Schwarzenegger talks budget in Oakland

June 2, 2008 7:01:20 PM PDT
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held a lively question and answer session in Oakland on Monday.

"The lottery we have is underperforming," says Schwarzenegger.

Facing anxious east bay leaders, including Oakland's mayor, Contra Costa County's sheriff, and top educators, Governor Schwarzenegger used charts to make his point that a revamped state lottery could be California's winning ticket, worth $5 billion yearly to the shrinking budget.

"Let's upgrade and modernize the lottery and then we'll have more revenue and let us sell those revenues and get the money now," says Schwarzenegger.

The Governor's plan calls for changing a state statute so that current technology can be used to enhance the games and increase the payouts -- that's now in a bill before the legislature.

The Governor also believes California can raise billions more by securitizing the lottery. That means getting cash up front from investors who then get a portion of future revenues, perhaps using bond sales like Florida and Oregon do.

"Now the lottery is backed by a tax. If that's the only tax he's willing to sign and fight for, then we have to deal with the cards that are dealt to us," says Assemblyman Sandre Swanson.

Most of the questions focused on potential cuts to education, health services and law enforcement.

"We're hopeful what he's going to do is go back and convince the legislature to continue funding local law enforcement programs that are scheduled to be cut. It's actually about $121 million for law enforcement and $121 million in probation services that are at risk," says Chief Wayne Tucker of the Oakland Police Department.

The Governor's advice was to storm the capital.

"From now until the budget is passed, with 200 police officers, law enforcement, sheriffs cruising around that capital, pounding on the door, and telling them to vote more money for law enforcement, you will get more money for law enforcement," says Schwarzenegger.

And in response to a plea from Oakland's mayor, the Governor conceded he would likely commit CHP officers to patrol the streets of Oakland if needed again, despite budget cuts. lice Department.


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