been promised the awards this year would receive them,
programs would lose some, but not all, state funding.
"I am glad that we will close the deficit, and I am
glad that IOUs
will no longer be needed," said Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Baldwin
Vista (Los Angeles County). "But make no mistake, this is a budget of
shared sacrifice and shared pain. But we did not eliminate
completely shred the safety net in the state."
Brian Joseph notes the plan, "closes the current shortfall without tax increases , eliminating the state's safety net or releasing inmates from prison early."
The LA Times takes a quick look at some of the proposed budget solutions.
As if on cue, the LAT's Marc Lifsher reports on some fiscal troubles at CalPERS that could ignite serious pension reform talks in
the coming months.
"California's huge government pension fund is expected to report
whopping annual loss of an estimated $56.8 billion, almost a quarter of
its investment portfolio.
"The loss at the California Public
Employees' Retirement System for the fiscal year ended June 30 is the
second in a row for the country's largest fund. A year ago, CalPERS
reported an $8.5-billion loss, as the severe recession began to take
"The tremendous drop in value is expected to have a
direct effect on the
amount of money that the state and about 2,000 local governments and
school districts must contribute in coming years to
pay for pensions
and healthcare for 1.6 million government workers, retirees and their
And from our Pot vs. Kettle files, the governor is
one lucky dude. If a budget deal hadn't been reached yesterday, the story would have been
how the same governor who berated lawmakers for focusing
on cow tails and pommegranate juice ended his self-imposed bill-signing ban to save a few seals.
The LAT reports, "A Superior Court
judge Monday ordered the city of San Diego to shoo
the harbor seals off
the beach at the Children's Pool in La Jolla by Thursday.
But within hours,
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will
allow the city to
declare the beach a marine sanctuary and allow the pennipeds to remain."
Clearly, that's more important than poor kids not getting health
representing the pro-seal faction in the two-decade dispute pitting
seals vs. children is seeking a restraining order from
a federal judge
that would block the city from removing the seals.
And Mayor Jerry
Sanders, saying the city is prepared, albeit reluctantly,
to abide with
the Superior Court judge’s dictum, pleaded with both sides in the
dispute to remain civil."