UPDATE: Arnold begins…
“I now have no choice but to stand here today and call for the elimination of some very important programs.”
“This is what we call the budget Kabuki.”
Several things have changed since the last budget:
- The legislators didn’t come up with enough savings.
- Expected $6.9 billion from the federal government… received around half.
- Federal judges have blocked changes to health and human services, prevented us from using the “scalpel” and now have to use the “axe”
Eliminating major programs: CalWORKS, most child-care programs, In-Home Supportive Services, Health Families program. Includes a 5% pay cut for state workers.
As promised, he will not give additional cuts to education or increase taxes.
Q: What are values of the state? People think they are more about businesses than social safety net.
A: Arnold says his values are to have a budget that works. To create jobs that create revenue so that we can afford programs… “I am not here to beat up on the legislature, but…”
Q: How can you justify raising money for higher education in the face of cuts?
A: Arnold says education has already faced major cuts
Regarding the costly pension system: “Things were promised, that the stock market would be at 24,000, when now it is barely at 11,000.”
Q: How serious are you about cutting CalWORKS? You’ve proposed this before.
A: Arnold says this is not a “surprise hit” and they have taken the necessary steps to make the cut. (CalWORKS is a program that provides temporary financial assistance for low-income families.)
Arnold leaves the stage.
Budget Director Ana Matosantos takes over. She gives a long list of savings from these cuts and the major cuts already in the proposed budget. California must pass a balanced budget by July. (Update: includes a 5% pay cut for state workers.) California has enough cash to make it through FY2010.
None of these cuts is a surprise, though the announcement was sudden. Arnold named all of these as a possibility in his last budget proposal.
Don’t miss: Why California is the new Greece >
ORIGINAL POST: Friday news dump alert!
California will be announcing “absolutely terrible” (in the words of a Schwarzenegger aide) budget cuts right at 4:00 PM.
Likely areas for cutting include healthcare and prisons. We’ll be covering it LIVE.