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Gov. Schwarzenegger Urges Action On Budget

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

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

This week, I have spent a lot of time in Sacramento, urging the legislative leaders to take quick action to solve California’s $24 billion budget deficit.

We know the voters sent Sacramento a clear, powerful message in the special election.

They told us, “Do your job. Make the tough decisions. Make the cuts and don’t ask us for more money.”

I have proposed that the necessary cuts come from the three largest areas of our budget: education, health care and prisons. 

I do know the consequences of these cuts. I do see the faces behind the budget numbers and I know people will be hurt.

My heart is heavy but we can only spend the dollars we have.

As a Californian, I want every child to have health care and every park to stay open.

But as Governor, it is my job to balance the budget and keep California running.

Leading California through this global economic crisis requires courage, a strong stomach and speed.

I met this week with our state treasurer and controller and they reiterated that we must act immediately. We must solve the deficit now, or we will run out of cash.

The controller has said the deadline is June 15.  It now appears that the legislature will not meet that deadline.

After June 15, each day that passes jeopardizes California’s ability to pay our teachers fund our schools and keep emergency rooms open. 

There is no time for gridlock, piecemeal solutions, or typical Sacramento politics.

There is only time for action.

We must do this all at once and that means dealing with reality.

We must have $24 billion in solutions or we will have another deficit in just a few months.

We must also use this crisis as an opportunity.

Cuts are necessary but at the same time, we can make government more efficient and stretch the taxpayers’ dollar.

For example, starting this fall, we are making math and science textbooks available in digital formats.

This could save schools hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

We can consolidate more than a dozen state boards, commissions and departments.

We can also address our high prison costs, which are substantially higher than the national average. And we can reform our In Home Support Services program, which is riddled with fraud and abuse.

We know we must be creative, and we know this crisis is an opportunity for reform.

I am asking the legislature to act and to act boldly.

California’s day of reckoning is here.

For the last two decades, Sacramento has avoided making the hard decisions and has promised programs and services we cannot afford. We must stop the overspending and stop living in denial.

We can make tomorrow so much better. But only if we have the courage to face reality, and to make the difficult decisions today.

Let’s not forget California is the greatest state, in the greatest country, in the world. It is worth fighting for. And I will not give up, or give in, until the job is done.

Thank you for listening and thank you for watching.”

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