Governor plays hardball, the budget crisis continues.
The state of California
finally had a budget, passed by legislators early this afternoon, although it only
lasted a few hours until Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s vetoed it, citing his
feelings that it did not make reforms and simply pushes the problem to the following
“The budget they passed this morning takes our problems and
makes them worse,” he said. “The people are sick and tired of a system that uses
tax payers like an ATM machine. When they send me the budget, I will veto it.”
Schwarzenegger made the announcement at a press briefing
just after 3:00 p.m. Tuesday
afternoon, and he predicted that the legislature will override him.
“If my veto is overridden, I will send the hundreds of bills
on my desk back with my veto,” he stated.
Schwarzenegger says that since the budget doesn’t fix California’s
problems, he feels that it will create a more severe situation next year, probably
involving education cuts.
The bill was originally looked at as a semi-victory for
Republicans because the compromise budget did not include any new taxes or tax
increases, instead relying on $9.6 million in spending cuts.
Although, contrary to what all parties pushed for, full
reform of the budget process did not stem out of the negotiations, and billions
of dollars in shortfalls have still been pushed off for the state to deal with
in the coming years.
“My Republican colleagues and I agree wholeheartedly with the
Governor that there needs to be real budget reforms that help solve the
fundamental problems which have plagued our state for years and gotten us into
this fiscal crisis," said Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who represents Santa Clarita in the state legislature. " I also can understand how he would be disappointed that he
was not able to get all of the
reforms he wanted. In fact none of us, Republicans, Democrats, or the Governor
received everything thing we wanted, that is why it was a true compromise. As
a legislature, we put party politics aside in order to meet in the middle so
that we could deliver a respectable budget and get the state up and running
Smyth continued; “I am disappointed to hear that the Governor took the unnecessary
step of vetoing this budget compromise. We would all agree that this is not a
‘perfect budget’ by any means, but it balances the budget without
raising taxes, fully funds education,
protects public safety and contains no borrowing from transportation or local
government. It also includes budget reforms that strengthen the rainy day
fund and gives the Governor the authority to make mid-year cuts during a budget
emergency. I believe this budget reflects the values and priorities of the
Some of the reforms that did find their way into the budget
include an increase to the budget stabilization fund, from 5% of the general
fund to 10%.
One of the strongest proponents of budget reform was
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who pushed to establish a “rainy day fund”
which would collect money by raising revenue; either through selling off future
lottery revenues or by instituting a temporary 1 cent sales tax increase.
Senator George Runner, who also represents Santa Clarita, issued his own statement after the veto;
“I applaud the governor for showing leadership and courage.
Let’s face it; This budget needs more work before it is delivered to
Californians. The Governor is using his executive position judiciously by
vetoing a flawed budget bill.”
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, a frequent guest on KHTS AM-1220, issued a statement as well.
“I voted in favor of the budget compromise proposal early this
morning because Californians needed us to put an end to the stalemate and
provide them with the services that have been long overdue. Even though this
spending plan is not the best solution to California’s
budget shortfall, it is a step in the right direction as it has no tax increases and it begins to
implement common-sense budget reforms.
“Although I voted for this budget, I stand with the Governor in
his decision to utilize his veto power and I will not vote to support an override of his veto. I am
committed to finding a compromise which benefits Californians now and protects
their future. I welcome any suggestions by the Governor to make this not
perfect budget even better and look forward to working with my fellow
legislators to find a solution that all Californians deserve.”
Since the budget was not signed by the Governor, the crisis
in Sacramento in still firmly in effect, although legislators and the Governor will
now try to prevent a severe case of budget déjà vu next summer.