Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez was blunt about the revised budget:
“This is a budget that’s just plain bad.”
Nunez is frustrated that Schwarzenegger has proposed suspending cost of living increases for in-home care for the elderly and disabled – and even deeper cuts to welfare to work programs – while paying down some debt ahead of time:
“The administration wants to pay off wall street early, even if it means that kids on main street do without.”
Republicans, on the other hand, applaud the early debt payments – but are concerned that the state would spend more than it takes in under the Governor’s plan. Assembly budget Vice-Chair Roger Niello:
“We still go into the next budget year 08-09, several billion dollars,, so you have to at least balance this year.”
Both sides have made it clear budget negotiations won’t be easy this year.