Democrats Unlikely To Act on Governor’s New Budget Plan
On Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) plans to introduce a budget plan to close the state's $6.1 billion deficit for the current fiscal year, but Democratic lawmakers are not expected to act on his proposal, the Sacramento Bee reports.
A recent Legislative Analyst's Office report estimated that California faces a $25.4 billion deficit over the next 18 months, which includes a $6.1 billion gap for the current fiscal year and a $19.3 billion shortfall for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
According to the LAO report, the current fiscal year's deficit stems from overly optimistic assumptions included in the budget package passed in October.
Plan Expected To Include Program Cuts
SchwarzeneggerÂ plans toÂ introduce his budget proposal as part of a special legislative session on theÂ state'sÂ deficit.
Aaron McLear, a spokesperson for the governor, said Schwarzenegger's plan will not include new taxes but will propose "ugly cuts." The plan is expected to revisit spending reductions that state legislators rejected this summer, including cuts to health care and social service programs.
According to the Bee, it is unclear whether program cuts would have an immediate effect on the budget gap. Cuts to Medi-Cal and social services generally take about two to three months to implement. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said he thinks it would be "almost impossible" to resolve the current deficit exclusively with spending reductions.
Democrats Unlikely To Act
Democratic lawmakers are expected to ignore Schwarzenegger's new budget proposal in favor of negotiating with Gov.-elect Jerry Brown (D), who takes office next month.
Schwarzenegger and Brown are not collaborating on budget plans, according to spokespeople for the two leaders (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 12/2).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.