The Big 5 Meet today at 1:30…Operation Wipeout

Budget Update:  The Big 5 are disagreeing on Education Funding.  It appears that they must cut $11 billion from Education.  Karen Bass and the Democrats are not willing to do that unless they write in the stipulation of when and how this money will be paid back.  Arnold is not willing to put this into the agreement so that’s what the hold up is for now, folks.

Budget Update…Breaking News…Click HERE (July 16)!

and also…..

The Education Hold Up (Click Here)

Arnold Speaks out on the budget (July 16)

More coming!  You can read more here.

Speaker Karen Bass Update…you heard it here at “The Juice” 1st 🙂

Listen to a Budget Update (July 15)!
Listen to the Update on the State Budget Here

The California “Big 5” plan to reach a budget agreement today. Gov Schwarzenegger Discusses In-Home Supportive Services and CalWORKs Reforms…watch here…

The Big 5 met for 7.5 hours Tuesday. Scheduled to reconvene at 1:30 this afternoon

I can summarize this for you if you are in a hurry:
Schwarzenegger fires nursing board members + Schwarzenegger orders 2000 more state jobs cut + plans to wipeout the fraud in California’s In-Home Supportive Services = Budget will be reached today after they meet at 1:30.

Governor: “My CalWORKS reforms would save $753 million in the current fiscal year and $1.5 billion annually in the coming years.”

They do not plan on cutting prop 98!

As talks ended just before midnight, they said they hoped to complete their work today.

The influential California Teachers Assn. has been running television advertisements to pressure them not to suspend voter-approved funding formulas that guarantee schools a set amount of money each year. Fiscal experts have been struggling for days to find a way to cut billions of dollars from schools.

Democrats and Republicans agree that such cuts are essential to wiping out the deficit without suspending the Proposition 98 funding formulas. Legislative and administrative fiscal staffers appeared to have worked out a complex scheme that could avoid a suspension.

Staffers involved in the talks said the legislative leaders and the governor have agreed on how to solve all but $400 million of the deficit. The governor is pushing to close that last portion of the deficit with more cuts in social service and healthcare programs, while Democrats are angling to blunt the effect on those programs by achieving the savings through accounting shifts and expense deferrals.

Any final deal is expected to include some of the sharpest cutbacks in government services the state has experienced. Programs that have not been cut deeply in years are likely to shrink considerably, with tens of thousands of Californians losing access to programs they have relied on. Some programs may be wiped out entirely. Large numbers of low-income Californians receiving healthcare through the Medi-Cal program are expected to be moved into managed care, and thousands of seniors who receive home healthcare would lose it.

The Big 5 in California Politics:

Governor: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican)
Assembly Speaker: Karen Bass (Democrat)
Assembly Minority Leader: Sam Blakeslee (Republican)
Senate President pro tempore: Darrell Steinberg (Democrat)
Senate Minority Leader: Dennis Hollingsworth (Republican)

Click to see “The Big 5” (larger photo)

Source: The LA Times and Wikipedia

I have included the words to the Governor’s video for your convenience.

“Hello, this is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.

Five weeks ago, I addressed a joint session of the legislature. I laid out the tough cuts necessary to close California’s $26.3 billion deficit.

I also made two things very clear:
1. I won’t raise your taxes to pay for Sacramento’s mistakes.
2. I won’t cut a dollar from education or health care or state parks without first looking inside government making programs more efficient and rooting out the waste, fraud and abuse of your hard-earned tax dollars.

This week I met with several district attorneys about our In-Home Support Services program. They told me about Grand Jury investigations detailing all the waste and fraud in this program. There are people being paid by the state in multiple counties and under multiple identities. There are even people in jail, who continue to receive payments for performing in-home support services.

The district attorneys have recommended simple reforms, like fingerprinting and background checks, for recipients and for patients. These reforms could save the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Also this week, I brought together our state social service leaders to focus on another program we must reform to save taxpayer dollars and help our budget: CalWORKS.

CalWORKS, by the way, is the state’s welfare program and it is intended to give struggling Californians a helping hand, temporarily. I remember back in 1996, when President Clinton partnered with a Republican Congress to enact historic welfare reform. He said his goal was to make welfare “a second chance, not a way of life…” Our welfare program is based on joint responsibility. We in government give people the bootstrap but they have to pull themselves up. The only problem is that right now, nearly 80 percent of California’s recipients are not meeting simple federal work requirements. But the families still receive the checks and the benefits. California’s policies are actually encouraging people to stay on welfare.

Our benefits are far more generous than other states. Let me give you an example: California has 12 percent of the nation’s population. Yet we have 30 percent of the welfare recipients. For five years I have been pushing to reform this program, to bring our benefits and sanctions more in line with other states.
But the legislators always say, “We’ll fix it later.” Well, “later” is “now.” We have to solve a $26.3 billion budget deficit, right now.

My CalWORKS reforms would save $753 million in the current fiscal year and $1.5 billion annually in the coming years.

I want you to know that there is no way that I will sign a budget that does not address abuse and does not finally reform the way Sacramento does business. I am committed to California and I am committed to accountability in California government.

Thank you for watching and thank you for listening.”


About Jill Puich

Teacher (20 years) Political Gawker Blogger