Governor Schwarzenegger Discusses State Budget at Press Conference
California has a major problem with its budget, an $18 billion hole Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democrat-controlled legislature negotiated a compromise deal, in which they agreed to raise revenues make cuts, create a what the governor called “a very strong economic stimulus package,” plus a bill to help people undergoing foreclosure, to stay in their homes for an extra 90 days.
After going their separate ways, legislators came back with a package that has not met the requirements agreed to, so now Governor Schwarzenegger will not sign the bills sent to him.
The governor said “I was very disappointed. … really, the whole idea was that we help the people as much as possible in these very terrible times.”
Governor Schwarzenegger said the package prsented by legislators “fell short on every single level.” He said it did only one thing, “punish the people of California.”
The Governor believes there is more fat in the government itself, that could be cut, and the money used to create a stimulus package. He was looking for an economic recovery package to get people back to work, and public-private partnerships.
When negotiating with Democrats, the Governor says they were being controlled by their special interest groups. “The special interest groups were just more powerful again and convinced them to turn the clock backwards and that’s exactly what they did.”
And so I cannot sign this. Maybe they have done everything they could, but I think that they should stay here, work some more on this budget. I’m willing to stay here and I don’t think that anyone should go and celebrate Christmas, none of the legislators and have people out there suffering. I think that the legislature owes it to the people of California to solve this problem before Christmas, so I will urge them to stay here.
Democrats wanted Governor Schwarzenegger to sign off on what they had done because it was better than nothing, but the Governor felt they had not tried hard enough.
One reporter asked: “Governor, the Treasurer said in a statement earlier that if you rejected it, it would leave us, ‘In even worse shape tomorrow than we are today.’ And there are also Democrats who said you shouldn’t reject it just because you didn’t get everything you want. So can you talk about what condition the state is in?”
The Governor’s response was, “The state is in a terrible condition and I think that if the legislature continues not acting on these problems that we have, I think that, as I said, we are going towards a financial Armageddon and a fiscal Armageddon. And I think that the whole country is looking at the state now and saying, you know, this legislature is dysfunctional.”
The legislature is not even willing to go and make cuts in their programs. And in their office, 3 percent last year, when everyone else took a 10 percent haircut. So I think that it needs a lot of work here in this building still.
The Governor said the package brought to him by Democrats is bogus, that “makes it appear to the people that we are doing something to bring back jobs.” He said his idea was to create 200,000, 300,000 jobs immediately, but the Democrat proposal would “wipe out 200,000 jobs.”
Governore Schwarzenegger said it was obvious external Labor groups were adding additional pressure by making statements in the press, designed to make it appear the problems were caused by him and republicans.
The budget hole gets bigger by the day and the stalemate between Governor Schwarzenegger and the Democrat legislature continues.