The halls of the State Capitol are quiet but the recent enactment of a bill that suspends Proposition 1A (2004) is keeping local government officials busy. Last Tuesday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 4x 14, the bill that suspends Prop 1A and AB 4x 15, the bill that lays out the state’s repayment plan and loan securitization mechanism, which is intended to minimize the fiscal hit to local governments.

After weeks of budget negotiations and a marathon legislative session where lawmakers approved a budget package that solves a $24.2 billion budget deficit, the legislature stands adjourned for summer recess until August 17.

If the budget deficit number is throwing you off, you are not alone. The official deficit amount has changed dramatically over the past few weeks. Here is an explanation produced by the governor’s office:

Note:  The size of the problem was adjusted from $26.3 billion to $25.1 billion (which includes target reserve of $2 billion) because: 1) the state is able to capture the $3 billion in savings from 2008-09’s Proposition 98 allocation previously believed to have been lost on June 30, which reduces the size of the 2009-10 guarantee by $1.6 billion; and 2) June revenues came in $536 lower than projected. Additionally, we did not reach the desired reserve of $2 billion, instead attaining reserve of just $918 million, meaning the Governor and legislators solved for $24.2 billion.

In addition to signing the dozens of budget related bills last Tuesday, the governor also used his red pen to veto an additional $489 million in spending. For a detailed list of the additional cuts and a full budget summary, click here.

This week, CSDA will be meeting with other local government stakeholders to discuss the details of the loan securitization mechanism. CSDA will also be discussing clean-up amendments to AB x4 15 that will increase the flexibility for special districts, cities and counties to recoup their property tax losses. Details will be released to CSDA members soon.