Gov.-Elect Brown Calls Special Meeting To Discuss State Budget
On Thursday, Gov.-elect Jerry Brown (D) announced he will meet with legislators and other state officials next Wednesday to discuss California's estimated $25.4 billion budget shortfall, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
Brown's meeting is scheduled two days after the special legislative session on the budget called by outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is set to begin.
Schwarzenegger is seeking to have state lawmakers address the budget deficit from this fiscal year (Lin, AP/Ventura County Star, 12/2).
The $86.6 billion spending plan approved by lawmakers and signed by Schwarzenegger in October has an estimated $6.4 billion shortfall, according to a Legislative Analyst's Office report.
For the next fiscal year -- July 2011 through June 2012Â -- the deficit is expected to be $19 billion, according to the report (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/3).
Purpose of Brown's Meeting
Sterling Clifford, a spokesperson for Brown, said the purpose of the governor-elect's meeting is not meant to distract from Schwarzenegger's special session (AP/Ventura County Star, 12/2). The governor was informed of the meeting and did not object, Clifford said (Siders, Sacramento Bee, 12/3).
Clifford said the purpose of the meeting is not to offer solutions but to make sure everyone understands the specifics and scope of the budget problem (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/3).
California officials who received an invitation to Brown's meeting include leaders from:
- The Legislature;
- The Department of Finance;
- LAO (Sacramento Bee, 12/3); and
- Local governments.
The meeting will not be open to the public (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/3). However, advisers to Brown said the meeting will be open to the media and might be streamed online (Sacramento Bee, 12/3).Â
The session is expected to be the first in a series of budget meetings by Brown (AP/Ventura County Star, 12/2).
Former California Finance Director Michael Genest said Brown will find it difficult to implement any major spending cuts or tax hikes unless he can convince California voters that the budget crisis is severe.
A recent Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll found that most Californians believe the state's budget crisis can be resolved without any major service reductions or tax hikes. Instead, they think theÂ budget deficitÂ can be addressed by eliminating waste and inefficiency (Sacramento Bee, 12/3).
On Thursday, Capital Public Radio reported on both Schwarzenegger's and Brown's upcoming budget meetings (Russ, Capital Public Radio, 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.