Sonora, CA — Tuolumne CAO Craig Pedro received an in-depth look at California´s fiscal crisis during a Wednesday meeting in Sacramento.
Alongside other county administrative officers from around the state, Pedro met with Deputy Director of Finance-Budget Vincent P. Brown.
Pedro learned that Governor Schwarzenegger´s proposed 10 percent “across the board” cuts are not supported by the Democratically controlled legislature or the non-partisan legislative analyst and therefore could be scrapped in favor of targeted cuts. Pedro stated that partisan political haggling over what departments and programs will be cut and by how much is already underway.
By law (Proposition 58) the Senate and the Assembly have 45 days in which to balance the budget. Pedro said there are even some parties trying to find a loophole in that law so they can buy more time to resolve the budget issue while still conducting other legislative business.
Secondly Pedro learned that the state is cash strapped. In fact it was announced that the state will probably run out of cash by March. Accordingly the state will probably be looking to shift the financial burden from Sacramento to local governments. Due to the current cash flow problems the state is looking to delay payments for many local government programs.
Pedro added that if there is any kind of a bright light it is that Tuolumne County has its financial house in order. The county has a reserve, no short term debt, very little long term debt and a realistic estimate of its revenues. Finally Pedro stated, “Unlike the state we don´t spend more than comes in.”
Written by Bill Johnson