Reactions to the Governor’s Budget: You’ve Got to Be Kidding

The best reaction to the governor’s budget? Sen. Steinberg’s “You’ve got to be kidding.”

Find Steinberg’s full response over the flip as well as some other people around Sacramento.

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) made the following remarks today in response to the Governor’s proposed 2010-2011 budget:

I want to begin with a positive note.  The governor’s call to be relentless to go after more federal investment is the right call, so that’s something positive.

With regard to the bulk of the budget proposal I have one reaction:  You’ve got to be kidding.

Our job is to hasten the recovery of California’s economy.

Before we even consider making the lives of children, working families, the elderly and others more difficult, before we cut anything that harms our economic recovery, the management needs to get its house in order.

And what do I mean by that?  The governor has rightfully talked about the number one priority being job creation in California.  And let’s look what’s happening within the administration.

There’s an estimated $20 billion of federal stimulus money collecting dust in the bureaucracy that needs to get to the street.  We need to take that money, get it out the door, have the state do its job and put people back to work.

Earlier this week Inspector General Laura Chick reported that there is a 60 day and growing backlog in the Office of Historical Preservation to get money out the door to create high wage jobs.  But I bet that’s just the beginning.  The administration said they’re going to deal with the backlog. The Inspector General tells us they’ve been saying that for two months.

We have billions of dollars in already approved bond funds for projects that have the greatest potential to create jobs in California.  Where are the changes necessary to get that money out?

The governor talked about furloughs and about state employees. He often talks and others talk about running the state like a business. You want to run the state like a business you sit down and you talk to your employees about where to gain the cost savings. The governor refuses to do so.

And we are not, as a Legislature, going to contravene the law that has been in existence for decades in this state and make unilateral wage cuts without the governor sitting down and talking to the employees.

And why does it matter? When the governor acted unilaterally to impose three days of furloughs, the Franchise Tax Board has told us that between February 2009 and June 2010 they will not collect $652 million worth of taxes while they save $60 million worth of salaries. Now when I do the math here that’s $600 million that could be avoided right off the top in cuts to health and human services.

Our economic recovery will not be hastened if we cut education.  And despite scores of ‘maneuvers’ and the shells moving back and forth over the little ball, in fact when you read the governor’s budget he calls for cutting education $2.4 billion.  Real cuts.  Real cuts that the schools expected and while the actual level of investment is the same we know that the costs of the schools are going way up.

We also know that they are proposing making it easier to expedite the layoffs of teachers.  What does that mean?  Harder for the economy to recover and more pain for people.

The governor’s transportation swap proposal is another example. Bottom line, it’s reduced investment in transportation infrastructure at the very time we need to increase our investment in transportation.

The governor says he’s fighting for California. And you know I believe him.  One thing I always say about the Governor, of course I like him personally, is that he loves this state.  

But I think it’s a fair question to ask, who are you fighting for and what are you fighting for?  Certainly not the people who have already made great sacrifices, who are being asked to make more sacrifices.  They’ll ask the question, are there alternatives?  Of course there are.

I talk at every press event that I can about the administration and minority party’s refusal to consider applying the same withholding rules to businesses that we apply to working people. And you know what the Franchise Tax Board has told us applying a 3% withholding for contractors would do to California: $2 billion.  One time – and ongoing savings because we’d be addressing the underground economy.  Two billion dollars.

This is a matter of choices folks. And we’re not going to go down that same road where we talked about limited options.

One other thing I think you should be aware of is that unlike last year where in both February and July the failure to make cuts in a timely way would result in – in fact did result in a cash crisis and IOUs for taxpayers and others – I’m pleased to know that our cash situation is pretty good.

So we’ll sit down with the Governor right away.  We’ll work everyday for the next two weeks. But we intend to take a different approach.


Planned Parenthood of California

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California is utterly disappointed with the Governor’s 2009-2010 Budget proposal that not only harms women but also leaves millions of dollars in federal money on the table. The governor’s proposal to roll back money used to fund family planning services – including life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings and other preventive services – doesn’t make fiscal sense.

“We’re asking the Legislature to reject these cruel cuts. They are just wrong for California,” said Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “And while we are disappointed, we want to work with both the Governor and the Legislature, as we did last year, to increase the amount of federal dollars in the Medi-Cal program.”

Family planning receives one of the highest federal matches of any service provided by the state. For every dollar the state spends on family planning, California draws down $9 in federal funds.

“In these tough economic times, Planned Parenthood health centers are seeing more and more new patients coming through our doors — women who have lost their insurance or have lost their jobs and have nowhere else to turn for health care services,”  Kneer said. “These cuts could affect tens of thousands of women because we simply won’t have the funds to provide essential health care services to them when they need it the most.”

Ninety percent of the people served by state family planning programs are women. A recent survey of more than 6,500 Planned Parenthood patients showed that 70 percent had recently lost their jobs or had their hours cut and a full 59 percent said they had avoided seeing a doctor in the past year due to cost.

One 21-year-old patient wrote: “I was forced to work fewer hours and have been unemployed since November. I can’t afford health insurance. Without Planned Parenthood I wouldn’t be able to get my annual exam or afford birth control.”

Family planning services are cost effective for California. Not only does the state draw down federal dollars, family planning also saves money in the long term. For every $1 spent on family planning services, the state saves an additional $5.33 in medical and social service costs that would result from unintended pregnancies. Over time family planning services have saved the state more than $2 billion dollars.*

Asm. Noreen Evans

“The governor’s budget will have a body count.  We are not talking about simple cuts.  The Legislature’s reaction to the governor’s proposals will mean the difference between life or death for our seniors, working families, and children.  This budget clearly shows the governor is not fighting for them.

Like a bad rerun we’d rather forget, the governor is making the same threats meant to shock and awe Californians.  Just like last year, he proposes to eliminate life-saving and sustaining services like in-home care, CalWORKS, and Healthy Families.  He is also risking our coastline for an uncertain gain in continuing his call for expanded offshore oil drilling.  I was hoping to see new and fresh ideas from the governor.  But we got a lot of recycled ideas that the Legislature has already rejected.  There’s a difference between persistence and denial.  And, there’s a lot of denial in this budget plan.

The absence of shared sacrifice is what is most upsetting in this budget.  The only thing the governor is asking of the rich is to risk waiting another year to break out the champagne when their taxes get cut.”

Bill Lloyd, SEIU California

“After a long and painful recession, California’s middle-class needs a state budget that will stimulate the economy and help rebuild California.  The Governor’s budget proposal fails miserably on both counts, forcing massive layoffs and wage cuts, prolonging the recession, rolling back the promise of retirement security for middle-class families and putting vulnerable children and seniors in harm’s way.

“The Governor’s continued assault on home care would deprive over 400,000 seniors and people with disabilities of the care they need to live at home and would drive California’s unemployment rate over 14 percent.

“Just two days after the Governor promised to make children his top priority, his budget targets the state’s poorest children with deep cuts to their healthcare and their basic survival.

“Instead of investing in our future, the Governor offers further deep cuts to education.

“We’re ready to work with Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature to secure federal dollars, but we won’t let the Governor use our seniors, our children, and our state’s recovery as bargaining chips.

“But state revenue has to be part of the solution, and our inadequate tax system needs to be re-evaluated. It’s time for the corporations who have received sweetheart deals in every budget to pay their share, too. Working and middle class Californians have been shouldering the burden of our budget problems for far too long.”  

8 thoughts on “Reactions to the Governor’s Budget: You’ve Got to Be Kidding”

  1.  I listened to about the first 10 mins of it earlier and its cut this social program and that social program, I guess he can’t get any more unpopular can he?

    I sure hope the Dems put up a fight on this BS.


  2. …the sheeple are so apathetic about the situation that it’s gonna take a cattle prod to their reproductive organs to wake them up…get them to take action.

    A CA government gutted of it’s ability to govern might be just the thing.

    I hate to type this but it’s what I see and hear every time a I talk to someone about the state of the state. I see it as a natural outgrowth of Obama’s cynical attempts to govern which are now reinforcing the tired old saw that, ‘There’s nothing you can do…it’s inevitable…Look, even The Precious can’t help us….’. As if he was even….


    People are giving up behind this shattering of their illusions.

    Step one for progressives will be to convince the voters that change is indeed possible and necessary. Destroying this hope for change of course was the ultimate goal of the Owners in putting Obama forth as ‘The Answer’. So simple to have him demonstrate to the ‘folks’ that he is just another pimp for the MIC and a slightly more glib Overseer for Corporate Slave Sate America than those tired old men who preceded him.

    So easy to foster despair.

    If Progressives don’t provide a workable narrative about how to reignite our society and give it real hope and a real path to a better future the ReichWing nutballs who’ve created the ‘TeaBag Movement’ will.

    Just like they did in Germany and Italy prior to WWII and elsewhere, Britain..Argentina…China more recently.

    Will the ‘progressive movement…’ continue to be dominated by the useless natterings of Bowers, Kos, BTD and Jane, et. al.?

    Are we going to get down to the hard work of grassroots organizing; organizing for ourselves, not some criminal clown from ChiTown, or…


    All the things we know MUST take place from tax reform through redistricting will NEVER happen unless we and folks like us take political power. Don’t send a Bass to do a job you need a Rick Jacobs, or a Dayen for, eh?

    It’s change or die time folks.

  3. …is another of the governor’s “cures”…but, hey, ah-nold…wouldn’t it be cheaper to simply find ways to put fewer people in prison in the first place?

    let’s take drug laws: according to the rand corporation there is considerable variation, county by county, over whom is charged with what.

    prop 36 notwithstanding, convictions for offenders is now being sought based on paraphernalia laws instead of drug laws.

    sentencing patters still appear to have a racial component as well, with latinos getting more harsh sentences than whites.

    i would not surprised to discover that some of the same patterns are present with other crimes as well, especially under three strikes, which was the motivation behind prop 36 in the first place.

    so why not monitor plea bargaining, standardize charging criteria…and legalize marijuana?

    as an acknowledged cocaine user, you would think ah-nold would see this as something he could get behind, and yet, so far…no action on what should be less controversial than firing the entire department of corrections’ guard staff.

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