Governor's Proposal Generates a Lot of Talk

January 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The Governor says across the board cuts are necessary in order to deal with the $14 billion deficit. But he also wants to change the way the state deals with deficit years in the future.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger told Californians the budget wolf is back at the door.

Now he wants a Constitutional Amendment that would require the state to put the extra money in a savings account during good revenue years.

He's also asking for more power.

He wants to be able to call for spending cuts in the middle of a deficit year.

"Schwarzenegger talked about modeling it after Arkansas. In Arkansas, the Governor can make the cuts him or herself. They don't need the help of the legislature to do this," said Jeff Cummins, CSUF Political Science Prof.

Under the Governor's proposal, lawmakers would get to decide where the cuts are made, but the Governor has the authority to institute them.

The plan has the support of fellow republicans here in the Valley.

"What he said about no taxes, living within our means, and calling for an amendment to make sure that the Governor whoever he or she, of whatever party can make changes so that hard working people won't get hurt. It all makes sense. I look forward to working with him in it," said Assem. Mike Villines, (r) Clovis.

"It's about being more responsible and more prudent. Putting that money away during good times and making sure we're able to deal with the ups and downs of the economy better than we are right now is a good idea," said Senator Dave Cogdill, (r) Modesto.

Democrat Assembly member Juan Arambula agrees painful decisions will have to be made in the near future but he doesn't like the idea of cuts across the board.

"If we deal with the budget only by making cuts there will be a lot of pain, especially amongst the poor and the most vulnerable in the San Joaquin Valley."

During Tuesday's Fresno County Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors discussed cuts on the local level because whatever happens in Sacramento has a direct impact here.

"A lot of people don't recognize that we are an arm of the state of California. So we deliver a lot of the core services that they mandate and say have to be delivered, whether it's mental health or social service programs," said Henry Perea, Fresno County Supervisor.

On Thursday, the Governor will lay out his budget proposals for the next year. That will show just where he thinks cuts should be made.

Many on the state and local level are anxiously awaiting the details.


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