Schwarzenegger predicts more budget cuts for California
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today predicted a new round of budget cuts, as the state’s finances remain shaky despite large spending reductions made by the governor and lawmakers in July.
Schwarzenegger, at a news conference today and at the Fresno Bee’s editorial board Monday, estimated that the current fiscal year’s budget is $5 billion to $7 billion in the red, on top of the $7.4-billion deficit projected by his aides for the fiscal year that begins in July.
The governor said he would reveal his specific plans to deal with the problems in January. But he said that, as in the past, no program would be immune to the budget knife. A wide spectrum of programs were cut as state leaders closed a deficit exceeding $20 billion over the summer.
“I think there will be across-the-board cuts again,” Schwarzenegger told reporters today in San Jose, after signing legislation that is part of the water deal he reached last week with lawmakers. “We are not going to go and pick and choose" between programs. "I think that we always have to go and cut across the board."
Schwarzenegger downplayed the impact on state finances from the water deal’s proposed $11-billion bond issue, which will go before voters next year. He said the state would not borrow much of the money for several years, after it has paid down some of its current debt.
The governor said that though there are signs of a recovery in the housing market and strength in the green technology sector, “the economy is not coming back yet the way we want it.”
In a bit of positive news, California Controller John Chiang announced today that tax revenue for October was $285 million above projections, although for the current fiscal year it is still short by $854 million.
--Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento