The governor and legislative leaders emerged from talks yesterday to announce a budget deal
. The plan is expected to be voted on by both houses tomorrow.
According to the LA Times, "[t]he key difference
is that it includes an agreement to pay down all of a $1.3-billion loan owed to local governments in the fiscal year that ends next June, instead of a year later. That provision came in response to threats by Republican lawmakers to continue blocking the budget unless it erased more of the state's future debt."
For those of you keeping score at home, that's now two consecutive years that local government funding has held up a state budget. Guess the era of ERAF
is truly over.
"This is a terrific
budget; it's a budget that moves California forward," Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
said, according to the Bee.
"'This is a terrific
day for California,' said Schwarzenegger. 'This budget is terrific
for California and the future of the state,'" according to the Chronicle.
The Merc calls the budget
a plan that "raises some fees without raising taxes, boosts funding for cities and counties, and grants a reprieve to in-home workers who care for the elderly and disabled.
The OC Register says
"If the roughly $117 billion spending plan passes the Legislature as expected on Thursday, it will be seven days late - the best the Legislature has done since the dot-com bust
shriveled revenues four years ago, creating monumental deficits."
Dan Walters gives the pessimistic reality check
. "The bad news is that as they split their differences on a half-dozen or so outstanding issues, the state's political leaders are still spending several billion more dollars than the tax system is producing, are still covering the shortfall largely with borrowed money, and are still facing more multibillion-dollar deficits
in the years ahead."
Dan, you're so off message.
Local government is happy to receive the vehicle license fee payback
, sort of. Laguna Woods Councilman Bob Bouer
declared the deal "better than a kick in the teeth. Yes, it always helps to have a little more money in the treasury. (But) until you have it in your hands, you don't count it."
Compromise also ruled the day in the Bay Area, as BART avoided a transit strike
with a last-minute labor accord. The deal was reached a "little more than an hour before the trains that carry more than 300,000 riders each day were set to shut down."
Now that the budget is behind us, we can focus on the battles at the state Supreme Court and the special election ballot. The LA Times takes a look at the governor's upcoming task of filling the Supreme Court vacancy
created by Janice Rogers Brown
's departure, and his appointments since entering office.
"Of 70 judges the Republican governor has appointed since he took office, 37 have been Republicans, 25 have been Democrats
and eight have been Independents or have declined to state their party affiliation."
"In my recollection, we have never had as bipartisan [an] approach to judicial appointments,' said California Chief Justice Ronald M. George
, a Republican."
The redistricting measure qualified for the November ballot by Ted Costa
is under legal review
by the attorney general's office, by request of the secretary of state's office. "In what proponents acknowledge was a mistake, wording on the document used to gather signatures was different from the text submitted to the attorney general's office
to secure a title and summary for the measure."
It's now up to Bill Lockyer
to decide whether to file a lawsuit to try to remove the measure from the ballot.
Speaking of the ballot, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson
assigned numbers to all of the measures that have qualified for the ballot so far. They are:Proposition 73
: Parental notification for abortionProposition 74
: Teacher tenureProposition 75
: Union dues checkoffProposition 76
: Live Within Our Means budget reformProposition 77
: ReapportionmentProposition 78
: Prescription drugs (industry-sponsored)Proposition 79
: Prescription drugs (consumer/labor-sponsored)Proposition 80
: Electricity regulation
While parental notification for abortion receives top ballot billing, Peter Schrag writes that the measure will be overshadowed by the fight over the Supreme Court vacancy
created by Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement.
Looking ahead to the next cycle, Ray Haynes
will have to hit the streets to get signatures for his idea to create a state border police, as his ACA 20
to do it legislatively died in Assembly Public Safety yesterday
With memorial services for the late Assemblyman Mike Gordon commencing today
, the Bee writes a preview
of the 53rd Assembly District race
to replace him.
Speaking of AD53, we're hearing buzz about likely candidate Greg Hill
's upcoming marriage in August to a very wealthy woman who may become a benefactor to the race. And, no, he didn't meet her on "Blind Date
We made an unfortunate error in yesterday's issue. While we alluded to the ability to stuff oneself full of pork products at the national hot dog eating contest, the purveyor of said hot dogs, the Coney Island institution Nathan's, uses all beef hotdogs. The Roundup regrets the error.