First On the List

Robert mentioned the looming teacher layoffs, but there will be some layoffs that will be coming down the pike right away.

In low-key votes, lawmakers slashed nearly $1 billion from the state’s prison system, chiefly from inmates’ medical care, and approved a $540 million reduction in state workers’ paychecks. The state Senate had approved those measures last week, and on Monday the Assembly passed them on party-line votes. (SJ Merc)

In this series of votes, the Assembly didn’t look at the tax nor the plan to change the way the gas tax works.

What it did do, slashing prison health care funding, is perhaps without controversy in the Legislature, but the federal courts might look at this slightly differently. Further cuts to the salaries of state workers, who have already seen cuts due to the furloughs, will increase the strain of many workers who are just struggling to keep their heads above water.

Given that Sen. Steinberg has already said that he wouldn’t seek broad tax increases, it appears that cuts are going to be the name of the game.  And Arnold doesn’t even want to look at simple majority tax/fee exchanges. While the stimulus from DC appears to be doing some good, the biggest of the 50 Little Hoovers is right here in Sacramento.

3 thoughts on “First On the List”

  1. When the legislature cutting inmate medical care, are they really just doing a back door population reduction?

    I think they understand that the federal courts are sensitive to inmate health care and will evenutally cut the prison population if there is inadequate health care.

    My question: Is the legislature cutting health care costs so that they don’t have to take the unpopular step of reducing prison population–they let some federal judge who will never face the voters do that instead?

    It isn’t necessary to talk about the cowardly legislature.  It just seems that their moves are getting a little obvious now.

  2. The salary savings adopted by the Legislature reflects the savings generated by the Governor’s recent Executive Order that requires departments to reduce salary expenditures by 5 percent.   This is similar to the reductions that were enacted by Constitutional Officers and the Legislature in the current year.  These savings are achieved mostly through attrition and very careful personnel expenditure management and has proved to yield more savings than the failed furlough approach.  Note that the Governor does not propose continuing the furloughs next fiscal year, in part because they didn’t really achieve the expected savings this year.

    The Legislature did not adopt the governor’s proposals to reduce salaries by 5 percent or increase employee contributions to pension costs.  

    Also, the Assembly did adopt the Gas Tax Swap AB 8X 6, on Monday.  This bill included delaying $650 million of new corporate tax credits for 2010-11.

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