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Governor’s Finance Director Applauds State Budget and Pushes New Reform

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The Governor’s Finance Director was Tuesday morning’s KVML Newsmaker of the Day:

"Hi, this is Finance Director Mike Genest, filling in for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.

Yesterday the Governor signed a new budget to close California’s $42 billion deficit.

As the Governor said, he is proud of the legislative leaders and all the legislators who voted for this budget, for their hard work and for putting people above politics.

Getting this budget done was a very long, winding and painful road.

It was a road that took California right to the edge of the cliff, inches away from catastrophe.

In the end, the Governor and legislators did what needed to be done.

They made the tough choices on spending cuts and revenue increases and we pushed through reforms to stimulate our economy and make government more efficient.

We were able to minimize the impact to education so our students, teachers and schools won’t feel the full brunt of the economic crisis.

One of the big ways we did this, was to reform categorical funding for education.

Our reform will free up billions of dollars, by giving local school districts, more flexibility in how they spend their money.

This way, we can keep more money in the classroom, even in tough budget times.

This goes all the way back to the Governor’s campaign promise in 2003, when he said Sacramento should not be the schoolyard bully, we should not be dictating what our schools do.

The Governor also used this budget crisis as an opportunity to push through a major reform that will change Sacramento for years to come and which you will soon have the opportunity to vote on.

This reform will fundamentally change the way Sacramento spends your money.

Our new Rainy Day Fund will finally force Sacramento to live within its means.

It will set aside money in the good years, to cover shortfalls in the bad years, just like any family or business does.

It will end the roller-coaster ride that Californians suffer through year-in and year-out.

Our problems will not disappear. We will still have economic cycles.

But this reform will prevent California from ever facing a crisis of this magnitude again.

In the coming months, the Governor will be asking you to partner with him and seize this opportunity to change the way Sacramento operates and to make sure we never go through a nightmare like this again.

On behalf of the Governor, this is Mike Genest. Thank you for listening."

The Newsmaker of the Day can be heard each weekday morning at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47 on AM-1450 KVML.

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