Schwarzenegger Calls Special Legislative Session for Budget
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is calling for a special legislative session to address a growing gap in the state budget for the current fiscal year, raising concerns about additional service cuts, the Los Angeles Times reports (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 10/22).
Last month, lawmakers approved an overdue budget that addressed a $15.2 billion deficit, but lower-than-projected tax revenue has eliminated a $1.7 billion reserve and presented the state with a $1.3 billion deficit (Lin, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/21).
The Times reports that "steep cuts in services are almost certain to be part of any plan" that Schwarzenegger puts forward, and fiscal analysts maintain that it would be difficult to resolve the budget deficit without services cuts (Los Angeles Times, 10/22).
Beyond the budget deficit, Schwarzenegger administration officials said that the special session also would let legislators take action to stimulate the state's economy.
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) has expressed support for economic stimulus efforts.Â In a statement, she said, "It includes warding off further cuts to our health care safety net when families are losing jobs and their employer-based health coverage" (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/21).
On Tuesday, Schwarzenegger sent a letter to congressional leaders voicing his support for a federal economic stimulus package.ÂAccording to the Times, the federal package under consideration could include funds for Medicaid (Los Angeles Times, 10/22). 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.