State facing $10 billion shortfall

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The problems are driven by a combination of declining revenues caused primarily by the weak housing market, a growth in spending for pay raises, a $500 million pension lawsuit, and $174 million to fight the Southern California wildfires. Hill said the state has already used up all its quickest fixes to deal with budget shortfalls because of long-term deficits that have lingered since the dot-com collapse earlier in the decade. Future budget-balancing measures, she predicted, will be more and more painful. “The key thing to remember is all the easy solutions are gone,” Hill said. “To get revenue and spending lines into balance will require some really tough choices.” Schwarzenegger has already reportedly instructed state agencies to prepare cutting up to 10percent in next year’s budget. Schwarzenegger has consistently opposed new taxes since he was elected, and Finance Department spokesman H.D. Palmer said the administration’s focus now is on looking at ways to cut spending, rather than raise taxes. “Knowing the challenges that we face, throughout the fall, my administration has been examining a variety of options to close next year’s budget gap,” Schwarz- enegger said in a written statement released Wednesday. A slowing economy – led by the weak housing market – has opened up a potential $10 billion state budget shortfall over the next two years, just 20 months after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was plotting how to spend an unanticipated multibillion windfall in tax revenues. The state Legislative Analyst’s Office report Wednesday gives yet another indication of how quickly California’s fiscal fortunes have turned and how volatile the state’s revenue stream can be. The sharp fiscal crunch puts new pressure on Schwarzenegger and lawmakers to consider sharp spending cuts and possibly tax increases at a time when state leaders are in the midst of tackling one big-ticket reform measure – universal health care – and about to begin work next year on another, potentially more expensive overhaul of public education. The projection from Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill comes less than three months after the Legislature passed what was believed to be a balanced budget for 2007-08 that had a $4 billion reserve. Now, the state is likely to face a $2 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year – a swing of $6 billion – and another $8billion gap next year. “I have not made any final decisions yet, but it’s clear that the decisions that will be involved will be tough. I have a constitutional requirement to submit a balanced budget to the Legislature in January and I will fulfill that responsibility.” The report landed on the same day that Schwarzenegger’s predecessor, Gray Davis – recalled by voters amid his own budget crisis – happened to be speaking in Sacramento. When asked for a solution to California’s chronic economic fluctuations, Davis reached for a page straight out of a conservative playbook: a constitutional amendment to cap spending. “The only way to avoid this roller-coaster ride is to have a constitutional amendment in place that requires that you put aside 3 to 4 percent of the budget and only draw down on that when the economy is weakening,” said Davis, addressing the Sacramento Press Club. “I hope that as a byproduct of dealing with this budget challenge that the governor and the Legislature deal with this larger question of putting a spending limit before the voters so we’ll have some stability.” Davis said the key is convincing interest groups – including education, which has a guaranteed funding formula approved by voters – that no one is insulated from the ups and downs of the economy. “It’s not realistic for groups to say we have our money locked in no matter what happens,” said Davis, now an attorney for a Los Angeles law firm, Loeb & Loeb. “It’s important for people to accept that reality.” Davis said he takes no pleasure in watching the state head toward a fiscal morass under the man who ousted him in the 2003 recall – and after overseeing one of the worst budget crises in California history. Schwarzenegger inherited a deficit of $16.5 billion. “Life is like a relay race,” Davis said. “When you have a baton you run as hard as you can and hope the next guy doesn’t run in a different direction. I’m glad the governor has not run in a different direction.” The governor’s office said it could not comment on Davis’ suggestion without knowing more details, but the governor pushed for a different balanced-budget initiative in 2005 that was rejected by voters. Conservatives lauded Davis for embracing what has been their siren call. “In concept, we applaud the suggestion that we’ve been pushing for 30 years,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association. “When you have someone like Gray Davis, who was burned by overspending, say this, it’s like a reformed alcoholic. This church is big enough for all sinners.” Schwarzenegger must submit his proposed budget in January, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles, wasted no time Wednesday insisting that the Legislature will not accept a budget balanced on the backs of the poor. sharmon@cctimes.com (916) 441-2101 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Continue Reading →

A rotating crop of fresh greens grows in one of th

first_imgA rotating crop of fresh greens grows in one of the greenhouses. After harvesting, the agriculture crew sells greens and other items from the garden at the farmer’s market at the Arcosanti Cafe. Fresh lettuce from the greenhouse are also available at the Cafe salad bar. [Photo & text: Yuki Y] March 2, 2005Agriculture department crew works in their new orchard next to the lake. February workshopper Ursula LeMaistre and Garden Manager Scott Dolan plant new apple trees. [Photo & text: Yuki Y] The apple orchard with the Arcosanti buildings in the background. [Photo & text: Yuki Y]Agriculture department crew works in their new orchard next to the lake. February workshopper Ursula LeMaistre and Garden Manager Scott Dolan plant new apple trees. [Photo & text: Yuki Y] A new crop of garlic grows in the garden. It will be ready to harvest in the middle of May. [Photo & text: Yuki Y] The apple orchard with the Arcosanti buildings in the background. [Photo & text: Yuki Y]last_img read more

Continue Reading →

The horses were spotted galloping down street in C

first_img The horses were spotted galloping down street in Creggan on Monday nightRESIDENTS in a Derry housing estate got a shock on Monday night after around 30 escaped horses were spotted galloping down the street.The bizarre incident happened in the Ballymore Park area of Creggan around 11.30 pm. Footage from the scene shows the horses galloping freely down the middle of the street.The resident who posted the footage said: “Just your usual Monday night in Creggan!”A PSNI spokesperson said officers were able to track down the owner and the animals were safely returned to a nearby field.Herd of horses seen trotting down residential street in Derry was last modified: May 29th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: BALLYMORE PARKCRegganHerd of horses seen trotting down residential street in DerryPolicePSNIcenter_img ShareTweetlast_img read more

Continue Reading →