Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is setting an aggressive plan for reforming state government.
In his State of the State speech last night, the governor called for a special session of the Legislature to tackle a list of proposals that could be put before voters in a statewide special election in early summer. That special session begins today in Sacramento.
Schwarzenegger proposed a number of items, including cutting state spending if its grows beyond incoming revenues. He also proposed limiting the cost of pensions paid to the state´s public employees Schwarzenegger also wants to change how California´s legislative and congressional districts are drawn. He told those in attendance in Sacramento “Ignore the lobbyists. Ignore the politics. Trust the people.”
Missing from his speech, however, were details of how Schwarzenegger plans to fix an $8.1 billion budget deficit without raising taxes.
Rod Hickman is the State´s Secretary of the California Youth and Correctional Agencies. He felt the governor´s message was a positive one, from the perspective of the Corrections Department, and said areas like the Mother Lode are important when it comes to correctional facilities.
“We´re going to give the organization, particularly in places like Sierra, we´re going to have an opportunity where the population of the Sierra Conservation Center, that is a population generally that´s more short-term inmates, to give them the tools necessary for them to succeed,” Hickman said.
Additional response came from our area assemblyman Dave Cogdill, who felt the governor´s speech was a good way to start the new year.
“The governor certainly laid out a series of reforms that many of us have been calling for for a long time, so we´re very anxious to start work on those. Hopefully, the legislature will respond in the way that they should and the Governor won´t have to take the next step,” Cogdill said.