Today's Roundup, per order of Gov. Schwarzenegger, will be 10 percent shorter than normal.
The U-T's Ed Mendel reports, "The Republican governor's proposal for a 10 percent across-the-board cut to help close a $14.5 billion budget shortfall over the next 18 months
sets up a confrontation with the Democratic-controlled Legislature."
"The biggest spending cut proposed by the governor is K-12 funding, which is guaranteed about 40 percent of general spending under Proposition 98.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his budget proposal in Sacramento yesterday, and his biggest proposed cut was in K-12 funding, which is guaranteed about 40 percent of general spending under Proposition 98.
"School funding in the current year is $1.4 billion over the Proposition 98 guarantee because of the decline in revenue. But Schwarzenegger, surprising some, is proposing a midyear cut of only $400 million.
"'We must protect our children,' he said. 'Nor do I want to cut whole programs that so many people rely on. Ten percent across-the-board is already tough, but it at least spreads the pain evenly and equally, and it protects vital services.'"
But the bulk of the post-game analysis seemed to be coming live from the Grassy Knoll, as many analysts believe Schwarzenegger went super-draconian as some kind of negotiating ploy.
"It’s not real
," writes the Sacbee's Dan Weintraub.
"So if it is not real, what is the real plan? He may not have one at this point. But I would guess he is using this document to try to force lawmakers from both parties to come up with something better. Some of the cuts – in prisons, parks, and schools – cut deeply into things the Republicans value. Perata even talked about restructuring the education budget to punish schools in districts represented by Republicans who vote against the budget. So there seems to be some effort afoot to engage Republicans by showing them that they can no longer vote “no” and still have their priorities funded.
"But what about the Democrats? Perata and Nunez were softies at their press conference today. Perata sounded as if he was on medication, and Nunez sounded as if he needed to be on drugs. Maybe they’re just sick. But their tone was so conciliatory toward the governor that it sounded as if they had promised him that they would not attack him personally. It sounded as if the three of them have a game plan of some kind for how they want this thing to roll out, and it does not include all-out partisan warfare
Does it include the gov's endorsement of Prop 93? Just asking...
Evan Halper writes about the central budget paradox
that will continue to hamper the health care debate. "
At the same time he is pushing a $14-billion expansion of healthcare to nearly all Californians, his budget calls for a rollback of existing medical programs for the needy.
"The governor's proposal would involve keeping as many as 50,000 convicted criminals out of state prisons through early releases and changes to the parole system
It would also mean excusing thousands of criminals sentenced to 20 months or less from serving any time at all.
"The governor has also said he is prepared to drop the amount the state spends on each school student by more than $300 a year
, and to eliminate cash grants for some children at risk of homelessness."
Who can sort out this mess? We need humor. We need political aptitude. Just in time, Greg Lucas is back, with a blog
"Citing decades-long appeals and a backlog that threatens to overwhelm the high court, Chief Justice Ronald George
told state commissioners that now is the time to relinquish the state Supreme Court's exclusive review of death penalty cases
and open the process to the lower courts," writes the Bee's Crystal Carreon.
"George, who addressed the Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice at a Capitol hearing, proposes amending the state Constitution to help fix a process he calls "dysfunctional." He hopes to have the proposal on the 2008 general ballot or to find a legislator to sponsor the measure."
And our, All Not-So-Good Things Must Come To An End
Files are overflowing this morning. Ed Jew has quit the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
, reports the Chron's Cecelia Vega.
"Jew's resignation - effective at noon Friday - ends a tumultuous period at City Hall and sets up a political fight in the city's sleepy Sunset District. His decision to step down almost eight months after FBI agents raided his office in connection with an alleged extortion scheme
means the District Four seat he landed in a surprise victory in 2006 will be up for grabs in November's election.
To replace Jew, Mayor Gavin Newsom
said he "most likely" would name acting District Four Supervisor Carmen Chu
. He appointed Chu, a former staff member in his budget office, to the post on a temporary basis in September, when Jew was suspended from office after the filing of official misconduct charges against the first-year lawmaker at the city's Ethics Commission."
Also from the files, the Bee's Peter Hecht looks at a post-John Doolittle world
"Rep. John Doolittle's decision to retire after his ninth term in Congress ignited a growing contest Thursday for a staunchly Republican seat seen as vulnerable due to an FBI investigation into Doolittle's ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff
"Immediately, longtime Doolittle supporter and former state Sen. Rico Oller
said Thursday he would run for Doolittle's seat. A political consultant who has worked with former Sacramento-area Republican Rep. Doug Ose
said Ose was also seriously considering running.
"Previously, two other Republicans – Air Force reservist and security consultant Eric Egland
and former Auburn Mayor Mike Holmes
– said they would run, and state Assemblyman Ted Gaines
, R-Roseville, formed an exploratory committee."
Poor Charlie Brown. Every time he's ready to score, Lucy snatches that football.