"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will meet with legislative leaders Wednesday to try to find ways to fill an immediate hole in
this year’s budget that could be as large as $5 billion, according to estimates from Senate Leader
Don Perata, D-Oakland. Perata said the deficit could swell to $15 billion or more by the middle of next year," reports CW.
"The bleak outlook comes amid a weakening state economy
and an unprecedented meltdown on Wall Street, which
has pinched corporate and municipal credit.
"'The options are all bad,' Perata said Wednesday. 'I am not very optimistic we will get a tax increase,' which means there could be more cuts to state health
services and education, he added.
"The talk is also sure to revive some “revenue acceleration” options that were rejected by Democrats in the round
of budget talks that wrapped up less than three weeks
ago. But legislative sources in both parties said discussion
of accelerating collection on individual taxpayers’ withholding payments would not be on the table.
Republicans remain adamant that this is not an excuse
to restart tax hike talks, and Perata seemed to concede
the point Tuesday.
The Bee's Kevin Yamamura reports:
"Advocates for spending on education and social services
are bracing for a new round of cuts, which occurred the last time the Legislature had
a midyear budget session in February. The governor
has kept in place an executive order that laid off
10,000 temporary and part-time state workers and eliminated overtime in July
to save about $340 million.
"'After less than a month, to no one's surprise, California's irresponsible, gimmick-filled budget is falling apart,' said Courtni Pugh, executive director of the Service
Employees International Union California State Council,
which represents 95,000 state workers.
"'If the governor and legislators had crafted real solutions
to generate lasting revenues, we wouldn't be facing a problem of this scale,' Pugh said."
"California Secretary of State Debra Bowen rejected on Tuesday a petition submitted by the state
prison guards' union for a recall campaign against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying it did not meet legal requirements.
"In a letter to Mike Jimenez, president of the California Correctional Peace Officers
Assn., an aide to Bowen said the petition, submitted
Sept. 29, failed to include the response Schwarzenegger filed
nearly two weeks earlier to the union's intention to try to recall him. The format for signers
to list their addresses was also incorrect, Elections
Counsel Robbie Anderson said.
"The union has 10 days from receiving Anderson's letter to submit a corrected petition. It is not
unusual for recall proponents to go through several
drafts before getting one right, said Kate Folmar,
a spokeswoman for Bowen.
"Some union members have expressed doubt about the wisdom
of spending millions of dollars of their dues on the
recall campaign and have said they would prefer donating
money to defeat Proposition 5 on the November ballot, which offers alternatives
to prison for drug offenders.
"Michael Flores, a senior advisor to Jimenez, said he
was not sure if the union would revise the petition.
"Opponents of a campaign to ban same-sex marriage in California said Tuesday that a new poll shows them in danger of
losing -- unless people step forward with more contributions
to pay for No on 8 television commercials," reports Jessica Garrison in the Times.
"The opposition has enjoyed a healthy lead in several
surveys taken by polling organizations that do not
have a stake in the campaign. But officials with the
No on 8 campaign held a conference call with reporters Tuesday
to announce that their own poll showed the measure
would pass by four points. Opponents attributed the
result to fewer television ads, which is, in turn,
a result of the No on 8 campaign falling behind in fundraising.
"Although the Yes on 8 campaign has not yet posted its latest fund-raising report, supporters said Tuesday that they have
raised at least $25 million, compared with $15.75 million raised by the other side.
"'As a result of not being able to match dollar for dollar,
we have seen a change,' said Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California, which
is fighting Proposition 8, the proposed amendment to the state Constitution
that would define marriage as only between a man and
Matier and Ross report, "That anti-same-sex marriage ad featuring San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom having a "Howard Dean" moment appears to be working.
"The latest poll was taken a few days after Prop. 8 proponents put
commercials on the air featuring Newsom celebrating
the state Supreme
Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage by half-yelling,
half-growling to a City Hall crowd, 'This door's wide open now! It's
gonna happen - whether you like it or not!'"
"Meg Whitman is digging into her deep pockets to help a California
ballot measure and state Republicans, fueling speculation the billionaire former CEO of
eBay is positioning herself to run for governor in
2010," writes the Bee's Shane Goldmacher.
"Over the weekend, Whitman donated $200,000 to the campaign for Proposition 11, the redistricting initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and an
array of groups seeking to change government.
"It is the first ballot donation that Whitman, a Republican,
has made in at least eight years, according to campaign
"But it likely won't be her last, said Jeff Randle, a Republican strategist who has been advising Whitman
for more than a year as she ponders a run for governor.
"Whitman has pledged $150,000 to the California Republican Party. And she has recently
offered to help GOP legislative leaders raise money
for targeted races, said Randle."
Now that's what we call paying your dues...
Dan Walters looks into the possible constitutional showdown between a federal court that wants billions for prison
health facilities, the governor, and a Legislature
unable to marshal the votes for revenue bonds.
From our We Didn't Start the Fire Files, "Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, has sent a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
asking him to use his executive power to ban a controversial
set of flame retardant chemicals from furniture sold in California," reports CW's Malcolm Maclachlan.
"The letter, sent late on Monday, is a response to a
study released last week by the Silent Spring Institute.
The Massachusetts-based group that found that Californians had twice
the level of a fire retardant known as polybrominated
diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, in their blood as people
in other states. Animal studies have found that PBDEs
to cause cancer, reproductive and neurological problems.
An industry representative said that there is no evidence
the chemicals cause health problems in humans.
"'We have a chemical and regulatory disaster on our hands
and further studies underway now will only further
document the grave error our state has made,' Leno stated in his letter to the governor.
"Specifically, he is requesting that Schwarzenegger
suspend a 1970s era rule called Technical Bulletin 117. This is a regulation that calls for foam in furniture
sold in California be able to withstand at least 12 seconds exposure to the flame of a Bunsen burner without
catching fire. Environmental groups have long argued
that no other state has such a standard, and that the
rule has done little or nothing to reduce fire deaths
And finally, from our This One TIme At Band Camp Files ,
"When he was hired as director of the loud, rowdy Cal
Band at UC Davis, nobody told Tom Slabaugh about the
tradition of 'naked van.'"
Nobody told us about either...
"But on last year's road trip to the football game with Portland
State, a trumpet player yelled "naked van!" and everybody in the
vehicle - men and women alike - stripped to their underwear.
"Slabaugh ordered band members to put their clothes
back on, but they ignored him, he said in a memo to
"Meanwhile, a sousaphone player and a clarinetist wrote
BOOBS' in masking tape on the van's window, causing a motorist who saw
the van on I-5 in Oregon to complain to the university."
Arrest them all! Immediately!