Gov. Schwarzenegger. – where will you cut up to 2 billion dollars from your budget?

It appears that our state government will have a two billion dollar shortfall in revenue this year. If true I wonder how and where the governor plans to make cuts to balance the budget?

Unfortunately, unlike the federal government he lacks the luxury of simply printing more money or selling US Savings Bonds. Beyond that, the state budget must be balanced.

We read that a chunk of the proposed cuts should be in our education funding. The 2007-08 budget fully funds Prop 98 to the tune of $66.3 billion. A 600 million dollar reduction in education will represent less than one half of one percent of our 103 billion dollar general fund budget. Elizabeth Hill, our non-partisan Legislative Analyst, recently made the above suggestion along with her recommendation to cut over $1 billion in other spending.

Wait a minute. CA is the shining state overlooking the Pacific Ocean where people continue to come to live, work and play. Less than 40 years ago we were able to boast of our superior education system that is now near the bottom of the barrel for all states in fundamental topics.

Over the past few years we have ratchet’d up funding per K-12 pupil where it is now over $11,500 per year.

As such I do not believe that we are shortchanging the education system. Perhaps we should spend more time and energy lobbying the federal government for their obligation to support special education, vocational education and the No Child Left Behind mandate.

Any cut will be met with special interest groups fighting to retain their slice of the pie.

And now for letters to the poster:

Do you agree with Ms. Hill that we will experience a shortfall this fiscal year?

If we are to cut $2 billion dollars, where should the cuts be made?

Do you agree with her suggestion of cutting education funding by $600 million?

Did the governor and our legislature over-estimate discretionary federal funding support?

After K-12 the leading expenditures are as follows: Health & Human Services, Corrections and Rehab., Higher Education, Legislative, Judicial and Executive and General Government.

A. Would you support a proportional reduction or target B. specific categories to balance the budget in the event that revenues are less than originally projected?

i.e. A. Just under two percent across the board.

About Larry Gilbert