Senator George Runner says budget crisis could worsen.
Next week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office will release new, more accurate figures regarding this year’s budget.
Santa Clarita’s state Senator George Runner was on AM 1220 KHTS talking about the new numbers and what they might bring. “It’s going to be a real critical time, because unfortunately things have gotten a little worse instead of better,” he said.
If indeed that proves to be the case, California may be facing a budget shortfall that Schwarzenegger predicts could be as high as $20 billion.
This higher number has many calling for state legislators to pursue not just cuts alone, but also new revenues. Senator Runner disagrees. “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem,” he said, noting that 10 years ago the state had a budget of only $50 billion. Today, the California budget is double that. “We don’t need to figure out how to tax Californians more, we need to figure out how to spend their money better.”
The problem, Runner says, stems from the state’s prediction faults. “They over estimate revenues and under estimate expenses,” he said. “We’re spending more than we take in.”
Runner noted that he and his republican colleges will not be voting for a budget they feel to be irresponsible. This is usually the biggest show of power the republicans have in the state, being grossly outnumbered in both legislative houses. However, since a 2/3 majority is required to pass a budget, a handful of Republican votes will be needed. If no Republicans agree to vote for the budget, then the party would be able to use the ensuing political muscle to push for their reforms.