State budget cuts
10 percent rumored to be on the table to tackle $14 billion deficit
California is facing a $14 billion budget shortfall for the 2008-09 fiscal year, and among the ways Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger intends to address the problem is to call for across-the-board-budget cuts.
In his State of the State address Tuesday, the governor placed the blame for the shortfall on overspending by the state.
“Our budget problem is not because California’s economy is in trouble. In spite of weakness in housing, other areas of our economy continue to thrive. We remain a powerhouse of technology, of agriculture, advanced research, venture capital, international trade and innovation, and we continue to have job growth. So our revenues this coming year not going to be lower than last year, they’re not going down. No, the situation is that we are simply going to hold steady with our revenue,” Schwarzenegger said in his speech before a joint session of the legislature.
The problem, continued the state’s chief executive is that even though revenue will remain flat, automatic formulas force spending to increase by 7.3 percent.
Schwarzenegger is expected to release his proposed 2008-00 budget today, and rumors are that he will ask for a 10 percent across the board spending cut from all departments.
Whatever cuts are proposed and made, African American legislators like Assembly Curren D. Price, want to make sure that the programs which affect families, children, education and training are not severely impacted.
“It’s very hard to cut those essential services that are already always in short supply,” Price said adding that he intends to make sure that those areas that help communities of color and which are frequently targeted for cuts (all of those mentioned above as well as heath and economic development incentives) are protected.
“We have to wait and see exactly what is released tomorrow. We have to be very specific in terms of protecting the programs and policies (we might be) in jeopardy of losing,” said Price.