Arnold Puts State on Ice

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Photo (of iced-over tree carving) By Adam Gerk/Peoria Journal Star

(Any resemblance to any Governor is purely coincidental)

 

Damn it! When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says California needs a state hiring freeze and payroll cuts, he means it. The Governator signed an executive order Friday requiring state agencies to cut payroll by ten per cent. We have a $42 billion, yes, that’s billion, budget deficit. The Governor also ordered nearly a quarter million state employees to take two days off a month—without pay. That days-off move could save over a billion dollars per year.

The governor compared the depth of the fiscal crisis to a coming Armageddon. Also, in a letter to state workers, Schwarzenegger said, “It is imperative that state government look inside itself and be part of the solution. We simply have no other choice.”

It is generally acknowledged that the state will run out of money in February. Whether that will happen before or after Valentine’s Day is still a question. Absent a deal among lawmakers for spending cuts, revenue increases or some combination of both, the clock is ticking toward a mess.

The governor issued an executive order on Friday that requires state agencies to reduce payroll by 10 percent, which could lead to potentially massive layoffs. He also ordered the state’s 235,000 employees to take two days off a month without pay, starting Feb. 1.

Officials warn that the state will run out of cash in February unless Schwarzenegger and lawmakers can reach a deal on spending cuts, revenue increases or a combination of both. The Governor made his announcement a day after he told Californians that he would veto a package proposed by Democrats that included $18 billion in deficit cuts. The governor objected to the package, saying the budget cuts were not deep enough and the revenue schemes not broad enough.

The Governor wants the final package to include help for homeowners facing foreclosure, the essentially unfettered right to relax certain environmental standards on state projects and more toll roads; for revenue he wants to cut certain aspects of the state welfare program, the senior citizen programs, and school funding programs. He also wants to decrease the number of paid state worker holidays per year from 14 to 12 days.

Union officials said they were considering filing a lawsuit to prevent job losses, and Democrats say they are baffled. The Democrats proposed spending cuts to education and welfare, but their plan called for substantial revenue increases by virtue of raising the sales tax and the gasoline tax. Neither political party have come up with a plan to offset the full extent of the deficit, nor find a plan that is acceptable to both parties and Arnold.

The land of milk and honey, Hollywood dreams and Silicon Valley schemes has hit the skids, folks. We’re pretty, but it don’t work. (Bold face generously provided by The Daily Horse.)

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About TT Thomas

Writer, Reader, Reviewer, Thinker, Tinker, Accumulating Amazing Things That Other People Say and Do.
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2 Responses to Arnold Puts State on Ice

  1. Mike Harmon says:

    Nice site. Theres some good information on here. Ill be checking back regularly.

  2. Sandra says:

    (Any resemblance to any Governor is purely coincidental)—Great one! lol I love your site Ms. TTThomas! I’ll be checking back regularly, too.!

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