Governor updates state budget talks in SF

July 3, 2009 6:41:46 PM PDT
A day after the state had to issue IOUs rather than pay some of its bills, Governor Schwarzenegger was in San Francisco, trying to get his message out about the budget mess.

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the state's budget impasse is the result of Democrats who are unwilling to streamline government and make necessary cuts to social services.

"The bottom line is when you don't have the money, it's ludicrous to promise people we are going to keep paying for that when we don't have the money so you would not be really honest," said Gov. Schwarzenegger R-CA.

"Cuts are absolutely necessary, we have never objected to that. But we have also a responsibly to cut surgically," said Sen. Darrell Steinberg D-Sacramento.

The budget deficit is now $26 billion. Schwarzenegger vetoed a budget bill Tuesday, saying it did not address the entire deficit.

Wednesday he declared a fiscal emergency and ordered state workers to take a third unpaid furlough day per month and on Thursday the state started sending out IOUs.

Schwarzenegger spoke against a backdrop of people described as "real Californians" negatively impacted by the budget crisis.

Only one of them spoke with reporters. The governor wouldn't tell us who she was but an internet search quickly showed she is a Schwarzenegger appointee to the commission on the status of women.

"I would like a budget that will be passed that will not raise our taxes anymore," said Schwarzenegger appointee Diane Ayers-Johnson.

The governor has proposed closing state parks as a budget balancing measure. At Samuel P. Taylor Park in Marin County, camper John Dworak said he thinks that's a political ploy.

"It's a very, very, very small part of the overall deficit. I think it's more a political ploy than a true way to balance the budget," said Dworak.

On Thursday in Oakland, Senator Barbara Boxer said the problem is the governor's unwillingness to compromise.

"For the good of the state put aside ego, put aside ideology and start walking toward each other," said Sen. Boxer.

"Obviously she's not spending enough time in California to know the reality," said Gov. Schwarzenegger.

The fiscal emergency means the legislature has to have a budget within 45 days or be barred from working on anything else.

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