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Schwarzenegger; Major Reforms Needed NOW

Sacramento, CA — In his final State of the State address this morning Governor Schwarzenegger called for several major reforms.

The Governor opened his remarks with several highlights of 2009 including closing the $60 billion budget deficit early in 2009 and then the passage of the water legislation prior to the end of the year.

Schwarzenegger then commented on the need for tax and budget reform. Referring to the former he stated that only 144,000 Californians pay 50 percent of all personal income tax in the state. He pointed out that "Our economy is 21st century and our tax system is 20th century."

The Governor then added, "The budget crisis is our Katrina and we knew it was coming. I urge you (the Legislature) to take action on the Best Practices Budget Accountability Act which has been drafted by the reform group California Forward."

Schwarzenegger then pointed a finger at the Federal Government for handing out sweetheart deals to states to buy votes for passing health care reform. He added that all states should be treated fairly. He specifically targeted Democratic Senator Ben Nelson who accepted a $45 million payout to cover increased Medicare costs for his vote for the Obama package. Stated the Governor, "Nebraska got the corn and we got the husk."

The Governor then quoted a recent article in TIME Magazine that continued to sing the praises of California as a place to live and work despite the current recession. He closed by urging the Legislature to work together and be a partner and not an adversary to all 38 million Californians.

Click STATE OF THE STATE for the Governor’s address.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com