Gov. Schwarzenegger calls special session over state deficit

November 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
It's only been a little more than a month since California's latest budget passed. But already another budget shortfall is looming.

The governor blames voters for approves Proposition 22, which prohibits the state from borrowing from local funds, and lawmakers for not getting the job done. He's giving lawmakers one more chance to fix it before he leaves office.

While Governor Schwarzenegger likes the "green" technology he's seeing at a car show, his next agenda is all about "red": the red ink plaguing the state budget.

He's calling lawmakers into special session next month to tackle the $6 billion deficit now, before it grows to $25 billion next year.

"I talked to Governor-elect Brown. He's all for it," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "He knows that the faster we make those decisions, the better it is and the less he has to deal with it."

Schwarzenegger thinks there's only one way to solve that shortfall: more spending cuts.

"Eventually, those legislators will find out that there will be no other choice but to make those cuts," said Schwarzenegger.

But with less than two months left in office, Democratic leaders are reluctant to act on a lame-duck governor's request. They'd rather wait until Jerry Brown takes over in January to make major decisions.

"We're not going to do anything without consulting with, working directly with the governor-elect, Jerry Brown," said state Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), California Senate president.

Waiting, though, won't get any easier. No one's even pretending there won't be more deep cuts.

"The deficit is obviously still very large. And there's no doubt that there are going to have to be some more cutbacks," said Steinberg.

Community college students haven't heard anything about fee increases, but with more budget cuts looming, some are expecting the worst.

"If they do, I have to probably look for another two to three jobs to pay for that," said community-college student Diego Perez.

Parents wonder what more cuts will mean to public schools.

The school Bobbi Hall sends her kids to is already begging families to help out.

"Yes, $350 per child, per year, is what they're asking. They can't demand, but they're asking," said Hall.

The governor believes with the election over, maybe lawmakers will find it easier to make the cuts.


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