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Governor Schwarzenegger Discusses Budget Shortfall

Governor Schwarzenegger was Sunday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:

“Hello, this is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.

As you may have heard, this week the Legislative Analyst said that California faces a potential $6 billion deficit in the current fiscal year.

There are a few reasons for this.

The global economic crisis is still hurting job growth and our revenues.

Also, a few weeks ago the people passed an initiative to say we can’t take certain money from local governments.

The Legislative Analyst also assumes we won’t get the federal money that we deserve, since Washington has its own budget problems.

It is also clear we did not make nearly enough cuts in this budget year.

As you recall, I wanted to solve our deficit with cutting $12 billion.

The legislators wanted to cut only $4 billion.

In the end, after three months of going back and forth and negotiating, we compromised on $8 billion in cuts.

I also used my blue pencil to veto an additional $960 million in spending which caused a huge uproar amongst the big spenders here in Sacramento.

But now we find ourselves facing a $6 billion gap.

I think the Legislative Analyst is right. We should do something about it right away. In fact, the Legislative Analyst said that if no action is taken, California faces a potential $25 billion deficit down the line: next year, and the year after that.

So I will call an emergency Special Session of the legislature.

This will allow us to make immediate mid-year cuts.

Some may wonder, why not wait until the next Administration? Why not wait until the next Governor come into office?

Because we really can’t afford to.

It would be irresponsible.

Every day of inaction, the problem grows bigger and bigger and bigger.

And keep in mind, many of the gimmicks that Sacramento used for decades, to kick the can down the road, are no longer available. When I came to Sacramento seven years ago they balanced budgets by grabbing money from transportation, from local governments and from pension funds.

This trickery never fixed the budget.

It just created more problems and kept Sacramento from facing the reality that they were simply spending money they did not have. And that’s irresponsible.

In 2004, I remember we started to tighten that noose. I was out there campaigning for Propositions 57 and 58 in order to prevent borrowing for ongoing programs. And we won, with an overwhelming majority.

And then, we passed Propositions 1A and 42 to make it harder to steal money from local government and transportation.

A few weeks ago the voters passed an initiative to make it harder to raise fees.

So the noose is now very, very tight. Sacramento has no choice but to face the reality and to make the cuts and finally bring spending in line with revenues.

So, I’m going to work very hard on that. And like I said to you, I’m going to charge through the finish line.

There is no such thing as “the lame duck Governor.” I’m going to work for you until the last end and then beyond.

Thank you for watching and thank you for listening.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.

Written by mark@mlode.com

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