Dental Care for Poor Expected To Take Hit in California Budget Plan
The budget proposal that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) will release today is expected to call for eliminating state-funded dental visits for low-income Californians among other budget cuts, the Los Angeles Times reports (Halper/Rau, Los Angeles Times, 1/10).
Schwarzenegger is expected to propose across-the-board spending cuts, and the AP/Sacramento Bee reports that the governor could propose spending less in the upcoming fiscal year than the state budgeted in the current fiscal year (Davis, AP/Sacramento Bee, 1/10).
Although Schwarzenegger has pledged not to increase taxes, some Capitol insiders believe the budget proposal is an effort to raise public demand for tax hikes, giving the governor political cover to break the pledge, according to the Times (Los Angeles Times, 1/10).
Democratic lawmakers already have begun speaking out against the expected budget plan, and debate is expected to be contentious.
Moreover, the governor will declare a fiscal emergency today, requiring the Legislature to offer a plan for addressing the deficit in the FY 2007-2008 budget. Schwarzenegger's budget proposal for FY 2008-2009 will be before lawmakers at the same time, and he will release a constitutional amendment to cap state spending by Feb. 1 (AP/Sacramento Bee, 1/10).