Schwarzenegger signed a 27-bill budget-balancing package Tuesday, but
only after making another $489 million in spending cuts
and likening the experience to "the good, the bad and the ugly."
The state's general fund spending will amount to $85 billion, including
the reserve. That's a 7.2 percent drop from spending in the last fiscal
year, and a whopping 17 percent less than two years ago.
More cuts came yesterday to make up for the Legislature's failure to pass a plan to cut local gas tax revenues
and approve new oil drilling measures. Together, those proposals would have brought in more
than $1 billion to state coffers.
The Chron's Wyatt Buchanan reports,
"Among the largest new cuts is nearly $80 million for child welfare
services, which administration officials said would mean fewer
workers available to investigate reports of child abuse
those investigations. In total, child welfare services
and foster care
were cut $121 million.
Already, Democrats are suggesting the new cuts may
be ilegal, bringing an auspicious start to the next
round of budget talks, which should be starting up
again some time before the new year, if we were taking
Buchanan reports, " Most of the governor's new cuts were made to parts of the
plan that Democrats believe were not subject to line-item vetoes.
"We question whether the majority of these vetoes are
state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
Steinberg vowed to restore all the governor's cuts, saying: "This is
not the last word."
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Baldwin Vista (Los Angeles County),
also challenged Schwarzenegger's actions, saying in a written statement
that he "appears willing to break the law" to make the cuts. She said
she would seek legal counsel on the legitimacy of Schwarzenegger's
"The governor's actions today have not just caused harm; his actions today put lives in jeopardy," Bass said.
E.J. Schultz reports parks and farmland preservation also took a hit.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday eliminated state
support for a
farmland preservation program that is heavily used
in the Valley -- a
move that could force counties to make more budget
for the Williamson Act was one of 21 vetoes the governor announced in
order to bring the state's 2009-10 budget back into balance after the
Legislature last week passed a plan that was slightly
in the red.
The governor also
sliced $6.2 million from the state parks budget. The cut, on top
$8 million hit that parks took last week, could result
in the closure
of as many as 100 of the state's 279 parks -- but not until after Labor
Day, officials said.
The Media News political team says Schwarzenegger almost seemed to like making the cuts.
Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to relish the task of reining in
government spending, almost as if it was another cinematic
which to star.
With gusto, he launched blistering attacks against
fraud in the welfare system, demanding that those abusing
the system be
kicked out. He unwaveringly stood his ground on taxes,
Democrats to seriously consider including them in negotiations.
proclaimed himself the guardian of responsible, frugal
didn't seem to matter to Schwarzenegger that fraud in the
minuscule compared with other soaring costs; or that voters actually
favored taxes on oil companies, alcoholic beverages
products; or that he'd previously increased state spending by tens of
billions of dollars after coming to office in 2003.
the Terminator was back, even flashing an oversize knife while smiling
broadly and talking about cutting government spending
in a YouTube
video aired just before he and the four legislative
leaders came to an
agreement on paring the general fund budget to $84 billion — down from
more than $100 billion a year ago.
Dan Walters writes the current plan already leaves a big fiscal hole for next year.
"Even Schwarzenegger, who usually puts a positive spin
events, was subdued, reminding reporters that "we are not out of the
troubled waters yet" and pledging that "if our revenues drop further,
(we will) make the necessary cuts in order to again live within
"Even if all the spending cuts
and gimmicks work exactly as planned, even if this
year's revenue meets
expectations, and even assuming the economy begins to recover in 2010,
the administration now projects a 2010-11 deficit of $7 billion to $8
"But given the track record on such projections, the
that many of the current assumptions will prove wrong
and a strong
possibility of continued recession, a deficit in the
$20 billion range
for Schwarzenegger's final budget would seem to be more realistic.
"California is, indeed, sailing in troubled waters."
The LA Times' Jeff Gotlieb reports Laura Richardson is now the subject of a Congressional
Laura Richardson’s rundown Sacramento house, which became the scourge
of the neighborhood and a sore point with an investor
who thought he’d
bought it out of foreclosure, is now the subject of
a House ethics
"The Office of Congressional Ethics contacted real estate
James York, who bought Richardson’s house at a foreclosure auction last
year only to have Washington Mutual take it back after
he had recorded
"The office also has interviewed at least two of the
Democrat’s Sacramento neighbors, asking about their efforts -- and
costs -- in tidying up the yard of Richardson’s two-story house. The
city declared the house a public nuisance on one occasion
“blighted” on another.
And it looks like the end of an era may be coming in
The LAT's Bill Plashke reports, "Vin Scully, thought to be retiring this winter after 60 seasons, said
this week he is planning on coming back for one more summer.
Scully, 81, said if he continues to feel well he will work past
his landmark year and retire after the 2010 season.
"God willing, I will probably come back for one more
year," Scully said
in a phone interview. "At this moment, my health is excellent, and I'm
leaning toward one more year."
And then retire?
"Yes, that makes sense," he said.