Senator George Runner pushing for balanced budget
After the California State Assembly passed the State budget on Friday, Senators have hotly contested it, with not one Republican Senator voting in favor of the budget’s passage.
Today, Santa Clarita’s elected State Senator George Runner spoke with KHTS about why the budget is meeting so much resistance.
Runner noted that the budget the Assembly passed has not found favor with Senate Republicans because it carries with it a deficit. That deficit, Runner says, can be wiped away.
“The Assembly sent a budget over to the Senate that was not acceptable,” Runner said. “As a result of that we’ve been asked to take a look at where we would then try to find what equates to about 700 million dollars, in order to bring our budget to a point where we’re not spending more money then we’re bringing in.”
While $700 million may not be as large of a deficit as the State is used to fighting about, Runner says that this year’s deficit will impact subsequent years too.
“If we can’t figure how to find 700 million dollars to bring this year’s current budget into balance, what are we going to do next year when the number, according to the budget that came over from the Assembly, is over five billion dollars?”
The new proposal that the Republicans have drafted will go before the Senate Wednesday morning, and while Runner would not give specific details, he did share a few examples of where money can be cut.
“I can assure you a couple of things: we can do this without cutting education dollars and we can do this without cutting public safety dollars,” he noted.
The cuts could instead come from smaller things that Runner says California just shouldn’t be doing.
“For instance, this is a pretty good time for us to evaluate why we should be giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens,” Runner lamented. “That’s the kind of thing that doesn’t make any sense to us and that’s worth tens of millions of dollars. We think Californians don’t understand why we do that, and certainly at a time when our budget isn’t balanced.”
Runner also pointed out that there are some major issues such as work requirements for Cal Works that they will go after
But Runner also says that the bulk of the money should not come from cuts at all. “Most of those dollars are going to come from limiting the growth of programs, and also then by trying to find places to where we are not getting reimbursement.”
Wednesday morning the Senate will learn of the Republican’s proposal, and the dialogue will continue. If the Senate makes changes to the budget, the Assembly would then have to come back to the Capitol to take up the Senate’s version.