Advocates: Rescind Tax Breaks Before Cutting Health, Other Services
Yesterday, a coalition of 75 health, labor and other advocacy groups sent a letter urging state lawmakers to rescind corporate tax breaks before eliminating programs that provide health care and other services, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
In February, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and legislators approved a $40 billion budget package that included tax breaks and credits for businesses.
The letter estimated that the tax breaks would reduce state revenue by $2.5 billion annually. Other projections put the cost at about $1 billion (Wiegand, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/11).
Contention at the Capitol
Meanwhile, tensions are high in the state Assembly, where the 50-member Democratic caucus is working to develop its own counterproposal to Schwarzenegger's budget plan.
Democrats in both the Assembly and Senate support preserving services such as Healthy Families, HIV/AIDS programs and in-home support care for the elderly.
However, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg's (D-Sacramento) budget proposal calls for saving these programs by dipping into state reserves, while Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) appears to favor revenue-raising measures.
Assembly Democrats have yet to develop their own budget plan, but they are deliberating over how much funding to cut from health and social services, as well as which measures to pursue for generating new revenue.Bass said the caucus eventually would reach a consensus on raising revenue and would push their strategy in upcoming budget meetings (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 6/12). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.