Sacramento, CA — Governor Schwarzenegger is calling for lawmakers to take quick action to balance the state’s growing deficit.
Schwarzenegger addressed a joint session of the legislature in Sacramento Tuesday.
“The Controller has told us we have 12 days to act or California is at risk of running out of cash,” says Schwarzenegger. “Our wallet is empty, our bank is closed, our credit is dried up.”
Schwarzenegger says the state’s revenues have fallen to the level of 2003, and when inflation and population is taken into account, it is similar to the level of the late 90’s. He says lawmakers need to find innovative ways to save taxpayer money. An example he gives is asking the State Board of Education to make textbooks available in digital formats.
He also pointed out that California pays $49,000 per inmate in the correctional system, while the national average is $32,000. He says the state needs to look at having privately run correctional facilities.
California is facing a $24 billion deficit, and revenues have dropped nearly 27 percent from last year.