Governor Faces Criticism Over Budget

January 9, 2010 8:41:25 PM PST
Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to trim billions from the state budget was coming under fire Saturday. California has a $20 billion budget deficit. The governor is looking for ways to bridge that gap, and Friday he proposed several ideas that were facing a lot of criticism Saturday.

One is asking the federal government for more help.

Leading democrats like Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi say the feds can't keep bailing everybody out.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D), Speaker of The House said, "The challenges in Calif. have to be addressed in Calif. and we stand ready to help but we can't write a blank check to cover what hasn't happened here to keep the fiscal house in order."

Governor Schwarzenegger is also calling for a 5% pay cut for state workers.

But former State Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown disagrees.

He said there needs to be a 'major' overhaul of state workers salaries.

Brown insists, many have bloated salaries and benefits that even surpass the earnings of those in the private sector.

He said labor agreements went unscrutinized for way too long, even while he was in office.

Willie Brown, Former Assembly Speaker said, "not enough revenue can be raised to sustain a system that has never been examined from its effectiveness and from its cost."

"Willie brown doesn't know what he's talking about. City employees make as much money if not more than state employees," said John Burton, State Democratic Party Chair.

Burton adamantly defends state workers and the need to keep their salaries untouched.

But Professor Emeritus of Economics at USF, Mike Lehmann insists, what the state needs to do 'right now' is raise taxes.

"If the problem has been generated by a weak economy that has reduced revenues, well that doesn't make the salaries too high. The problem is the revenues have fallen off," said Lehmann.