Friday, January 8, 2010

The Governor's Budget

The governor released his budget proposals today, relying mainly on large cuts to health and human services programs to balance the $19.9 billion deficit over the next 18 months.

The governor’s budget will have a body count. We are not talking about simple cuts. The Legislature’s reaction to the governor’s proposals will mean the difference between life or death for our seniors, working families, and children. This budget clearly shows the governor is not fighting for them.

Like a bad rerun we’d rather forget, the governor is making the same threats meant to shock and awe Californians. Just like last year, he proposes to eliminate life-saving and sustaining services like in-home care, CalWORKS, and Healthy Families. He is also risking our coastline for an uncertain gain in continuing his call for expanded offshore oil drilling. I was hoping to see new and fresh ideas from the governor. But we got a lot of recycled ideas that the Legislature has already rejected. There’s a difference between persistence and denial. And, there’s a lot of denial in this budget plan.

The absence of shared sacrifice is what is most upsetting in this budget. The only thing the governor is asking of the rich is to risk waiting another year to break out the champagne when their taxes get cut.

An initial Assembly Budget Committee analysis of the governor’s 2010-2011 budget proposals is available here. The committee will begin a more thorough review of the governor’s proposals next week during a January 13th hearing.