Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the 2009-10 budget revision this morning, after making significant reductions to health and human services programs, eliminating funding for the Williamson Act, and applying additional funding reductions to numerous other state departments.
In his press conference today, the Governor expressed frustration that the Legislature sent him a budget package that eliminated the reserve and then some, creating a plan that was an estimated $156 million in the red. As a result, he line item vetoed spending to achieve his goal for a reasonable reserve of $500 million. In fact, in most instances, the Governor prefaces his veto message with: “In order to create a reasonable reserve…”
Director of Finance Mike Genest briefed the media after the budget signing and indicated that the Governor would be open to discussions with the Legislature focused on reversing some of these reductions. However, he cautioned that the $500 million reserve was “skimpy” and the budget summary document indicates a 2010″11 budget deficit of $7 to $8 billion, with even larger shortfalls projected in the out years. The Department of Finance is scheduled to meet with the Treasurer and Controller tomorrow to discuss the state’s cash situation and should have its cash projections completed in the coming weeks.
The Governor’s action set off a heated exchange among the legislative leaders, with Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg vowing to fight the vetoes to health and human services programs. “We question whether the majority of these vetoes are legal,” Steinberg told the press.
This Budget Action Bulletin outlines the Governor’s final actions on the 2009″10 budget revision. For a detailed list of vetoes and a summary of the budget plan, please visit the Department of Finance’s Web site. Please refer to Budget Action Bulletin No. 7 issued yesterday for a recap of the package approved by the Legislature.
How the $60 billion budget gap was closed … Read more and view the full PDF here.