(KCBS) – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s final plan to balance the California budget without raising taxes may be met with a shrug from lawmakers more concerned about how his successor, Jerry Brown, plans to tackle the problem.
On Monday, the governor will declare a fiscal state of emergency and propose billions of dollars in what his staff calls “ugly cuts” to erase the $6 billion deficit now in this year’s budget, said his deputy director of finance, H.D. Palmer.
“The proposals here he’s going to put forward next week are, by definition, going to be tough and difficult,” he said.
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:
When Schwarzenegger leaves office in less than a month, Jerry Brown will have to propose a budget for the next fiscal year that already has a $19 billion deficit.
If Democratic lawmakers don’t act on the lame duck governor’s cuts, Brown could find a $25 billion deficit awaiting him when he returns to the governor’s mansion.
“The longer that we delay addressing this difficult issue, the bigger the problem’s going to be,” Palmer said.
The legislature’s record delay in approving a budget this year already cost the state $2.8 billion in lost savings that in turn required further cuts, he said.
The governor’s proposals are mathematically sound, Palmer said. The question is whether lawmakers have the political will to embrace difficult cuts.
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