"Republicans finally threw a no-new-taxes proposal on the table Monday that calls for easing the state's massive budget shortfall by cutting deeply into schools
and social service programs," reports Jim Sanders in the Bee.
"The plan broke new ground by making public the GOP's vision for cutting $22 billion from a projected $40 billion shortfall over 18 months, but neither Democrats nor Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
"'This isn't a negotiated compromise, this is a drill,' said Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger's spokesman.
"'Until Republicans and Democrats start negotiating with
one another on solutions the governor can support,
the problem will continue to get worse every day,' McLear said."
The Chron's Mattew Yi reports:
"Under the Republican lawmakers' plan, the bulk of the new revenue - $6 billion - would be siphoned into the state's general fund by asking voters to alter Proposition
63, a 2004 measure that funded mental health services for homeless
adults, and Proposition 10, a tobacco tax approved in 1998 that pays for health care and education programs for
young children. A special election would be called
to consider the changes.
"The rest of the revenue would be generated by delaying
certain loan payments and transferring money from other
"The largest chunk of spending cuts, nearly $10 billion over the next 18 months, would come out of K-12 education. This year, the state is spending $58 billion on public schools.
"Republicans also want to cut monthly payments for supplemental
security income recipients - to $830 from $870 for singles, and to $1,407 from $1,524 from couples.
"The Republican proposal also would reduce the Legislature's operating budget across the board by 5 percent, including lawmakers' salaries, and eliminate $6 million for Schwarzenegger's plan to build an infrastructure to support hydrogen-powered cars."
The U-T's Jim Sweeney writes:
"Republicans also outlined a package of what they called
government and budget reform, from a spending cap to
a two-year budget cycle in which the second year would be
dedicated to auditing state programs.
They identified as their top priority stimulus efforts
such as tax credits and relaxed work and environmental
rules that could spur employment and economic growth.
“'We believe strongly that that's the best way and really the only effective way to
get ourselves out of this problem, to stimulate this
economy, make California competitive again and put
people back to work,' said Senate Minority Leader Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto.
“'It's historic reform,' said Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines, R-Clovis. 'This is a great opportunity for us to be optimistic
and change government, finally.'
"But with California facing a $42 billion deficit over the next 18 months in a general fund of $104 billion, the Schwarzenegger administration and the
Senate's Democratic leader dismissed the GOP proposal as just
another round of political posturing."
Capitol Weekly reports the governor was not exactly wowed by the proposal. "Almost as soon as Republicans unveiled their $22 billion budget
proposal – with more than $15.6 billion in budget cuts, and about $6.5
billion in new revenues – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic
blasted the details of the proposal.
“'It was not
a solution. It was simply a rehash of all of the cuts
that have been on the table for months,' said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear."
CW also notes: "[Assembly Speaker Karen] Bass has also scheduled a floor session for 1 p.m. Tuesday, reportedly
to debate the governor’s tax hike proposal. But details of the floor
agenda were still being hammered out, and nothing had
been put into bill form as of Monday evening. And Bass
and Steinberg are on track top unveil a new package
of revenue increases later this week that could be
passed without Republican support."
Dan Walters says the GOP plan is "not half bad."
To which Democrats would probably say, "No. It's all bad." But we digress...
"That doesn't mean the scheme, which relies heavily on cutting
schools and health and welfare services, will or should
be enacted. But
it's not one of those fact-challenged fantasies that Republicans have
floated in the past. The GOP plan, which continues
opposition to broad new taxes, appears to be grounded
reality, mostly expanding on proposals made by other
players in the
budget game, including Democrats, and has been "scored" at $22 billion
over the next 18 months.
"It's still a game of chicken, and we're still wondering who will blink first."
From our Governor Jerry Brown Redux files:
"California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been tapped as the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday, a post that would give her immense clout
over U.S. intelligence agencies and the power to shape
policies on wiretapping and the treatment of detainees," reports Zachary Coile in the Chron.
"Feinstein's promotion was welcome news for other state Democrats,
as well as Republicans who plan to run for governor
in 2010. The 75-year-old senator has flirted with the idea of running for
governor but has told friends and allies she would
be unlikely to make a bid if she got the top post on
the intelligence panel.
"She would be the first woman to lead the committee
in its 32-year history."
Meanwhile, another Californian, Mike Thompson, was passed over for Interior Secretary, as President-elect Barack Obama tapped Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar
for the post.
Just wondering, is there going to be anyone left in
the U.S. Senate when Obama is done filling out his
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday plans to discuss his goals for political reform that
include a push to change California's primary
election laws, reports Capitol Weekly's John Howard.
"The governor and those close to him who helped spearhead the recent
change in the state's redistricting laws are expected to voice suport
open primaries, which would allow voters to cast primary ballots for
candidate, regardless of partisan affiliation. A ballot
initiative could be before voters by 2010, perhaps even earlier, to
change the state's primary laws.
"Schwarzenegger has already signaled his support of
an open primary. That issue - and others - are expected to be covered Wednesday by the governor
in a public briefing on political reform."
"The state's healthcare program for the working poor received
a temporary reprieve Monday when First 5 California's board voted to provide $16.8 million to avert imminent enrollment restrictions that were expected to leave 162,000 children without medical coverage in the next six
months," writes the LAT's Jordan Rau.
"The money will allow the Healthy Families Program to
continue enrolling children through the end of the
fiscal year in June instead of capping enrollment,
as state officials planned to do Wednesday.
"But the unexpected intervention, hailed by children's advocates, is only a stopgap measure as the Legislature
remains deadlocked over how to erase a budget gap that
is projected to reach $41.8 billion by mid-2010."
And you may have missed it, but yesterday was Election
Day in California, as the state's electors met in Sacramento to cast the only votes
for president that matter.
"California's electors cast their ballots on the floor of the state
Assembly in a ceremonial procedure. It happened about
an hour after
Obama secured the 270 electoral votes he needed nationally to win.
"Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, the first black woman
to serve as
speaker, told electors they were conducting one of
the nation's oldest
rituals. The electoral college system was devised during
Constitutional Convention of 1787.
"Bass said at that time, she would have been considered
three-fifths of a person."
And from our Assault With A Deadly Sandwich Files, "Police said a Florida man
was arrested for throwing a sandwich at his girlfriend,
the second food
attack that sent a man to jail in about a month. According
to a police report released Monday, the 20-year-old man threw the sandwich at his girlfriend's face during an argument about auto insurance."
"The man admitted to throwing the food but not hitting
her. He was arrested Friday and faces a battery charge.
month, another man was arrested on a battery charge
for hitting his
girlfriend with a sandwich, knocking her glasses off
and nearly causing
a traffic crash.
"Police reports did not indicate what type of sandwich
was used in