Schwarzenegger Vetoes Democrats’ Budget Package, Lawsuit Filed
On Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed a budget plan by legislative Democrats that would have increased revenue and cut spending for health care, education and other state programs, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In a letter to Democratic legislative leaders on Tuesday, Schwarzenegger wrote, "The measures you sent me punish people with increased taxes, but do not make the serious cuts in spending necessary to balance our budget; do nothing to keep California families working during this recession; and do nothing to help Californians facing foreclosure in this mortgage crisis" (Rau/Halper, Los Angeles Times, 1/7).
The governor plans on further negotiations with Democratic and Republican leaders of the Legislature, according to Aaron McLear, spokesperson for Schwarzenegger.
The governor is expected to send a detailed budget package to the Legislature by the end of the week (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/7).
Aides to Schwarzenegger outlined the proposal last week, detailing cuts to Medi-Cal and other health care programs (California Healthline, 1/5).
In related news, on Tuesday, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a group representing small businesses and Republican legislators filed a lawsuit challenging the Democratic budget proposal that Schwarzenegger vetoed (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 1/6).
The Democrat's plan centers on a legal distinction between taxes -- which require two-thirds legislative approval -- and fees -- which require a simple majority approval (California Healthline, 1/6).
The lawsuit maintains that the plan would improperly raise taxes (San Jose Mercury News, 1/6).Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, is urging the court to rule on the matter despite the veto, but Daniel Simmons, a tax law professor at the University of California-Davis, said the court likely will dismiss the case because the legislation was never enacted (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 1/7). 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.