California Budget Deficit Grows; Schwarzenegger Urges Immediate Action
On Wednesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced that California's budget shortfall had increased to $14.8 billion for the current fiscal year and criticized legislators for not taking action to resolve the deficit, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (Lin, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 12/10).
Administration officials said Wednesday that the budget gap could expand to as much as $40 billion by mid-2010 if nothing is done to reduce spending or increase revenue (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 12/10).
Republican legislators have opposed proposals by Schwarzenegger and Democratic lawmakers that would address the budget deficit by a combination of tax increases and spending cuts (California Healthline, 12/9).
Republican legislators have not yet presented a "detailed proposal that adds up to $14.8 billion," according to the AP/Chronicle.Â Republican legislative leaders say they have offered a number of proposals publicly and privately, and earlier this week indicated that they would propose cuts to Medi-Cal and other social services programs.Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 12/10). 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.