Group Mounts Opposition to Schwarzenegger Plan for Funding Reductions
Health care advocates have joined with other groups in hopes of building grassroots opposition to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) proposal to address the state budget deficit by cutting state funding for all departments by 10%, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Last month, Schwarzenegger signed legislation aimed at reducing the budget deficit through funding cuts, borrowing and changes in accounting, but lawmakers still must grapple with a remaining $8 billion budget gap through June 2009.
The coalition is advocating tax increases and other ways to boost state revenue in lieu of the across-the-board spending cuts that the governor proposed, although coalition members have declined to specify what taxes they would support raising.
According to the Bee, the coalition could pursue a ballot measure if its lobbying efforts are not successful at stopping proposed cuts to Medi-Cal services, state park closures and other plans to save the state money.
Republican legislators remain opposed to tax increases, citing a 32% increase in spending in the state general fund over the past five years (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 3/8).
On Friday, KQED's "The California Report" reported on proposed Medi-Cal budget cuts. The segment includes comments from:
- Peter Harbage of the New America Foundation; and
- A Sacramento ob-gyn (Varney, "The California Report," KQED, 3/7).