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More than 180 California cities vow to sue state if budget is passed

More than 180 California cities have passed resolutions threatening to sue the state if lawmakers approve a budget plan that would seize $4.7 billion in local funds to help close the state’s massive deficit, according to the League of California Cities.

Judy Mitchell, mayor of Rolling Hills Estates and president of the League of California Cities, described the budget proposal as a “ponzi scheme that passes off responsibility to future governors, legislators and to our taxpayers.”

The plan announced Monday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders uses a variety of means to essentially shift part of the state’s $26.3-billion budget deficit to city and county governments. The prospect of losing $313 million in redevelopment funds and $109 million in gasoline taxes prompted the lawsuit threat from Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday. The cities and league would join the L.A. County lawsuit.

“We want the governor and the Legislature to adopt an honest, credible budget that does not rely on illegal, irresponsible and reckless gimmicks that prevent local governments from doing their jobs of delivering the critical services that they provide,” Mitchell said today.

Also present at today’s news conference were Los Angeles County Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky; Alhambra Police Chief Jim Hudson, president of the county police chiefs’ association; County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman; Duarte Councilwoman Lois Gaston, president of the California Contract Cities Assn.; and dozens of city officials.

Antonovich said the state government should reduce and streamline its own operations before engaging in “highway robbery” from local funds. Hudson and Freeman said local governments had already been forced to lay off staff in their police and fire departments to balance their own budgets and could not afford to make additional cuts.

“This budget, simply put, is a disaster for local government and public safety,” Hudson said.

 -- Alexandra Zavis at the L.A. County Hall of Administration

 
Comments () | Archives (18)

The solution is SIMPLE
Let's build a high speed train to Mexico City and send all the illegal's back to where they came from including the people in jail.
Deficit problem solved.

Why don't we just let the whole country declare bankruptcy. I'm sure he Republicans will like that one.

Noone wants to pay more taxes while expecting and/or using more service. Where will the government get the money then?

Yeah its time to make Sacramento a part time job, pass a resolution replacing all legislators, and bring in a bunch of auditors to audit every department and payroll.

This is really just corruption, they take more and do less. The numbers speak for themselves and it looks like its about to catch up to them.

Another thought would be for Homeland security to take all the Sacramento legislators to Gitmo because they have wreaked more havoc then any terrorists I can think of.

this is just the state punishing city goverments for doing what they could not do,BALANCE THE BUDGET, THEY SHOULD BE TERMINATED , FOR THE FAILURES THAT GOT US TO THIS POINT!

I am not an American, but I always loved visiting California; it is a very civilized place and a social lab for the future. It is one of the most beautiful place on earth. Without money for education, I am afraid that it will become a place full of narrow-minded people, very conservative with a lot of crime and violence.

Big government, paid for by little people.

Ahh...the California method of dealing with every type of disagreement: lawsuits. But then I suppose 180 cities suing the state wouldn't cost TOO much money or take TOO much of the judiciary's time. I'm beginning to see why California is in the financial boat it's in.

Divert $6.5 billion in AB 900 construction bonds to the deficit and problem goes away!
If the independent Legislative Analysist (LAO) prison capacity figures are correct, about $6.5 billion in prison construction bond funds can be redirected to the deficit. Cuts to services to the poor and education could be reduced substantially! And an additional $257 million in prison operating costs can be saved by simply increasing the percentage of correctional contract beds from 4% of permanent capacity to 9%, like Texas. There is no need to release any inmates early.

The LAO, relying on national prison bed standards, reports a permanent capacity of 156,503 beds. That translates to a shortage of only 3,361 beds. There is no need for any construction or early release of inmates. The shortage could be quickly eliminated by increasing the number of contract beds. Also, each contract bed saves $30,000 in annual prison operating costs when compared to a standard prison bed and avoids the need to spend $300,000 for construction of a prison bed.

It is not complicated but the Governor and Legislators need to ignore the very influential correctional employee unions.

Can we focus on the important thing? They didn't raise taxes and that's ALL THAT MATTERS

The same thing the Democrats are trying to do here in Cali is what the Obama Democrats are doing to America. They are destroying Cali and America as we watch. Our politicians remain clueless!

Typical politics, everybody is only out for themselves and pandering to their supporters.

Everybody has forgotten that before the Nation crashed under Bush Administration we were still in the hole from Southern California Edison and the last Governor who stole money from the people to give it to Edison and their co-horts. We were ripped of BIG TIME by the power companies and they got away with it!!

Our state never recovered from that ripoff, now times are worse and still every politician is only pandering to their party.

Politicians have forgotten they work for ALL the people and not just the members of their party. Republicans work for the Democratic voters of California too and not just the right wing of their party.

California and America belong to ALL the people collectively. Republican, Democrats, Independents & people who don't even vote. Our leaders have forgotten it's the people they work for and not special interest and state unions.

The Unions in California have and will continue to destroy California for personal gain...They care NOTHING about people who are NOT their members. The rest of us can just fend for ourselves, we mean NOTHING to them. They have too much power and way too much money!!!

California belongs to the people and NOT THE UNIONS & SPECIAL INTEREST!!!

Eliminate Unions and we can save California...The Republicans can be voted out of office. We are stuck with Unions and they have way too much power and influence with law makers.

The people must take back California from those who are damed to destroy it for personal gain!!!

I find it dishearting that everything that goes wrong in California and America is blamed on conservatives and republicans. What the democracts don't see is that they have been the majority party in California for over 40 years and the majority party in Congress for the last four years, so all the problems are their fault not republicans. Republicans believe in personal responsiblity meaning that they are in charge of their lives and reap the successes or consequences of their choices. Republicans do not need a government that tells them what to do and when, that type of government is not a democracry but socialistic.Socialism is not what the founding fathers fought and died for, they would lower their heads and wonder where their country went wrong. So to the democracts do not play the blame game but take responsbility for your actions.

Our state legislators blather on about "tough decisions", and none of them are willing to make them. Their idea of a "tough decision" is to maybe potentially, kinda sorta upset a Union.

Meanwhile, no one mentions the elephants in the room. Illegal aliens sucking up our resources, non-violent "criminals" filling our prisons, frivolous lawsuits bankrupting our hospitals, exorbitant tax rates chasing out our businesses, corrupt unions driving our industry overseas.

THESE are the keys to our recovery; Not creative financing, ersatz bond measures, and increasing taxes.

May we not hear one more moron suggest that we can fix all of these problems by taxing the rich?

"Without money for education, I am afraid that it will become a place full of narrow-minded people, very conservative with a lot of crime and violence."
Posted by: Michael | July 22, 2009 at 06:55 PM

Sorry but statistics don't support your claim. The highest crime areas in the U.S. are all Liberal strongholds. Typically, areas that lean Conservative have lower crime rates and higher education test scores.

"Secular capitalism has made me devalue my skin" and "has kept my family in ghettos," said one speaker, an African-American who went on to blame it (that BAAAD Amerikkka) for the fact that he smoked marijuana and his grandmother played the lottery. Capitalism, he added, is a form of economic "terrorism" and "causes us to be sent to mental hospitals."

Well, there's your problem, right there. And the solution is, Cali needs more mental hospitals, with high-speed registry for Dems.

Insolvency BAD
Bankruptcy GOOD

Rather than cutting the fat, the government tries to intimidate the people into higher taxes (theft) by cutting the tissue and bone.

We should dismantle the incompetent (government) and let the competent feast on the carcass. There can be no recovery until this parasite is dealt with.

Starting as early as next July 2010 hundreds of billions of unfunded government union pensions will need to be fed. These government unions have lost the value in their retirement programs in the stock market. The difference is that these pension funds are guaranteed by the taxpayer. Wait until they try to absorb that into the budget.

The State Assembly passed a bill to try and prevent cities from going to bankruptcy court like Vallejo so that the taxpayers are forced to pay these pension benefits. Who sponsored the legislation, the firefighters union. Tells you who our State Democratic Legislature works for.

In 2010 vote against any candidate endorsed by a government union.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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