Brown Declares Fiscal Emergency To Jump-Start Work on Budget
On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared a fiscal emergency and urged lawmakers to work quickly to address California's estimated 18-month budget deficit of $25.4 billion, Reuters reports (Christie, Reuters, 1/20).
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) issued a similar declaration last month, which started a 45-day countdown for legislative action on the budget.
Brown's move supersedes Schwarzenegger's proclamation and resets the 45-day clock. Brown has asked legislators to approve his budget proposalÂ by March 1 (Goldmacher, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 1/20).
The governor's newly released budgetÂ plan calls for $12.5 billion in spending cuts and a five-year extension of income, sales and vehicle taxes (California Healthline, 1/14).
As part of the spending cuts, the governor's proposal would cut:
- $1.7 billion from Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program
- $486 million from In-Home Supportive Services; and
- $135.7 million from Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program (California Healthline, 1/11).
Possible Cuts in State Work Force
In related news, Brown's budget proposal for fiscal year 2011-2012 calls for a 2% decline in the executive branch's state work force.
The plan would achieve the reductions by consolidating departments, scaling down programs, eliminating services and transferring some programs to local governments. A large portion of the cuts would target workers in state prison and parole agencies.
Brown also has proposed cutting state jobs by 25% in several departmentsÂ within the California Health and Human Services Agency. The proposal would shift some health-related services to local governments (Ortiz, Sacramento Bee, 1/21).
On Thursday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the governor's declaration of a fiscal emergency (Russ, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 1/20).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.