Negotiations Continue After Governor Rejects Budget Plan
On Sunday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) met with Democratic leaders over videophone to try to renegotiate a budget deal after he rejected the Democrats' $18 billion budget proposal last week, the Sacramento Bee reports (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 12/22).
The state's budget deficit is expected to reach $41.8 billion by 2010.
The Democrats' plan, approved by the Legislature last week, included $7.3 billion in cuts to health care, schools and other programs.
Last week, Schwarzenegger said that he would reject the Democrats' plan because it did not include all of his proposals for an economic stimulus package and did not go far enough to reduce spending (California Healthline, 12/19).
Democratic leaders, their aides and Schwarzenegger will continue to meet this week to discuss adding spending cuts and economic aid to the budget package.
Lawmakers likely will return next week to continue budget negotiations (Sacramento Bee, 12/22).
Layoffs, Unpaid Leave
On Friday, Schwarzenegger said he will order two-day-per-month unpaid furloughs for state employees and impose layoffs beginning in February to address the state budget crisis (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 12/19).
The move would affect 238,000 state employees (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/20).
On Friday, Service Employees International Union Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker said she plans to take legal action because she says the administration is engaging in unfair labor practices. The union represents 95,000 state workers (Sacramento Bee, 12/19).
The following opinion pieces address California's ongoing budget negotiations.
- "Editorial: A Most Uncertain Time -- and State" (Sacramento Bee, 12/22);
- "Editorial: Compromise on Budget" (Contra Costa Times, 12/19);
- George Skelton, "Governor and Democrats Should Push for a Win in Budget Battle" (Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 12/22); and
- "The Toll of Bad Budget Decisions" (Los Angeles Daily News, 12/22).
CBS' "60 Minutes" featured an interview with SchwarzeneggerÂ in which he discussedÂ the state's budget deficit (Pelley, "60 Minutes," CBS, 12/21).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.